Cat Food Non-essentials: Brewer’s Rice & Brewer’s Yeast

August 8, 2012

Brewer’s Rice and Brewer’s Yeast both come from the beer-making industry.  Brewer’s rice refers to the tiny pieces of broken rice that remain after the milling process is complete.  It is commonly found as a filler in cat food.  Brewer’s Yeast is used in human supplements, because it is high in B Vitamins and chromium, and it is also found in pet food.  There are proponents who say Brewer’s yeast is good for a cat’s skin, fur and eyes and support various bodily functions.  But some cats are allergic to it.  Some nutrition experts say that Brewer’s yeast is toxic to a cat’s liver.

Because cats are obligate carnivores and do not need a lot of grain in their diet, Brewer’s rice is virtually useless in their food.  It is missing the nutritional benefits found in whole brown rice and is high in carbohydrates.  Cats just don’t need this additive.  Why take the chance that it might cause damage to your furry friend?

If you see Brewer’s rice on the ingredients label of your cat’s food package, it should be way down the list, so that the amount is very small.  Otherwise, you would be providing your furry friend with a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates that won’t help her at all.

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Sharon Trafford March 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

My cat has constipation problems, the vet orders Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Feline Dry food and RC wet food. First ingredient in the dry is Brewers yeast, then meat by products, then corn. Royal Canin finally admitted to me that their wet food has small amounts of BPA in the food. I am so confused and appalled, $40.00 for dry and $2.00 each three ounce can.

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Sharon Trafford March 19, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Product in dry Royal Canin Gastrointestinal food is Brewers Rice, it Yeast

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Carol North March 19, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Sharon, far be it from me to say your veterinarian is wrong. He knows your cat. I don’t. But if I were in your shoes, I’d certainly question him or her at length about it. I am not a vet but I have studied pet nutrition enough to wonder why this is a good food for cats – any cats. There are just too many ingredients that I would not want my cats to eat. I’m sure you know that BPA is a dangerous chemical and makes that canned food a bad choice. Again, I’m not going to tell you what you should do. But if I were not satisfied with the vet’s response, I’d at least think about trying a higher end wet cat food that is grain free. And I’d include a teaspoon of canned pumpkin with each meal. I give it to my cats as a treat from my finger. Some may eat it just fine from their food. It helps keep my cats “regular.” Some say it’s only good for pets with diarrhea but others say it works both ways. Perhaps you and your vet can agree on something else to try that will please both of you. Most veterinary offices carry a prescription line of pet food. The ones I am familiar with are Science Diet and Royal Canin. While vets certainly use those prescription foods to treat their patients, they are also selling it for profit.

I would think most would be willing to work with you on something else.

Carol North

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