There are many different types of beans you can easily buy from the local supermarket. Black beans, chickpeas, green beans, kidney beans, and navy beans to name a few. One of the things that all of these beans have in common is that they are all good sources of protein.
You know that your cat’s diet needs to be high in protein, and maybe because of that it seems like a good idea to feed your cat beans, but can cats eat beans? In short, yes, cats can eat beans, but only a small amount is safe.
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Can Cats Eat Beans? All You Need to Know
While chickpeas and other beans are not toxic to cats, it wouldn’t be a good idea to feed your cat a large amount of beans.
For one, beans are not easily digestible, so eating a large amount is likely to cause digestive distress and flatulence (excess gas) in cats. This can be very uncomfortable, even painful, for your feline friend, so it’s best avoided.
Another reason why you should limit the amount of beans you feed your cat is that cats are obligate carnivores. Vegetables and plants can compliment your cat’s diet, but for your cat to stay healthy, the main part of his diet needs to be rich in animal protein. The best way to ensure that your cat gets everything he needs is to feed him good quality cat food, which does not contain cheap fillers like corn or wheat.
Beans Are Not All Bad
While beans are difficult to digest, there’s no reason to leave them totally out of your cat’s diet. Beans are not only very good sources of protein, but they can also provide significant amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6 and calcium. If your cat likes beans, then it’s okay to give him a few every now and then.
Canned Beans Are Often Too Salty for Cats
If you are going to treat your cat with a small amount of beans, then it’s best to steer clear from most canned beans. The problem with canned beans is that they often contain a lot of added salt. Half a cup of canned beans is likely to contain about 400 – 500 milligrams of sodium. Half a cup, of course, would be too much for a cat anyway, but as cats’ sodium tolerance is very low, even a small amount of canned beans can cause problems.
In case you were wondering, you can reduce the sodium content by rinsing the beans with clean water, but they would still be too salty for your cat. So, if you want to give your cat some beans, make sure they do not contain any added salt or, better yet, buy fresh beans and cook them yourself without excessive salt.
Can Cats Eat Lentils and Peas?
You might also be wondering whether cats can eat lentils and peas. Lentils and peas are similar to beans in that they too are difficult to digest. Cats can eat both lentils and peas, but only in small amounts. Lentils and peas both contain valuable nutrients for cats (iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6), so occasionally feeding your cat a small amount can be beneficial for your feline’s health. In fact, peas are a popular ingredient in many commercial cat foods, so there’s a good chance your cat already has some peas in his diet.
Legumes like beans, lentils and peas are all safe for cats, but only in small quantities. Feeding a large amount of these legumes to your cat in a single sitting is likely to cause digestive distress and is therefore not recommended. However, giving your cat a few beans or peas as a treat is okay.
Does your cat like to eat beans, lentils or peas? Let us know in the comments below!