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.
Discover More: 10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Cats
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!
15 thoughts on “Can Cats Eat Beans? What About Lentils & Peas?”
My cats just had some black beans. So not like them. I had rinsed them and had them draining on the sink and then heard that famous meow (you know the one while licking their lips). This is how i wound up here, looking for answers.
I think they will be sleeping outside the bedroom tonight, no suprise blanket bombs.
If you watch feral house cats they have evolved. People don’t seem to realize that the common small felines have become omnivores that supplement their diet with various plants. They even eat some plants for medicinal purposes, most commonly digestive upset. Evolution doesn’t stop just because we ignore it.
My cats (I have 9) love to share baked beans with cheese through them. We always make sure to get salt reduced though 🙂
I just discovered that my cat Hugo loves garbanzo beans, but my other cat, Pete, is not at all interested. Hugo also likes peas!
What about cat/kitten food that has beans/lentils as ingredients? Like Orijen, for example.
I followed this thread and fed my cat Wally some refried beans. This was a terrible mistake as the Green House Gases that he emitted have probably warmed the planet by 3-degrees
One of my cats likes St Dalfour Ready to eat Gourmet on the go three beens with corn…
This same cat is deaf but can somehow hear the crinkle noise of the Temptations treat bag through walls and at least 20 feet away…
My Cat likes cooked pinto beans too. I cook them in the crockpot and dont add much water so the beans absorb the liquid and kinda make a gravy. My cat loves it.
Haha I am dying at Iza’s comment!!
My cat was brought up eating veggie soup before she could handle dry kitten food (we were too poor for wet food at the time… Someone dropped her off even though I said no). She ate whole chunks of onions and garlic her first year (didn’t know it was toxic). She is now 3, eats wet and dry cat food, and loves almost all veggies – raw or cooked + mushrooms, hummus, avocado, mango, sweet potato chips, eggplant, etc. She won’t eat eggs. Today she ate broccoli and romaine. She has the most gorgeous coat – like a bunny. I have trouble believing we need commercial pet food or that cats don’t enjoy vegetables bc mine certainly does.
My three cats love to eat beans. But I only give in very small amounts, once a week. Thanks for the wonderful article!
I have 12 cats. Sally and Gertude love black beans they eat 4 each every week. I discovered that Freckles loves string beans but will stop after the 7th bean. That’s enough for him! Helga and King Toby are not fans, but side note, they love drinking a teaspoon of sugar free soda pop. Princess Penelope will devour saltines if I leave them out too long. John and Tyler only eat cat food, with the occasional olive oil. The rest of my cats like whipped cream and sardines (low sodium!) but are unable to share with each other so I have to prepare 5 bowls every time. All of my cats have serious health issues so I have to pay 58 dollars a month per cat on health insurance. They are on a special scientific diet but I can’t I can’t help indulging them once in a while. What can I say? They are my world.
The neighbors cat has adopted me.
The bloody cat will sit outside my bedroom window howling until I feed it.
Ok ,, cat ..
I cooked up some lentils and green peas, ..added some mushroom powder, and a dead squirrel ( I brazed and de boned it first ) put all the slop into a dish, and the cat gobbled it up.
Q: The squirrel was ok, it’s just meat protein, but what about the peas and lentils ?
“Overall, your cat would be better off avoiding chickpeas and other beans altogether. They are high in empty calories, low in the important amino acids, and full of difficult-to-digest starches. Cats who adore chickpeas can have a couple of them every so often as a treat, but they should not become a dietary staple. If you do decide to share chickpeas with your cat, opt for fresh or frozen—canned chickpeas are extremely high in salt, which can result in hypernatremia.”
Then why are so many cat foods on the market today made with peas and chickpeas as like the second ingredient listed?!!!
I make my cat food with steamed salmon r tuna with a bit of 1 of these cream8 or 40 peas, carrots, green beans, sweet peppers. I finish it off with olive or coconut oil. This week I’m trying slow cooked boneless chuck roast for the meat base. They don’t seem to care for chicken or turkey.