Who doesn’t love beans? They are not only tasty but are a powerhouse of proteins. Vegetarians often substitute these for meat. Beans can be cooked and eaten in various ways. People like eating canned, baked, boiled, or refried beans according to their taste.
Do you think your pet cat also loves beans? You may have noticed your cat sniffing around a plate of beans. This indeed may have made you wonder: “Can cats eat beans?”
The cat is a carnivorous animal which means its nutritional requirement relies on proteins from animal meat. Its mouth, teeth, GI tract, and digestive system are suitable to process animal proteins. So, can cats eat beans?
Yes, cats can eat beans. Although beans are abundant in proteins, this protein is not like the one present in meat. Humans can digest it quickly. However, it is not the same for cats.
Like a small number of vegetables and fruits are occasionally allowed for cats, the same is true with beans. Keep reading to know why, how, and what kind of beans you can feed your cat as a treat.
Can cats eat beans?
Yes, but just moderation. Although beans are an inexpensive alternative to meat, they can not be substituted as a daily meal for cats. Cat owners must consider the nutritional value of human foods they want to feed their pets.
There are different beans like kidney beans, green beans, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, chili beans, etc. Each has a different nutritional value. All beans are rich sources of proteins and are also high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
For instance, black beans contain high amounts of carbohydrates-20.4, proteins-7.6, fiber-7.5, and less fats-0.5 with salt content below 1%. Navy beans contain high amounts of fiber-9.6g and protein-7.6g with 0% sodium.
Beans also contain iron, potassium, zinc, etc. that are generally healthy for cats. Fats and salt are bad for cats. Hence, beans are a good snack for cats with negligible fats and salt.
Are beans toxic to cats?
Your next thought might be, “Are beans toxic to cats?”. No, beans are not toxic to cats. A moderate amount of beans as an occasional treat is safe for your cats. They add variation and extra nutritional value to your cat’s diet. But they can be harmful when fed in larger quantities or daily.
Veterinarians recommend introducing as few as 5 beans once a week for cats. However, if your feline is a bean lover, gradually increase the serving size to 10 beans at max per week.
It is a common misconception that beans cause inflammation in cats. Beans possess antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Vets recommend incorporating some beans in a cat’s diet when suffering from inflammation.
- Bloating, flatulence, or gasses.
- Digestive distress.
- Intestinal distress.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Phytohemagglutinin poisoning- This occurs commonly in cats that are fed beans regularly. Adding beans to your cat’s feed daily will result in symptoms of diarrhea, extreme vomiting, and nausea.
Cat owners should not give beans to their furry companion with a sensitive gut as they will likely experience digestive issues. Hence, always seek advice from your vet before introducing beans or any other human food to your cat.
Medication is the only treatment for the side effects of beans. If your cat develops any allergies or health problems due to beans, immediately seek professional help.
Can cats eat cooked beans?
Cat owners might not know how to prepare beans for cats. The best way to introduce cooked beans to your cat is by ensuring they are prepared fresh and are well-done.
Soak beans for a few hours before cooking. Then boil them in plain water until completely tender. The beans are well-cooked when their outer covering comes off. Avoid adding seasonings. You can also give your cat the remaining broth that contains starch and protein.
Offer a small portion at first to avoid any possible health hazard. Do not feed your cat beans more than once a week.
Raw beans can cause choking and the risk of intoxication. Raw beans are high in Lectin, which is dangerous for cats. So, make sure the beans are thoroughly boiled. Parboiled beans will result in Phytohemagglutinin poisoning.
Refried, canned or baked beans are dangerous for your cat’s health as they are high in salt and preservatives.
Note: The boiling period differs from bean to bean. For instance, black beans are slow-cooked and get tender in 60 minutes, whereas kidney beans are boiled for 10 minutes and then slow-cooked.
Can cats eat beans and rice?
Can cats eat beans and rice? Yes, they can. There are various ways to incorporate beans into your cat’s diet:
- Toss some boiled beans in a bit portion of rice.
- Add beans to the cat food.
- Serve them along with tiny pieces of boiled vegetables as treats.
- Pour some vegetable puree over beans.
Vets recommend a nibble or two of boiled or steamed white rice for cats as it helps with digestion, but occasionally.
Which type of bean is good for my cat?
You might be wondering which type of bean to feed your cat from the various beans available. Not all beans are safe for cats, and neither will your cat enjoy munching every kind of bean.
But you cannot keep giving the same beans to your feline all the time. Switching between different beans is a brilliant idea. Let us have a look at some cat-friendly beans.
Can cats eat kidney beans?
Yes, cats can eat boiled kidney beans. Kidney beans are not only packed with proteins but also contain fiber, potassium, zinc, iron, and antioxidants. These will help with proper digestion, muscle and nerve function, healthy growth, blood circulation, and reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases in your cat. However, you must stick to the recommended amount.
Can cats eat pinto beans?
Yes, cats can eat pinto beans. These are less flavorful. Small portions of cooked pinto beans are equally safe for cats as any other bean.
Can cats eat chili beans?
Yes, cats can eat boiled chili beans in a limited amount once a week. They are equally nutritious as black or kidney beans.
Can cats eat green beans?
Yes, cats can eat plain boiled or steamed green beans as they are low in fat and high in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my cat eat refried beans?
No. Refried beans are extremely fatty due to oil or butter and highly toxic for cats due to garlic and onion. Refried beans may cause obesity or even lead to deadly diseases like hemolytic anemia in cats.
Can cats eat canned beans?
No, cats cannot eat canned beans due to extremely high salt content, spices, and preservatives. Cannes beans can cause heart disease and obesity in cats.
Is it OK/good for cats to eat baked beans?
It is not ok for cats to eat baked beans as they can cause pancreatitis. Xylitol in baked beans is lethal for cats.
Can cats eat beans? Yes. Although bean protein is different from animal protein, cats can gain extra nutrients from beans. But never think of alternating it with meat as excess beans increase the risk of health issues in your cats. Let your furry cat enjoy its weekly treat of 5-10 beans. This amount is both safe and healthy.
Hi, Dr. Louise Cosgrove from Queensland, Australia. A veterinarian for 10+ years. I and my husband Jason Gray running a veterinary business at eevs.com.au. decided to create a blog about cats. I wanted to create a – what you can call a cat-o-pedia for people who don’t have a veterinary partner and often need to rely on the internet for quick and useful information about cats.