What a varied food: green beans, soybeans, lima beans, jelly beans. There are numerous varieties of beans, each with unique nutritional characteristics and health advantages for our digestive systems and other systems.
Even lentils are included in the family of beans. But can these legumes be fed to cats? Can cats consume beans?
Yes, cats can eat beans, to put it simply.
Owners of cats will be relieved that they are not harmful. However, cats enjoy a diet high in meat, and consuming too many beans or vegetables might upset their stomachs. Continue reading to learn more about cats’ eating habits and more.
Nutritional Facts About Beans
Looking at the above stats, we can see that beans, as human food, have many health benefits. They are a good source of protein and fiber, whilst being low in fat and sugar. They also contain potassium, calcium, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The only downside? They can cause mild digestive distress and excess gas.
So how does this relate to our feline friends? Are beans suitable as cat food?
Cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive system is designed specifically to digest meat. Cat food is generally highly meat-based.
Our feline companions have a high protein requirement, with low carbohydrate needs, and need their diet to provide very specific nutrients that they cannot make themselves.
Cats struggle to digest plant material and legumes, so although some of the nutritional value of beans may suit them well, such as the high protein and fiber, they will struggle to digest them well enough to get many of the health benefits.
Advantages Of Beans For Cats
Beans should not be the main part of a cat’s diet, but they can provide a source of protein and fiber. Cats need a diet rich in protein, and fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and to prevent constipation.
Beans also provide many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Cats are obligate carnivores and should mainly eat animal protein, but small amounts of beans can provide some nutritional value.
How Many Beans Can A Cat Eat?
Vegetables and legumes should ideally only make up a small part of your cat’s overall diet. Providing small amounts of beans is fine, as cats eat a varied diet, but too large a portion can result in an upset to the digestive system.
How Frequently Can A Cat Eat Beans?
Cats are designed to digest animal protein, and providing legumes such as baked beans, black beans, green beans or other legumes too frequently can cause digestive distress, including excess gas, intestinal discomfort, or pain. Feeding small amounts occasionally is the safest way to let your cats eat beans.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Beans For Cats?
Although beans are generally a safe food for cats in small quantities, there are a few types of beans to be avoided.
These should be avoided as cat food. They often contain added seasonings – mainly salt. Too much salt is very bad for our feline friends and can lead to an imbalance in sodium and potassium levels, causing harm to the kidneys. Cats who have eaten too much salt can develop an excessive thirst, diarrhea, and vomiting and it can even lead to death.
These are candy, rather than a legume, and can contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol. This is toxic to cats as it causes their sugar levels to drop dangerously and can be fatal. This human food should never be part of a cat’s diet.
These can also contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, which can be toxic to your cat’s health.
Coffee Beans And Chocolate-Covered Beans
Coffee beans and chocolate beans both contain theobromine, which is toxic to cats. It can induce excitability, a high heart rate, liver Failure, and seizures and can be fatal.
Cat owners should take care with refried beans, as they are very high in fat. They can also contain seasonings such as onions and garlic which are toxic to cats.
Beans should always be cooked properly before being given as cat food. Raw beans can cause severe digestive distress.
Other forms of beans are generally safe to give in small quantities. Overindulging in beans can result in digestive problems or pancreatitis, so if you want to offer beans, always give them in small amounts, and not too frequently.
Do Cats Enjoy The Taste Of Beans?
As obligate carnivores, cats love fish and animal protein. However, many cats are curious and like to try new flavors and textures in their food, so some cats eat all sorts of extras.