Can cats eat beans. Beans are a popular food of humans all over the world. There are various types of beans and these are prepared in various ways. It’s a very popular food among both young and old.
Beans are considered a super food for human beings. What about our feline friends? Can cats eat beans? Is it safe to feed cats beans?
Cat parents are often worried and concerned about their fur babies and their diet. Most doubt whether human food is safe for cats. Let’s find out the consequences of feeding beans to cats.
- Something about beans
- Can cats eat beans?
- Nutritional benefits of beans
- Certain dangers of beans to cats
- How to feed beans to cats
- Can kittens eat beans?
- Can cats eat refried beans?
- What about canned beans?
- Can cats eat baked beans?
- What about black beans?
- Can cats eat green beans?
- How about kidney beans?
- Can cats eat red beans?
- Lentils and peas for cats
- Can cats eat chickpeas?
- What about lima beans?
- Can cats eat soybeans?
- What do coffee and cocoa beans do to your cat?
- Can cats eat broad beans?
Something about beans
Beans belong to the family Fabacea and are the fruits or seeds of plants belonging to this family. These are eaten as vegetables by both humans and animals. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors.
Beans are a rich source of proteins, complex carbohydrates, iron and folate. Fiber, both soluble and insoluble can be found in significant amounts too. These help lower blood cholesterol. These can be cooked in different ways such as boiling, frying and baking.
There are many types of beans in the world, but only some are cultivated for regular consumption. Broad bean, runner bean, lima bean, green bean, kidney bean, pinto bean, black bean, mung bean, chickpea, pea, lentil, soybean and peanuts are some of them.
Beans are one of the longest cultivated plants and are heliotropic. They need warm temperatures to grow. Legumes can fix nitrogen, increasing soil fertility.
Care should be taken when consuming certain types as they can contain toxins. Boiling them for at least ten minutes can reduce the toxic levels. Some can also contain antinutrients that inhibit certain enzymatic processes in the body.
Eating most beans can cause flatulence due to the presence of oligosaccharides which cannot be digested properly due to lack of anti-oligosaccharide enzyme. Boiling, soaking or cooking beans can reduce the problem.
January 6th is celebrated as national bean day. This day was chosen as Gregor Mendel passed away on 6th January. Mendel is famous for the study of genetic inheritance using beans and peas.
Can cats eat beans ?
Cats can eat beans in moderation. That is once in a while as a snack. Beans are not toxic to cats. However, you should keep certain facts in mind when feeding beans to cats.
The digestive system of cats is capable of digesting mainly meat proteins. Since cats are used to a carnivorous diet from ancient times, this is natural.
Beans have plant based protein which cannot be absorbed very well by a cat’s digestive system. Hence only small amounts should be given. These should never replace a cat’s main diet.
If too much beans are given over time, cats can experience certain health issues such as stomach pain, excess gas, digestive stress, intestinal discomfort and irritable bowel syndrome (IBD).
Certain types of beans are also not suitable to cats and sometimes cats will refuse to eat them. So, care should be taken when feeding beans to cats. Cats are curious creatures and will want to try out whatever you are eating.
Nutritional benefits of beans.
- Humans consider beans to be a super food as they are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
- Cats can also benefit from these and also the fact that they have very low sodium levels as well as low calorie.
- They are also naturally gluten–free.
- Certain types of beans contain iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin A and C that are important to a cat’s overall health.
- Beans also help combat inflammation in cats due to the presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in them.
- Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells.
- In humans, a bean rich diet can help reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer.
Certain dangers of beans to cats
- A potentially toxic glycoprotein known as lectin can be found in raw beans.
- This can be removed by cooking the bean.
- Raw beans can also absorb moisture from a cat’s gut.
- This may or may not soften them before being a dangerous obstruction.
- Unwashed or unsoaked raw dry beans can also carry E. coli and Staphylococcus on the skin.
- These microorganisms are responsible for food poisoning.
- If salt, pepper, onion, garlic and other seasoning are added to beans, they can be toxic to cats; causing sodium poisoning from salt and anemia from onion and garlic.
- Beans also have a reputation for producing gas.
- This is because beans are hard to digest irrespective of the type of digestive system.
- Cats with sensitive stomachs or known digestive issues should avoid eating beans.
- Some cats can be allergic to beans.
- These cats can have difficulty breathing, eczema, vomiting, diarrhea and impaired consciousness.
- Cats who eat beans daily will undergo phytohemagglutinin poisoning.
- It can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Undercooked beans are mostly responsible for this condition.
- Take your cat to a veterinarian if they show any adverse reactions after consuming beans.
- Avoid giving them again if the beans don’t agree with your cat.
How to feed beans to your cat
- When feeding beans to your cat for the first time, start with a very small amount.
- Observe for any adverse reactions in your cat.
- If not, you can continue to feed them beans about once or twice a week.
- Remember, moderation is the best method to feed beans to cats.
- Plain, cooked beans are the best to feed your cat.
- Presoak them for a few hours before boiling them well.
- They should be soft and flesh fallen off them.
- Do not add any salt or seasoning.
- The boiling duration can vary for various types of beans.
- Some can take a longer time to boil, while others will boil in a short time.
- You can also add some vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cucumbers in small amounts after chopping them up well.
Can kittens eat beans ?
- Kittens are tiny and have undeveloped digestive systems.
- Any toxin in beans can affect kittens more than adult cats.
- Kittens are also more sensitive to laxative effects from fiber in beans.
- Diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration can occur.
- Seek immediate medical attention if this occurs.
- Better avoid giving beans to kittens and opt for a healthy cat food.
Can cats eat refried beans ?
- Refried beans are high in fats. Fats in high amounts are not good for a cat’s overall health.
- These can also contain garlic and onions which are toxic to cats.
- Anemia, which can cause the breakdown of cells can occur with garlic and onions.
- Too much salt is also toxic due to sodium ion poisoning.
- So, it is best to avoid giving refried beans to your cat.
What about canned beans ?
- Most canned products contain excess salt.
- They can also contain spices which are not safe for cats.
- Excess salt can cause many health issues such as excessive thirst, lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- All these are symptoms of sodium ion poisoning.
- Thus it is better to avoid giving canned food products to avoid poisoning your cat.
- Even washing the beans cannot remove the excess salt in them.
Can cats eat baked beans ?
- Baked beans can contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol.
- It can be fatal to cats and is considered a medical emergency.
- In addition, excessive salt, onion and garlic is harmful to cats.
- This can also cause pancreatitis.
- Better avoid giving baked beans to cats.
What about black beans ?
- Black beans can be consumed by cats.
- They contain iron, calcium and phosphorous which help to build and maintain bone structure.
- Quercetin and saponin present in them lower the blood pressure and protect the heart.
- The fiber present in them can lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Can cats eat green beans ?
- A small amount of green beans is safe for cats to consume.
- It is high in protein, iron, calcium and vitamins, while being low in fat.
How about kidney beans ?
- Kidney beans contain low calories and high proteins.
- They are safe for cats.
- Remember to cook them before feeding your cat.
Can cats eat red beans ?
- Saponin present in red beans are capable of lowering blood cholesterol and thinning blood.
- Polyphenols in red beans help prevent obesity, cancer, allergies and protect the liver.
- Cats can eat cooked red beans in small amounts.
Lentils and peas for cats
- Although lentils and peas are hard to digest, they contain valuable nutrients to a cat such as iron, magnesium, vitamin B6.
- Cats can eat a small amount of lentils and peas, after cooking them well.
- Peas are also a popular ingredient in commercial cat food.
Can cats eat chickpeas ?
- Chickpeas are not toxic to cats, but cats find it difficult to digest them.
- They do not have enough nutritional elements to promote digestion in cats.
- Thus it is better to avoid giving chickpeas to your cat.
What about lima beans ?
- Lima beans contain the compound Linamarin which can cause some trouble to your cat.
- When lima beans are boiled for more than ten minutes, the compound loses its lethality in the hot water.
- Thus, the digestion of the cat is not disturbed.
- You can give coked lima beans in moderation to your cat.
Can cats eat soybeans ?
- Raw soybeans contain trypsin inhibitor which can cause indigestion leading to diarrhea.
- Heating the soybean can stop this from happening.
- High dietary fiber in soybean can also cause indigestion in cats.
- It is rich in protein and also contains a compound called isoflavone which prevents calcium in bone from leaking out.
- A small amount of cooked soybeans can be eaten by cats.
What do coffee and cocoa beans do to your cat ?
- Coffee beans and cocoa beans should never be given to your cat.
- They contain a compound known as ‘Theobromine’ which can be lethal to cats.
- It can cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.
- The caffeine in coffee can cause increased excitement and difficulty in breathing.
Can cats eat broad beans ?
- Broad beans contain minerals which can be harmful to cats with kidney diseases.
- Normal cats can consume a little as a snack.
Beans are considered a super food for humans due to their high nutritional value. Can cats eat beans? Are beans safe for cats?
What you should consider is that although beans are rich in proteins, cats need meat protein in their diet. The ability to digest plant protein by a cat’s digestive system is rather poor.
Thus giving a small amount of cooked beans once in a while as a snack is not a problem as long as your cat is not allergic to beans. Avoid adding salt or seasoning. These can be toxic in excess.
Although beans are nutritious, the high fiber content can cause indigestion, gas and flatulence in cats. Thus small amounts are always recommended.
Raw beans should always be avoided as they contain toxic substances as well as microorganisms that can cause food poisoning.
There are various types of beans and most of them can be consumed by cats. However, these should never replace the main, regular diet of a cat.
Remember to feed a healthy diet consisting of high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrates, as this is the ideal amounts of nutrients that should be present in a cat’s diet.
If your cat undergoes any negative reactions after eating beans, contact your vet immediately for medical attention. Do not feed them any beans if they are unwilling or have adverse reactions.
Feed your cat right and keep it healthy and happy!
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