Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know

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can cats eat beans

Can cats eat beans? It is one of the hottest questions in the minds of cats owners. And, the answer is ‘Yes', cats can eat beans. However, it relies upon the type of bean as well and your cat too.

Some beans give the stomach of the average cats a hard time, such as the baked beans. They cause pancreatitis and vomiting; they don't help the digestion of a cat.

On the whole, beans are fine as a snack.

But before feeding them to your cat, make sure you have all the right facts.

For example, we have black beans, red beans, navy beans, kidney beans, etc. Even the peanuts and lentils are the special members of the bean family.

When we take beans as a whole, we only consider the general properties they have but don't ponder the problems they possess.

Related article: Can Cats Eat Human Food?

Are Beans Dangerous For Cats?

No, they are not dangerous.

Although they don't have any toxic elements in them, they can still put a strain on the stomach of your cat.

Since cats are obligate carnivores; you can't replace their main diet with beans. They can eat them but only a small amount is safe. If they aren't used to assimilate such food and you feed them over and over as the main diet, your feline buddy will deal with many health-related issues.

Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know 1
  • Excess gas
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Digestive distress
  • Intestinal discomfort
  • Stomach pain

When we see the number of beans in the cat food, they are often mentioned as fillers, as they don't offer many health benefits to a cat.

For that reason, we should also try to stay clear of them.

Can Cats Eat Beans From A Can?

Well, it is best to stay clear from most canned products.

Feeding your cat canned beans is not good for their diet and health. The spices that are used in the canned beans are mostly for human consumption. They are considered safe in the food of cats.

The companies use different formulas and use them in small amounts to make them taste better. Furthermore, they add extra salt to preserve their quality. But the issue is salt can be problematic for your cat.

Feeding your cat salt or including it in their diet means you are killing your pet with your own hands, since an extra amount of salt in a cat's diet causes many health issues:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive Thirst

In other words, it is a poison for a cat. In extreme cases, an extra amount of salt causes coma and even death. That's why it is better to avoid canned beans.

Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know 2

In case you are wondering how much salt is good, the American Feed Control Officials recommend 0.2% salt in cat foods. It doesn't mean you should avoid it utterly. It is significant to add some light amount of sodium in the diet of your cat. 

Since it is required to support the normal growth and development of cats.

We know some people rinse the canned beans to reduce the salt content.

It is not an effective strategy; the beans will still be too salty for your cat. The canned beans are likely to contain 400-500 milligrams of sodium; even a small amount will create trouble.

What Nutrients Are In Beans?

Beans are known as nature's ‘superfood'.

They are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Just the black bean has 114 calories, 0.5 fat, 20.4 carbohydrates, 7.5 fiber, and 7.6 protein. The amount of sodium in this bean is also ideal for cats; it is less than 1 percent.

Similarly, the navy beans are good too. They have 0% sodium and have 9.6 fiber and 7.5 protein. They also have 127 calories.

According to experts, due to these nutritional profiles, beans are the least expensive source of protein compared to fresh meat. In some types, your feline friend will have iron, potassium, and zinc too which are important for their overall health.

Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know 3

Some people think to feed cats these nutrients daily cause inflammation.

This isn't true.

First, it is not allowed to feed the beans daily; it isn't recommended by the professional veterinarians either, as when cats eat beans, he faces side effects which we have mentioned before. Because cats are obligate carnivores; beans are not good food for a cat. 

Second, they don't cause any kind of inflammation.

In reality, beans combat inflammation in a cat; they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight and prevent the inflammation in the body of humans and pets.

Therefore, if your cat is dealing with any kind of inflammation, it is good to give a few beans.

How To Prepare Beans For Cats

To prevent potential troubles, start with a small amount.

You need to observe the reaction of your cat first with a few beans as a primary cats food. It will help you to understand how your cat is accepting it as a food and how its nutritional value is improving the health of your cat. Besides, in the beginning, feeding beans once a week is enough.

  • Presoak them for a few hours.Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know 4
  • Boil for 30 minutes.
  • Make sure they are tender and flesh has fallen off of them.
  • Don't add any artificial ingredients or salt.
  • Do not ignore the liquid; it is also full of starches and protein.

Freshly cooked beans are good for a cat.

You can also incorporate vegetables and serve them with beans. It is possible to boil them with beans to prepare high-quality cat food. Baked carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers are safe for cats. However, just like beans, don't feed them too much as they will upset their stomach and lead to diarrhea.

Please, bear in mind, the boiling duration of each bean is different. You boil kidney beans for 10 minutes before reducing heat, whereas black beans are cooked over low heat for 60 minutes.

They take time to become tender.

Other than that, if you are boiling and serving veggies too, ensure that they are chopped well. You can also use their paste as a dressing ingredient so that the beans can soak up their flavor.

Can Cats Eat Beans of Every Type?

Some bean types should not be given as foods for cats.

For instance, avoid ‘Refried Beans'. 

They are high in fats that aren't good for the overall well-being of your cat. Also, refried beans contain some spices that are toxic like garlic and onions. Apart from this, baked beans shouldn't be given to cats too. They have artificial sweeteners like Xylitol that are used in medical emergencies only and, in some situations, it will be fatal.

Coffee beans aren't good either. They can cause symptoms like increased excitement and difficulty breathing. Though some cats consume them without any trouble; it is still better to avoid them as high doses can be deadly in some cases. 

Cocoa beans that makeup chocolate are also unsafe.

We know a cat loves to eat chocolates, but they have a weak capacity to metabolize them.

Particularly, the ‘Theobromine' component in coffee beans and chocolates is extremely dangerous for a cat. It gives abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Its effects show within 4 hours and the symptoms can last up to 24 hours.

Can Cats Eat Beans – Key Points To Remember

Can Cats Eat Beans: Top Key Points Every Owner Should Know 5
  • Phytohemagglutinin poisoning is common among cats who eat beans daily. It can be induced by as few as five raw beans; it doesn't matter whether the beans are prepared naturally or not. But mostly undercooked beans are responsible for it. This poisoning results in nausea, severe vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • The diet of your cat should always be wealthy in the animal protein. For that reason, never make beans the primary staple in their diet.
  • In case your cat appears fine and there aren't any signs of trouble, you can increase the amount. Instead of 5 beans, start serving 7-10 beans. Keep in mind, this amount should be served once a week to cats. The stomach of cats doesn't respond to them like your stomach.
  • Beans are not for every cat. If your friend already has a sensitive stomach, don't test the effectiveness of beans on them. It can upset them and cause digestive issues.
  • If you notice extreme side effects in cats, contact a professional veterinarian at once. Don't try to treat the issue with natural methods, as the effects of beans in a cat can be treated with the medications only. And, a professional veterinarian, who comprehends the health history of your cat too, perceives which medication is best and can provide instant results.


Here are some frequently asked questions about ‘can cats eat beans?'. If you want to offer your cat some beans from time to time, keep on the reading.

The answers will surprise you.

Can A Cat Eat Chickpeas?

Chick peas

It isn't a good idea to add chickpeas or garbanzo beans in their diet. They aren't toxic to the cats, but they aren't easily digestible either. Chickpeas are widely eaten legume among humans due to their taste. For cats, they don't have enough nutritional elements that promote digestion.

Can Cats Eat Beans Like Pinto and Green Beans?

Pinto beans and green beans are good for a cat; both safe to consume in small amounts.

Can A Cat Eat Lima Beans?

The short answer is yes; a cat can eat lima beans. particularly if they are cooked and you are giving them in moderation. The only compound in the lima beans that can create trouble for a cat is the ‘Linamarin'. If you boil lima bean well for over 10 minutes, this compound can be prevented. It loses its lethality in hot water and doesn't disturb the digestion of a cat.

Can A Cat Eat Kidney Beans?

Kidney beans are safe and great for cats. They have 127 calories, 67 percent water, 22.8 grams carb, and 8.7 grams protein.

Can A Cat Eat Black Beans?

Cats can eat black beans. The iron, calcium, and phosphorus in them contributes to building and maintaining bone structure. Moreover, the quercetin and saponins in them protect the heart and lower blood pressures in your cat. If a cat is already dealing with heart disease, its fiber will lower the amount of cholesterol in their blood.

Can cats eat Lentils and Peas?

Just in case you are wondering if your cat can eat peas and lentils, the answer is, Yes but in small amounts only. These are also hard to digest but contains valuable nutrients which your pets can benefit from.

can cats eat beans


So, can cats eat beans? Yes, in small quantities, beans are fine as foods for cat.

Serving a little quantity can be good for the wellness of your cat. Though there are many things to consider which we have mentioned in this post, we would like to mention one more thing – don't give the same type of bean to your cat over and over.

Your cat may find one bean delicious and better than other types. But it is best to change the beans to eliminate toxicity in their digestive system.

Besides, as we have stated before, don't forget to boil the beans. In most beans, there is a substance known as ‘Lectin'. It is easy to get rid of through cooking.

However, if you would give it insufficient heat treatment, it will interfere with the digestive system of your cat. It also reduces the body's ability of your cat and doesn't let them absorb nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

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