Can Cats Eat Beans?

Can Cats Eat Beans?

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Although cats can eat beans, it is usually of little or no nutritional benefit to them. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their protein requirement should preferably come from animal sources rather than plant-based foods. Beans are known to be a great source of proteins for humans but the same can not be said of cats.

Cats can eat beans but only as an occasional snack. Beans are not toxic to cats but if given to your kitty in excess, they may cause vomiting, stomach upset, diabetes, etc In this post, I have taken care to answer any possible questions you might have about feeding beans to your cat. So, let's get right into it.

Can cats eat beans?

Beans are known to be a protein-packed food for humans. It is tasty and considered highly nutritious for humans. But cats are not humans, and as such, they cannot depend on protein from plant sources. Cats need animal protein to survive. This is because the digestive tract of cats is short and is designed to digest foods like meat that contains more protein than carbohydrates. 

Cats can eat beans. However, it must be in moderation. A few grains of properly cooked beans can be given to your furry guy as an occasional treat. Some cats may enjoy the delicious legume and get no allergic reactions while some other cats may have reactions like vomiting, stomach upset, etc after consuming only a few bites of beans. It is important to watch out for any signs that may show beans do not work well with your feline. 

As long as you feed plainly cooked beans to your cat, they can safely eat beans.

Is beans beneficial to cats?

Although beans are a reliable source of protein for humans, the protein content of beans is not needed by cats. Beans offer very little benefits to cats. However, some beans contain nutrients like Potassium, Iron, and Zinc which are important for your cat's health.

Cats do not need the protein content in beans. So, even though cats can eat beans, they should only be served as an occasional snack to them.

In the long run, beans in your cat's system may prove more fatal than helpful. Beans are not easily digested, hence feeding beans to your cat frequently puts a strain on their pancreas and may eventually cause pancreatitis.

What type of Beans can I feed my cat?

Beans are generally safe for cats. But like every other plant-based food, it must be consumed in small quantities. Below are some of the kinds of beans you can feed your cat:

  • Black beans: Black beans are not at all harmful to cats. Although they must be fed to cats in small quantities. Black beans, like every other type of beans, should be served plainly to your cat, without any spice or flavoring.
  • Lima beans: Lima beans are generally safe for cats. They should be served plain and properly cooked in small quantities to your cat occasionally
  • Chickpea: Chickpea is also known as Garbanzo beans. Chickpeas, however, may be quite difficult for some cats to digest. If you desire to feed chickpea to your furry guy, make sure it is properly cooked and served without any seasoning.
  • Green beans: Green beans are more vegetables than beans. You can feed cooked or steamed green beans to your cat and are a healthier snack for cats because of the nutrients and fiber they supply. However, it should be served plainly to a cat and not as a part of another dish like green bean casserole. Plain-cooked green beans consumed in moderate quantities are not bad for your cat. 

Can cats eat canned beans?

Canned foods are generally not good for cats. Canned beans are not recommended for cats. This is because they may contain ingredients such as salt which can be very toxic to cats. The spices and preservatives contained in canned beans are safe for human consumption but are certainly not safe for your cat.

However, if you decide to feed canned beans to your cat, make sure to filter and rinse off the preservative fluid in the can before serving it to your cat. If you notice any allergy symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc, you should stop immediately and seek your vet's advice.

Can Cats Eat Refried Beans?

Yes. Cats can eat homemade refried beans that contain no spice or seasoning. Cats can eat refried beans in small quantities occasionally.

But canned refried beans are not advisable for cats because they may contain spices like onion, garlic, etc which are harmful to cats. Garlic, onion, and other related plants are highly toxic to cats, causing a condition known as hemolytic anemia, that is, the destruction of a cat's red blood cells.

Can cats eat cocoa or coffee beans?

First of all, cocoa and coffee beans are not really beans but seeds. That being said, cats should not be allowed to eat cocoa/coffee beans as it is highly toxic for cats.

Cocoa and coffee both contain caffeine. Additionally, cocoa contains Theobromine. Theobromine and caffeine are chemical compounds that can cause a range of medical complications for your feline such as increased heart rate, seizures, increased body temperature, muscle spasms, etc

Can Cats Eat Uncooked Beans?

Uncooked beans are not considered healthy for cats. Beans should only be served cooked to your cats. Uncooked beans are harder to digest and can put a lot of strain on the pancreas. So, cats should only be fed properly cooked/boiled beans in small amounts.


Can cats eat beans? Yes. Is it good for them? Not really. Cats do not need to eat beans. However, different types of beans can be given to them as an occasional snack. Cats are obligate carnivores that require nutrients only meat can give them and unlike humans, they cannot conveniently substitute protein from a plant source for meat or cat food.

If your cat has consumed an excessive amount of beans and is showing allergic reactions, stop feeding them beans and consult your veterinarian immediately.

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