Can cats eat beans?

If yes, what kind of beans can they have, and how should you prepare them?

Are there any “watch outs” or health warnings to consider?

Read along as we answer all your questions about feeding beans to your kitty.

READ MORE: Can Kittens Eat Raspberries?

Can Cats Eat Beans?

beans in a wooden bowl; can cats eat beans?

Yes, cats can have beans. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it could be a plant-based protein substitute for your cat.

It can be an excellent one for humans, but your cat is different. It’s just not the kind of protein your cat requires.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means the specific protein they require can only be provided by the ingestion of animal protein.

So, while humans can substitute protein in animal meat with lentils and beans, that simply doesn’t work for your feline friend.

That is why you should stick to giving beans only as an occasional treat to your cat and not think of it as a protein substitute.

In this, it is somewhat similar to spinach. Spinach too is full of vitamins and nutrients but it should also be only fed to your cat occasionally. Read everything about “Can Cats Eat Spinach?”.

Can Cats Eat Black Beans?

black beans

In one word- yes. Your cat can eat black beans. However, it is essential to remember that it takes a lot of effort to digest something like beans for carnivores like your cat.

This ends up causing intestinal gas. Overfeeding black beans to cats is not a wise thing to do. 

It’s essential to limit the quantity to a bare minimum in the case of black beans.

Also, if you have to feed black beans to your cat, it’s better to give them plain and cooked ones. That would reduce the stress on their digestive system as they are much easier to digest.

READ MORE: Do Cats Eat Peanuts?

Can Cats Eat Refried Beans?

refried beans

The recipe for refried beans includes pepper, salt, black beans, and lard. While the exact recipe may vary, it does contain more or less about all of these.

If you have had a feline friend around for a while now, you would know it’s a bad idea to feed refried beans just by reading the ingredients.

Refried beans are a high-fat and high sodium snack option for your cat. Excess sodium can cause dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea in your cat as they have a very low requirement for sodium in their food.

With that being said, you can provide some refried beans to your cat if it was prepared by you from scratch, considering not to add any extra spices.

Never feed refried beans from a can as they might contain spices like cinnamon and garlic. Cat eating cinnamon is a strict no-no as they are known to cause allergic reactions in them.

Also, garlic can have a fatal impact on cats when consumed in large quantities.

READ MORE: Can Cats Eat Cinnamon?

Can Cats Eat Baked Beans?

baked beans

If feeding beans to your cat is a tricky issue, feeding them baked beans is even trickier.

Baked beans are a combination of white beans and sweet sauce, which essentially means they are high in fiber and protein.

This might tempt you to offer this yummy snack to your kitty, but please refrain from doing so.

Baked beans also contain garlic and onion, two things that should be mainly kept at bay from your cat.

Moreover, canned baked beans may contain salt and xylitol. These can cause immediate health issues in your feline pet.

Can Cats Eat Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are a variety of common beans, and they are one of the most popular beans frequently used in Mexican cuisines.

They are easy to prepare and have a host of health benefits, which make them so popular. They are an excellent source of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.

pinto beans

But are they good enough for your cat? Yes, they are. Pinto beans are safe to be given to your kitty in small amounts.

How to prepare beans for your cat

If you have made up your mind to feed beans to your cat after taking care of all the prerequisites, it is essential to provide beans correctly. This would ease up the digestive process of your cat.

  • Wash the beans thoroughly.
  • Soak them in water
  • Boil them for 30 minutes or so, depending on the kind of beans you are using.
  • Make sure not to add any spices or any kind of seasonings.
  • Serve the freshly cooked beans to your cat.

Always remember never to give canned beans or baked beans to your cat. Different kinds of beans have other boiling times. Kidney beans are only cooked for 10 minutes, while black beans need to be boiled for around an hour at low steam.

How Many Beans Should you Feed A Cat?

beans in a wooden spoon

Offering 4-5 beans daily is an adequate amount to start feeding beans to your cat. Keep checking your cat for any signs of discomfort; if there isn’t any at all, you can increase the amount to 9-10.

However, if you do find any signs of distress in your cat, stop immediately. Do not continue feeding beans in case of any health issues, as that will only aggravate the condition.

FAQs

Is it OK for cats to eat baked beans?

Yes, it is as long as you make sure that it’s prepared from scratch and does not include ingredients like cinnamon and garlic, which are known to cause allergies to cats.

What happens if a cat eats beans?

Beans are not toxic to cats, so there’s no need to worry if your cat helps itself to some of the beans lying around the kitchen. However, if you see that it has eaten a substantial amount of it, keep a close watch on your feline friend for any signs of distress.

Can cats eat other kinds of beans?

Yes, all kinds of beans are safe for your cat. This includes black beans, green beans, lima beans, and pinto beans. With proper precaution, all beans are safe for your cat.

Can cats eat kidney beans?

kidney beans

Like all other kinds of beans, kidney beans are safe for your cat as well, provided they are appropriately washed, and no additional seasoning is added to them.

Can cats eat cocoa beans?

Cocoa beans should be avoided at all costs in the case of your cat. They have theobromine which can cause tremors, seizures, and other heart issues. Cocoa beans are the content of chocolates which essentially means you shouldn’t feed chocolate to your cat.

Can cats eat soy?

soy beans

Soy is a rich source of protein, so if your cat isn’t allergic to soy, you can definitely feed it. It also contains isoflavone, which is the chemical that protects against the loss of calcium from bones. However, do remember to keep the quantity less to save your cat from indigestion.

Conclusion

Beans are safe for your cat, but you need to be very careful while feeding them.

It’s essential not to think of them as an alternative to animal protein as your cat’s body doesn’t work that way. Only feed it as a supplement or an occasional treat.

It’s important to remember no two cats are the same. If your friend is feeding beans to her cat, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can do so too.

For instance, your cat might have some previous digestive issues. In that case, refrain from giving any kind of beans to your cat.

Always consult your vet before introducing anything new to your cat’s diet if it has any specific medical conditions.

References

  • Berkheiser, Kaitlyn. 2019. “7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Pinto Beans.” Healthline. Healthline Media. October 22, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pinto-beans-nutrition.
  • Ware, Megan. 2018. “Everything You Need to Know about Black Beans.” Medicalnewstoday.com. Medical News Today. January 10, 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/289934.
  • Wortinger, Ann. 2010. “Cats: Obligate Carnivore (Proceedings).” DVM 360. DVM 360. August 2010. https://www.dvm360.com/view/cats-obligate-carnivore-proceedings.
cat eating in his yellow bowl

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Barry Stingmore
Barry Stingmore

Barry Stingmore is a British content creator living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats.

Barry works with the island’s animal charities to help manage and care for feral and abandoned animals. Alongside fieldwork, he works to support the charities with fundraising and raising awareness.

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