Can Cats Eat Beans? Are Beans Safe For Cats?

Russell Cargill

I know it’s not a question you ask regularly, but when the time comes you’ll need to know: can cats eat beans?

There are many types of beans including black beans, pinto beans, red beans, Great Northern beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, kidney beans, and even cranberry beans.

Beans are a great source of protein, vitamins and, minerals for us but what about cats?

All these questions and more are answered below so let’s take a look. 

Can Cats Eat Beans

can cats eat beans

Yes, cats can eat beans but they aren’t part of a cat’s natural diet. Plain beans shouldn’t be a problem for cats so long as they are cooked and served as an occasional snack. 

Cats are obligate carnivores meaning they get all the nutrients they need from animal protein so and can struggle to digest plant-based foods like beans. 

While it’s true beans are chock-full of protein for humans, it’s not the kind of protein your cat needs. 

If your cat has a medical condition (such as pancreatitis), eating beans could exacerbate this. You should consult your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your cat.

Are Beans Dangerous For Cats?

If you prepare the beans properly by washing them first then cooking them your cat shouldn’t have any issues eating small amounts of beans.

A weekly serving of 7-10 cooked beans should be the maximum amount your cat can eat. Any more, and you risk digestive distress, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Dangerous Beans For Cats

Two kinds of beans pose a genuine threat to the health of your little fur baby. These are coffee beans and cacao beans.

Coffee beans aren’t recommended for cats due to their caffeine content. Cats are highly sensitive to caffeine and can easily develop caffeine toxicity. 

If ingested, your cat can experience symptoms of increased heart rate, hyperactivity, restlessness, panting, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, seizures, coma, and death are a possibility.

Cocoa beans are dangerous because, in addition to caffeine, they also contain another stimulant called theobromine. Theobromine increases the effect of caffeine and can have a greater effect on your cat. 

Can Cats Eat Beans From a Can?

No, canned beans are never a good idea for your cat. The reason for this has to do with the salty water that prevents the beans from going bad. 

A constant intake of salt, even in small amounts, can lead to weight gain and other health problems in cats. 

They can experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and excessive dehydration

Can Cats Eat Refried Beans?

You can give your cat a small number of refried beans if you make them from scratch and know that no additional spices have been added. 

Refried beans from a can, however, should not be fed to your cat, as they are likely to contain spices, such as garlic and onion. When ingested, garlic, onion, and other members of the allium family are highly toxic to cats. 

When cats consume even small amounts of garlic powder, they may develop hemolytic anemia, a fatal condition known as red blood cell destruction. 

You must get your cat to a veterinarian if you see it eating anything containing onion or garlic. 

Can Cats Eat Pinto Beans?

You can give pinto beans to your cat as long as they are unseasoned, they are safe for cats, even though they aren’t the most flavourful.

That’s, of course, provided that they’re washed and cooked. Unwashed pinto beans, or any bean for that matter, can carry many bacteria capable of causing food poisonings like E. coli and Staphylococcus. 

They can also contain traces of pesticides and other toxic elements that can mess with your cat’s health. So, always wash your beans thoroughly and boil them before serving them to your beloved kitty.

Can Cats Eat Kidney Beans?

can cats eat pinto beans

Even though kidney beans can be a great snack for your kitten, there are better and healthier options to choose from. 

Both cats and humans have a hard time digesting beans, whether kidney or otherwise. Consequently, they generate excessive gasses, causing discomfort in the stomach until these gases are expelled. 

It may not be the best idea in the world to feed your cat kidney beans, but in moderation, it shouldn’t cause them any harm.

Can Cats Eat Soybeans?

You can give soybeans to your cat as long as they are unseasoned. Several cat food products will include soybeans. Be sure to cook soybeans well if you want to give them to your cat, as raw soybeans can cause diarrhea in cats. 

Undercooked or raw beans can cause your cat’s digestive system to become obstructed, resulting in further digestive complications. Additionally, they contain a substance called phytohaemagglutinin, more commonly known as lectin.

As little as 4-5 raw beans can cause phytohaemagglutinin poisoning in your cat. Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, repetitive vomiting, and diarrhea. 

After 4-5 hours, most of the symptoms should go away on their own. If they don’t, you should bring your kitten to a veterinarian right away.

By properly cooking your beans, this substance is rendered ineffective, making the beans safe to consume. Therefore, boil the beans for 30 minutes at least. If your beans have previously been soaked, fifteen minutes will be sufficient.

Can Cats Eat Black Beans?

Black beans are okay for cats to eat and can provide them with a small amount of protein. In addition to vitamin and mineral content, they also contain iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which cats’ nervous systems and bones need. 

All in all, they can be used as a way to change up your cat’s regular diet from time to time. So, if your feline friend wants some, a few black beans here and there won’t cause any harm.

You should avoid beans if your cat already has a sensitive stomach or suffers from constant intestinal discomfort due to illnesses like IBS. The beans will be too much for your little friend, resulting in pain for several days.

Conclusion On Can Cats Eat Beans

Although beans themselves don’t contain anything harmful to cats, you shouldn’t feed them raw beans (uncooked). 

You could consider beans a healthy treat in a way since they are so rich in protein as well as vitamins and trace minerals.

Always talk to your veterinarian first if you plan to introduce new foods to your cats’ diet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Green Beans?

Even though the green bean isn’t technically in the bean family, you can give green beans to your cat. Constipated pets may benefit from these foods as they contain a lot of fiber. 

Can Cats Eat Chickpeas? 

Yes, you can give chickpeas to cats though this type of bean is more difficult to digest than other bean types. 

Can Cats Eat Baked Beans?

No, canned baked beans for cats can contain ingredients harmful to your cat. They may also use artificial sweeteners such as xylitol in their sauce, in addition to extra salt. Cats are particularly susceptible to Xylitol, even in minute amounts.

However, if you’re making your baked beans, then your cat is welcome to have some as long as you leave out any potentially harmful ingredients.

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