Unlike dogs, cats are carnivores.
Most of their nutritional requirements are satisfied through the consumption of animal flesh.
But this does not mean they cannot eat some plant matter to satisfy their caloric requirements.
Can cats eat black beans? The short answer is yes. Cats can eat black beans.
However, like many other pets, they are best served fresh beans.
Processed beans may not be okay for cats because of the possible additives.
While processed beans may not be fatal, they will take their toll on your feline’s stomach.
So, you may be thinking, “if cats can eat black beans, can they eat all types of beans?” we’ll answer this question in the rest of this post.
Can Cats Eat Black Beans?
Cats can eat black beans. However, you should be cautious when feeding it to them.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so their digestive system is not quite tailored for plant matter.
Thus, you should not make black beans a mainstay in their diet – occasional inputs would do.
Apart from only feeding black beans to them occasionally, ensure you give them in limited quantities.
Too much black beans will upset your cat’s stomach.
Remember how you pass gas more and feel bloated when you eat black beans?
In cats, these symptoms could be much worse.
Like us, cats cannot breakdown some types of sugar in beans. Hence, the stomach issues.
Besides, black beans are not easily digestible. So, if you let your cat gobble up too much, the strain on its stomach can be very painful.
All in all, if you are aware that your cat’s stomach is overly sensitive, then do not give it black beans.
The chances of your cat having a bad reaction are pretty high.
Apart from restricting the quantity of black beans you give your cat, avoid giving it processed black beans.
Processed black beans may come with additives that could harm your cat.
For example, some baked black beans may come with xylitol – a sweetener that is potentially toxic to cats.
But then again, cats are quite discerning. So, if you offer them something that would be harmful to them, they will most likely reject it.
Now, you might be thinking, “At least black beans have a lot of protein – that should be a plus for my cat.” Well, it does not work that way.
As we already said, cats are carnivores, so they have a carnivore’s stomach. Hence, they would not get most of the protein in black beans.
Nonetheless, they may benefit from nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and iron. They may also benefit from antioxidants such as quercetin.
But if you consider all things, black beans are best left as an irregular part of your cat’s diet.
Can They Eat Other Types of Beans?
Besides black beans, cats may be able to eat some, but not all other types of beans.
Below, we look into some types of beans and verify if your cat can eat them.
Cats can eat pinto beans. But as with black beans, it should only be given irregularly and in limited quantities.
Lima beans would be safe. But only if perfectly cooked and given in limited amounts.
Lima beans contain a substance called linamarin. Linamarin produces cyanide when ingested, and this can cause problems for your cat.
However, this substance, linamarin, loses its toxicity in hot water. So, if you boil the lima beans for well over 10 minutes, it will not trouble your cat.
Cats can eat well-cooked green beans. But it should also be an irregular and limited part of their diet.
Cats can also eat chickpeas as long as it is given in small portions.
While chickpeas are hard to digest, they appear to have some benefits to cats.
Cats can also eat kidney beans in moderation.
Like chickpeas, cats can eat lentils. But they should also be limited.
Cocoa beans are one type of beans cats should never eat. Although, it is pretty unlikely they would even eat it on their own.
Cocoa beans contain a substance called theobromine.
Theobromine will cause abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, and increased heart rate in cats.
Besides that, it can also cause seizures, lethargy, increased body temperature, and death.
The issue here is that theobromine is not metabolized in cats.
So, it remains in the form that elicits the said symptoms of toxicity. Theobromine is absorbed slowly in cats. So, even little quantities can be very harmful.
Be wary! Theobromine is contained in many other food items besides cocoa beans.
It is present in chocolate (white and black), tea, and other cocoa products.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten cocoa beans or anything containing theobromine, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Alternatively, get that feline to a vet clinic.
Apart from cocoa beans, cats should not eat refried beans. Refried beans typically contain excess fat, which will do no good for your cat.
Besides the fat, refried cats are sometimes spiced with garlic or onions.
Garlic, onions, or any other member of the allium family are poisonous to cats.
Another type of beans your cat should not eat is baked beans. Baked beans may contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause problems for cats.
Nutritional Benefits of Beans
All types of beans have significant amounts of protein. But as we said before, most of it is not beneficial to cats.
Aside from protein, beans can also give your cat carbohydrates and some calories.
Every 100 grams of beans should contain up to 63 grams and up to 347 calories. These values could be less, depending on the type of bean.
Beans also offer minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Magnesium and calcium help with the maintenance of bones and teeth in cats.
Magnesium is also needed for the regulation of cellular function and production of enzymes & hormones.
Potassium is crucial for the maintenance of the cells of a cat. It is also important for maintaining muscle functions.
Folate and iron are vital for the production of blood in cats.
Cats do not necessarily require vitamin C from their diet because they already produce it in their liver.
Vitamin B6 is pretty important in cats. Cats need extra vitamin B6 because of their high protein consumption.
This is not surprising since vitamin B6 is essential for the metabolism of proteins.
Apart from this, vitamin B6 plays a part in nerve functions and the production of hormones.
How to Feed Beans to You Cat
Before you start feeding beans to your cat, you may consult with a vet.
Alternatively, if you want to give your cat beans, start with smaller quantities, and ensure you serve the beans with no seasoning.
After giving your cat beans, monitor its reaction to the meal.
If the cat seems fine after everything, then you may keep feeding beans to it. But only once in a while.
If your cat shows any untoward reaction to the beans. You should stop feeding it beans. Also, you should get it to a vet as soon as you can.
Cats can eat black beans and other bean types, excluding cocoa beans, refried beans, and baked beans.
Whenever you try to feed cats the safe bean varieties, give them in limited quantities.
Also, ensure you give them beans only occasionally.
Giving your cat beans frequently or letting them have too much will only cause stomach issues for them.