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Can Cats Eat Beans? Everything You Need To Know

Can Cats Eat Beans? Everything You Need To Know

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Have you noticed how your cat loves to beg when you’re eating something because she wants a taste of your meal? Who can resist her? However, many cat owners hesitate to give a cat their food as they don’t know whether or not cats can eat human food.

They may enjoy it, but they’re not able to properly digest most of the food that we eat. That is why it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or other expert on which foods your cat can eat.

So, here’s one of the most popular questions – Can cats eat beans? Yes, in general, they can. However, be careful because there are types of beans that aren’t safe for cats and can cause digestive issues.

If you own a cat who would like to share a few beans with you, then read on and find out which types of beans are safe for your cat and which aren’t!

Can Cats Eat Beans?

cat eating coffee beans

Beans are generally very healthy as they’re full of protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and magnesium, and are typically low in calories. However, although a cat can eat beans, they are often referred to as fillers as they don’t have any health benefits for cats.

Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they receive all that’s necessary for their health through the ingestion of animal protein.

It’s very important that you don’t feed your feline friend with beans all the time. A cat can eat that kind of food occasionally if it’s well prepared, which we’ll discuss later.

There are many types of beans such as green bean, black bean, navy bean, kidney bean, soybeans, legumes, lentils, etc. Read on to find out which varieties are safe for your cat and which aren’t.

Beans That Are Good For Cats

Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are one of the safest beans for a cat to eat. They have 8.7 grams of protein in 127 calories. They should be given cooked and plain with no seasoning.

Cooked Beans

Can cats eat beans? Yes, but as long as they are cooked. Cooked beans are good for a cat, and that is the only way you should prepare beans for her.

Black Beans

If you have wondered can cats eat black beans, the answer is yes because they’re rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which contribute to a cat’s healthy bones.

Ensure that you cook these beans before feeding your cat. If you use black beans from a can, rinse them off before serving. Also, remember to avoid putting salt or other spices on your cat’s food.

Green Beans

It’s okay that cats eat green beans as long as you cook them adequately. The difference between black and green beans is that green beans are much harder than black and therefore they’re harder to digest.

Always observe your cat when it is eating beans, especially if you’re giving her beans for the first time. If she’s having digestive issues, stop giving her beans!

Pinto Beans

Just like green beans, pinto beans are full of protein and are good for your cat if you prepare them properly. Also, make sure you give your cat only a small amount of beans and only occasionally.



Soybeans aren’t bad for cats either. Again, if you’re feeding your cat soybeans, make sure they’re fully cooked.

This is a very important thing to do because raw soybeans can cause pain in your cat’s stomach and that usually leads to diarrhea. So, prepare them well, and don’t overdo it!


Beans and lentils are legumes, which are safe for your cat only if cooked.


Full of protein and extremely healthy, lentils are also good for your cat, when they’re prepared properly.

What you should keep in mind is that even healthy things can sometimes be too much for your furry friend and can cause digestive problems. So, if you don’t want to see your cat in pain, set some boundaries and withhold some food.


Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are good for your cat only if prepared properly, like every other type of bean. Still, they’re more difficult to digest than other beans. So, give your cat either a small amount of cooked garbanzo beans or avoid them completely.

Related: Can Cats Eat Hummus? It’s Not Recommended And Here’s Why

Lima beans

Yes, lima beans can also be safe for your cat to eat. But, be careful! Even this kind of bean must be cooked properly as they contain linamarin which can be difficult for your cat to digest.
However, don’t worry! You only have to cook lima beans for over 10 minutes and they will be safer for your cat to eat.

Beans That Aren’t Good For Cats

Raw Beans

Raw Beans

If you want your cat to be perfectly happy and healthy, she shouldn’t eat raw beans.

Raw beans are very difficult to digest for your cat, causing her stomach pain.

In addition, these beans can contain E. coli, and you definitely don’t want your cat to suffer from that. So, it’s best to keep your cat away from raw beans!

Canned Beans

I wouldn’t recommend you to feed your cat canned beans. There are many reasons for this.

For a start, canned beans contain juices and spices that are intended for human use. These juices and spices can be bad for a cat’s health.

Sometimes, these canned beans are full of salt, and salt is definitely something that your cat shouldn’t have too much of as it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and excessive thirst.

If canned beans contain too much salt, the rinse-off method won’t be effective because the beans will still stay salty. Maybe it’s for the best if you don’t experiment with canned beans, just stick to cat food.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are not dangerous for cats to eat, but baked beans do often contain ingredients that aren’t safe for your cat. These ingredients include different veggies, sugar, vinegar, and other seasonings.

Baked beans may also contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol which is dangerous for cats. Because of that, I advise you to avoid this meal!

Refried Beans

Refried Beans

Refried beans aren’t good for your cat. Refried beans usually contain a lot of spices, among which the most dangerous for your cat’s diet are onion and garlic.

Spices aren’t good for cats and sometimes even the smallest amount of these spices can be highly toxic.

So, if you’re not sure whether your beans contain spices or not, you shouldn’t give them to your cat!

Cacao or Coffee Beans

When talking about different kinds of beans, the important thing to remember is that you should never give your cat cocoa or coffee beans!

Why are these so dangerous for your pet? Cocoa and coffee beans contain high levels of caffeine and theobromine which can cause serious health problems in animals.

This is one of the main reasons why you should never give your pets chocolate.

If you ever notice the following symptoms, go to the vet immediately and seek professional help, as they may lead to diseases such as pancreatitis.

The symptoms are:



Loss of appetite

• Uncontrolled breathing

• Increased body temperature


• Irregular heart rate

• Excessive gas

If you care for your cat, and I’m sure you do, take good care of her and make sure she’s eating the best food and not anything that can make her suffer!

What If My Cat Eats A Lot Of Beans?

sick cat lying by window

First of all, you should be careful and keep your food away from your cat. However, if somehow your cat eats a lot of beans, the consequences will depend on the type of beans.

Your cat will probably have digestive problems for a day or two, and after that, everything will return to normal again. In other cases, eating too many beans may cause digestive distress and in that case, you should take your cat to the vet.

However, there’s no need to worry too much, because beans aren’t toxic, they are just hard for cats to digest as they have different digestive systems than humans.

How To Prepare Beans For Your Cat Properly?

So, if you decide to feed your cat beans from time to time, here are a few tips on how to prepare them.

It’s very important to soak beans before you cook them. Most beans contain lectins which are bad for cats, and by cooking you get rid of these.

If you’re preparing black beans, you’ll have to cook them only in water, for at least 60 minutes on low heat. On the contrary, if you’re preparing kidney beans, 10 minutes of cooking would be enough.

When you finish cooking, don’t add anything, especially salt. If the beans are soft, they’re ready to be served to your cat!

Final Thoughts

sick orange cat lying

So, can cats eat beans? The short answer is yes, BUT, only in small quantities, and of course it depends on the type of the beans.

Beans have a high nutritional value, therefore some beans are good for cats if they’re eating them occasionally. Large amounts can cause health complications.

However, if your cat eats a lot of beans, you shouldn’t worry, unless you notice symptoms that indicate your cat’s in distress. In that case, you should go straight to the vet and seek professional help.
There are many different ways of preparing beans for your cat safely. Keep in mind that the boiling time depends on the beans and remember to avoid seasonings as they may cause additional problems.

Now you know which beans are good for your cat and which aren’t and what you can do to improve your cat’s health! I hope you enjoyed it!

If you liked this article, you might want to check out similar posts, such as Can cats eat bell pepper or Can cats eat lettuce. What do you think – can they?

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