Can Cats Eat Beans?

Owning a cat can pose a lot of questions. The one we are tackling today is whether a cat can eat beans.

Beans, in all their different varieties, have a range of nutritional benefits for humans. But, is it the same case for cats?

Cats Diet: An Overview

Cats, strictly speaking, are carnivorous creatures. This means that they have a largely meat based diet. They eat a range of food including chicken, fish, and liver.

They even have a sweet tooth. You may have noticed your cat is partial to a lick of cream from time to time.

As a responsible pet owner, your natural instinct is to ensure that your cat is getting the very best out of their diet.

A cat needs a balanced diet that provides everything they need to grow healthy and stay strong. There are plenty of ways that you can mix up your cat’s diet.

One of these ways is by adding in beans. Though, before you add any food into your pet’s diet, you have to do your research.

So, Are Beans Safe For Cats?

Well, the answer to that question is, it depends on the bean in question. Some beans are okay for cats, in small quantities.

Some beans are toxic for cats and should be avoided at all costs.

Food beans, such as baked beans, green beans, and kidney beans, are all rich in protein. Protein is an essential and integral part of a cat’s diet.

It provides them with what they need to grow, maintain bone strength, and have healthy coats and claws and even teeth.

So ensuring that protein is a part of your cat’s food platter is a good and wise thing to do.

That being said, not all beans are pure protein and some contain additional flavorings and content such as salt that should be given in small quantities, if at all to your cat.

Cats And Beans Compatibility

Cooked Beans

The easiest, safest and most efficient way of adding beans into your cat diet is through cooked beans.

Cooking beans is one of the easier tasks in the culinary world. They are pretty simple to heat up on a stove in a pan, or in the microwave.

The main trick is to make sure not to add any additional salt or any other types of flavorings such as spices and herbs.

This can make the cat have adverse reactions and become ill.

Beans that are cooked can be given on their own or added into the daily cat feed of your choosing.

All food comes with a nutritional and ingredient information list on the packet. Before allowing any substance into your cat’s plate, check the salt content.

Too much salt can be fatal for a cat, and certain types of beans are renowned for their high salt content.

Raw Beans

Raw beans are not the way forward for cats.

Raw beans shouldn’t really be consumed by anyone. Lots of raw food carries additional risks when consumed, including the most important and relevant to our article: E. coli.

E. coli is bacteria that exists organically in most human and animal guts. There are good forms and bad forms.

The bad forms exist in raw food, and can be eradicated and neutralized through the cooking process owing to the heat exposure.

Without being cooked, the bad E. coli bacteria poses a very serious threat to your cat and can even lead to death.

Canned Beans

Canned food has a fair few additives to preserve its shelf life. The main danger to cats with canned beans comes from the added salt content.

Beans in cans are preserved in water. This water has high sodium levels. This increase in salt can cause dehydration and other complications for your cat.

Avoid canned beans for your feline wherever possible.

Though these may be widely accessible and easy to prepare, the benefits do not outweigh the risks on this occasion.

Kidney And Pinto Beans

Kidney and Pinto beans are two of the safer beans to feed your cat. That is, as long as they don’t come in a tin.

But, kidney and pinto beans are quite easy to find on supermarket shelves in packet form.

They are full of good protein that can give your cat a boost.

Are There Any Toxic Beans For Cats?

Yes. There are a few toxic beans for cats that you must never feed to them.

These are coffee beans and cacao beans. The reason? Their caffeine content. Caffeine can be fatal for cats, and it can poison them.

It would be a stretch to add these naturally into your cats’ diet. But, cats can still have access to these types of beans in the home.

The Downsides To Beans

We have discussed some benefits and downsides of beans for your cat.

However, it’s also worth mentioning that certain types of beans can be extremely difficult for your cat to digest.

Alongside having to thoroughly check the salt content, and additional flavorings present, you also have to bear in mind this fact.

It may not affect every breed of cat, but there is enough evidence to support that certain types of beans, such as black beans and baked beans, do not sit right with the cat’s digestive system.

It can cause upset stomachs, indigestion, and constipation.

Ultimately, your cat will be in pain for very little reason.


When it comes to beans and cats, there’s a lot of debate.

It is true that there are certain nutritional gold stars that cannot be ignored. Beans, in all shapes and sizes, have a good level of protein.

Protein is a major necessity for the feline, especially the more active breeds.

But, beans can also overdose cats with salt. They can cause digestive issues and pain, and they can even lead to death if not cooked and served correctly.

So, yes, cats can in fact eat beans. Though, small amounts and the correct type of bean are highly recommended.

Courtney Trent
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