Can Cats Eat Beans and Not Get Sick?

As cat owners, it is always tempting to let our cats have a taste of our favorites. For example, can cats eat beans? Yes, cats can eat beans but there are other things you should know before feeding them with it. 

Beans are not toxic to cats but they are not the best food to feed your cats either. Cats have a hard time digesting raw beans, and that can lead to certain digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea. 

In my years working at Puppy Rescue 911, Inc. in Illinois, I have witnessed the importance of proper feeding to our furry friends.

Most animals, especially cats have sensitive stomachs and therefore have different nutritional needs which makes feeding them a challenge. 

We can’t be careless with our cats as feeding them the wrong food may cost them their lives.

So, asking questions like can cats eat edamame or whipped cream is necessary to ensure our cats’ safety. These foods are so normal for humans but are surprisingly not good for cats.

So, today, let us tell you why feeding cats with beans must be taken with precaution. 

Beans – Its Nutrition and Health Benefits for Cats

Can cats have green beans? Can cats eat baked beans? Now, before we dive into the nutritional value of beans, let us understand that beans are not meant to be the regular and main source of your cat’s diet. 

Beans are packed with protein and other nutritional benefits. However, keep in mind that cats’ digestive systems are not designed to process plant-based foods. 

Although they can use the extra protein, sugar, and other minerals from beans and other vegetables, we do not recommend to use them as regular food replacements for your cat’s diet. 


Cats can get some protein from beans, but it should not be the main part of their diet. Beans can be used as a snack for cats, as they contain some proteins and vitamins. 


However, cats should still get most of their protein from meat-based sources, such as chicken, fish, or tuna. It’s also important to feed beans to cats in moderation, as too much can cause digestive issues.


Beans are also known to contain an abundance of fiber. If given in minimal 

serving, it can aid in the cat’s digestion. However, an excess amount of beans fed to your cat can also cause adverse effects on its digestive tract. 

Always remember not to overdo feeding them with beans as it can cause more harm than good. It is important to keep in mind that cats are carnivores, so the majority of their diet should still be made up of meat and other animal proteins. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Aside from fiber and protein, cats can get a range of vitamins and minerals from beans, including vitamins A, B, C, and E, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Beans also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help with skin and coat health. 

Are Beans Bad for Cats?

It is generally not recommended to feed a generous amount of beans to cats due to their inability to properly digest them.

Beans contain proteins and enzymes that cats cannot break down and can cause intestinal distress, such as bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. 

Additionally, beans may contain toxins or substances that can be harmful to cats. It is best to avoid feeding your cat beans, as there are much better and healthier options to provide them with the nutrition they need.

cat licking his face

Common Beans & Cats

While not all types of beans are safe for cats to eat, there are some that can be beneficial to their diet in moderation. Here are the most common types of beans that are acceptable for your furry felines to eat:

Baked beans 

Baked beans, although rich in protein and other nutrients are not good for your cats.  It often contains tomato, red peppers, onions, garlic, and other spices that are notoriously known to be dangerous to them. 

Plus, since most of these are canned, it possibly has a lot of sweeteners and other preservatives which are also not good for cat consumption. 

Black Beans

Just like most beans that are okay for your cats to eat, black beans must be given to your cats in moderation.

It is also recommended that you only feed your cats unprocessed black beans as those that have gone through manufacturing processes contain additives and other ingredients harmful to cats. 

Kidney Beans

Cooked and unprocessed kidney beans are safe for your cats to eat if given in small amounts. Raw kidney beans, on the other hand, should not be given to your felines as they contain a high level of lectin which can be very toxic to your cats.

red kidney Beans

If you decide to cook kidney beans for your cat, never add salt or any other spices to them to avoid any complications in their health. Also, supervise them while eating as beans are known to be the most common choking hazard to most cats.  

Pinto Beans

Similar to other beans, your cat can also enjoy pinto beans in small proportions. This should be served to your cats unseasoned and cooked as serving them raw is not advisable due to the toxins it might have. 

The outer coat of pinto beans must also be removed. They do not just pose choking incidents to your cats but they might be infected with bacteria.

E.coli and Staphylococcus are very common bacteria found in the outer coating of pinto beans. 

Refried Beans

If you want to serve refried beans to your cat, you should take the time to prepare and cook these beans for them.

This will help you have peace of mind knowing that you will not be feeding them with harmful ingredients and spices. Canned refried beans are full of preservatives and other harmful flavors not suitable for cats to ingest. 

How to Serve Beans for Cats

It is better to prepare beans for your cats by yourself so you can be sure that it is prepared safely. Cook them properly and never add any other spices and flavoring.

cat staring

You can also mix it with wet cat food to serve as flavoring instead. Remember to always provide a source of clean, fresh water for your cat as well.

How Frequent Can A Cat Eat Beans?

Cats can safely eat a small amount of cooked beans in moderation. Too much of any type of food can lead to digestive issues and other health problems.

You can offer a tablespoon of beans once a week and see how your cat reacts. If your cat does not have any digestive issues, you can gradually increase the amount of beans.

FAQs: The Purrr-fect Answers

Can Cats Eat Canned Green Beans?

No. Canned green beans are not safe for your cats. Canned goods no matter what vegetable or healthy food they have contains sodium and preservatives that are not safe for cats.

Canned green beans are low in calories and contain no nutritional value. So, giving them to your cat does not benefit them in any way and only exposes them to possible health threats.

Green beans, on the other hand, if cooked and unprocessed can be a great snack for cats and should only be given as an occasional treat.

Can Cats Have Raw Beans?

No, cats should not have raw beans. In fact, they should not eat any raw beans because they can be toxic to cats. Cats are carnivores, so their diet should consist mostly of meat.

raw beans

Eating raw beans can cause digestive problems, as well as nausea and vomiting. Plus, most bean types contain bacteria and harmful toxins in their coatings that can result in serious damage to your cat’s health.

Also, raw beans can cause choking to your cats. So, if you want to give your cat some vegetables, especially beans make sure to cook them first. It is also important to give any plant-based food in minimal amounts. 

Can Cats Consume Lentils?

Yes, cats can consume lentils in moderation. Lentils have protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals that are helpful to cats.

However, they should not consume large amounts of lentils, as they can experience digestive upset, so it is best to only give them in small amounts or a casual treat. 

It is also important to ensure that the lentils are cooked thoroughly before giving them to cats, as raw lentils can be toxic to them.

Are Soybeans Harmful to Cats?

Yes. Soybeans are harmful to cats. This is contrary to the belief of many that it is good due to the health benefits it provides.

The majority of pet nutrition experts agree that soy is not a recommended food for cats and dogs. They provide low-quality and incomplete protein that only results in food allergies to most pets. 


Cats can never eat beans without getting sick. Aside from the fact that beans do not offer a beneficial nutritional value to cats, they also pose numerous types of danger to them if ingested. 

While we mentioned in this article that it is somehow acceptable to let cats enjoy beans in small amounts, it will be best for pet owners to think again. The danger discussed clearly overshadows the benefits. 

Sometimes, you have to resist the urge of wanting your cats to enjoy the same food you like.

Cat ownership is never easy, as it requires a lot of dedication and patience. You have to be equipped with the knowledge to answer even the simplest things such as how to feed cats separately or be curious enough to ask, “Are chickpeas good for cats?

Unfortunately, these simple things are sometimes overlooked as most cat owners think they can just feed cats any human food.

This is the reason why we have dedicated this site to help pet owners like you understand the needs of these animals through our published articles. 

Do check us out whenever you need clarification and guidance on everything that involves animal rescue, health, and other needs. 

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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