Edamame is a type of legume that is rich in protein. But can cats eat edamame? The answer is yes but it can only be given occasionally and not be considered a regular meal for cats. There are a few things that you need to know first before you let your cats eat this.
Cats’ stomachs are very sensitive. Thus, it is only right that cat owners ask questions before feeding them any food, because not everything that is safe for humans is safe for cats.
Always keep yourself informed about how to take care of your cats, such as knowing whether it’s okay to use a microchip pet feeder while you’re away, or if it’s good to feed multiple cats separately. Owning a cat is indeed both a challenging and a fulfilling thing to do.
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What Exactly Is Edamame?
Edamame is soybeans that are harvested before they are ripe. They are commonly seen in most East Asian cuisines. These beans are green in color and are sold, prepared, and cooked in their pods.
It is similar to hummus as it can be prepared in several ways and is often used as an ingredient for a lot of dishes.
As established, Edamame is known for its health benefits especially since it is a great protein source. It is also rich in amino acids, high in minerals, and low in sugar.
Can cats have edamame? All in all, edamame can be a safe food for cats to eat occasionally.
Although, the shell or skin must not be served to your cats as they are very hard to chew. It can cause choking and digestive system issues that include constipation or bloating.
Edamame Health Benefits for Cats
Edamame is rich in protein. So, feeding edamame to your cats as a snack can be beneficial to them as they can make use of the extra protein they get from it.
It also has the essential nine amino acids which are needed by the cat’s body to stay healthy and active.
It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium which is important in hormone regulation and the development of healthy bones and teeth. It has calcium and iron which are known to benefit the muscles and the red blood cells.
Amidst all these health benefits, edamame is still not considered to be a part of cats’ regular meals. Remember to only serve edamame as a snack or a treat on certain occasions.
Edamame Safety Concerns for Cats
Can kittens eat beans? There are health benefits that cats can get from eating edamame and beans. However, these nutritional benefits are not exactly the nutritional requirements of a cat’s body.
Cats are obligate carnivores and even if edamame is rich in protein, the cat still needs the protein that it can only get by feeding from animals.
Thus, edamame should not be served as a replacement for regular cat food as it will only result in your cat missing necessary vital nutrients and developing health problems.
Edamame is also rich in fiber. While it is good for the healthy digestive system of your cat, too much ingestion of it may still result in bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
It is also important to check if your cat is allergic to edamame. So, start giving them edamame in small quantities to test the waters. If your cat can tolerate it, you can feed edamame again in the future.
The following are a few of the symptoms you need to check especially if it is the first time your cat has eaten edamame;
1 – Gastrointestinal Issues Like Vomiting and Diarrhea
Observe your cat the first time it eats edamame. If it is acting unusually weird and irritated, check whether it is vomiting or is having a hard time lying in comfortably.
You can always bring your cat to your veterinarian for them to observe further if there is indeed a problem in its digestive system.
2 – Respiratory Problems Such as Labored Breathing, Coughing, and Sneezing
If your cat appears irritable or is having a hard time breathing, take it immediately to the nearest vet. Delaying your vet visit amidst all these symptoms might cause your cat to suffer more serious health conditions or worse, death.
3 – Skin Irritation
If your cat appears okay but you noticed skin rashes or itching, it is best that you consult your doctor as well. There are a lot of medications that might be given to your cat including antihistamines or Omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
4 – Irritability
Your cat’s irritability can be caused by a lot of things like stress in the environment, anxiety over the household, changes in their food options, or even allergies.
Your cat’s medical condition can greatly affect your cat’s mood. Your cat’s cranky behavior might be because of an allergic reaction due to edamame. So, better to call your vet to have your cat prescribed the right medication.
How Should You Cook Edamame for Your Cat?
Fresh and frozen edamame should be cooked if you plan to treat your cats with it. While feeding raw edamame to your cat is not toxic, it can pose a choking hazard. So, you can just opt to cook it instead for safety purposes.
Make sure that you use the cooking method that will allow you to retain the nutrients of edamame and doesn’t require you to add salt and spices.
Salt and spices are known to be toxic to cats. Boiling and steaming are considered the best ways of cooking that allow you to retain their nutritional benefits.
You can also bake edamame but make sure that you do not add toxic ingredients that can harm your cats.
Also, remove the pods, husks, and shells when serving them to your cat. Most importantly, give this treat as an occasional snack to your cats only.
Cat’s Dietary Requirements To Consider
Cats are obligate carnivores and they rely mainly on the nutrients which they get from feeding animals.
Up to this day, cats are predators that consume prey with rich protein, a moderate amount of fat, low carbohydrates, and among other minerals.
The following are the required nutrients needed by cats to survive and stay healthy:
- High protein
- Moderate amounts of fats
- Fewer carbohydrates
- Fatty Acids
- Amino Acids
This proportion of nutrients needed by cats is still true even in modern times regardless of the presence of a lot of commercial cat food.
Additionally, if you are providing a balanced and complete diet for your cat, using supplements may not be necessary.
If you plan to give your cats additional supplements, make sure that you consult your veterinarian first because there are supplements that may be harmful to your cats.
Also, the most important thing is to keep fresh and clean water easily accessible to your cats at all times.
FAQs: The Purrr-fect Answers
Can Cats Consume Edamame Skin?
No. Cats cannot consume edamame skin. While it is not poisonous, it is very hard to chew and may cause digestive problems.
The skin or shell of edamame is already hard for humans to chew. So, letting your cat eat and chew them will also pose a choking risk to them.
Is Edamame Safe for Cats?
Yes. Edamame is safe for cats but it should be given to them as an occasional treat only. It may be rich in protein and other nutrients. However, it is still not enough to pass as a regular meal replacement for cats.
Which Cats Aren’t Allowed To Eat Edamame?
Cats that are diagnosed to be allergic to soybeans are not allowed to eat edamame.
Since edamame are soybeans harvested before they are ripe and are technically from the same plant, it is most likely going to trigger the same allergic reactions.
Edamame are healthy legumes that can pass as a great snack for cats. Yes, only as a snack, since cats have a strict nutritional requirement that can only be fulfilled by eating the meat of animals.
Edamame is not poisonous but must be prepared and cooked well as it can be a choking hazard to cats. Also, make sure that you do not put salt and other known toxic ingredients as you cook edamame for your cats to prevent health problems.
Canned edamame is also not recommended as it has too much salt which is bad for cats, especially the ones with kidney problems. Generally, edamame is not bad for cats.
What you have to remember, however, is to minimize giving it to them and ensure proper food preparation while cooking them.
If you find this article helpful, we also have similar articles that answer most of your feeding questions. Are cats allergic to soybeans? What happens if a cat eats soy? Visit this page for more information.