Green beans, French beans, String beans, or Snap beans, are young, unripe fruits of various cultivars of the common bean. They have been in cultivation for centuries and are native to Central and South America. Green Beans come in over 130 varieties, some of which are Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder, Provider, and Contender. They are used in a variety of recipes including; salads, stir-fries, casseroles, and as a side dish. An interesting fact is that, while they are called green beans, there are also yellow and purple varieties.
While green beans are a staple food for us, should they also be included in our cat's diets?
Can You Give Your Cat Green Beans?
Yes! Green beans are generally safe for your cat to eat and can provide multiple benefits as well, but there are a few precautions you need to take.1 So, before offering a plate of green beans to your cat, it's important to know how many of these beans your cat can eat at a time, and the best way to to prepare green beans for your cat. Keep reading to get the answers!
Do Cats like Green Beans?
Cats are curious creatures, especially about the foods that their humans are eating. Most cats would enjoy the crunchy texture of the beans and some may also enjoy the aroma and flavor that come out after cooking.
Health benefits of Green Beans
Half a cup of cooked beans would contain the following –
Protein: 1 gram
Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugar: 2 grams
Green beans are also a great source of Vitamins A, C and K, folate, thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, fiber, folate, calcium, and zinc.
In humans, fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy. Folate helps with growth and development, especially in fetuses. Vitamin K and calcium help in improving bone health, and vitamin B assists in reducing signs of depression. Iron is good for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Green beans also contain chlorophyll which can slow the growth of tumor cells in the body.
With all of this in mind, it may feel like green beans are a superfood for humans, and that they would be a great addition to a cat's meals. But cats aren't able to extract all of the nutrients that we can, so if you're hoping to give your cat green beans as a healthy treat option, it's important to know what health benefits they can actually offer.
Health Benefits of Green Beans for Cats
While the health benefits of eating green beans are not exactly the same for humans and cats, green beans can provide several benefits to cats.2
Fiber can help keep the digestive tract in good shape. It can aid with both constipation in cats and with loose bowel movements.
The proteins derived from vegetables like beans help in balancing the acidity level in urine and assist in dissolving calcium growths (stones) in the kidneys.
Low in carbs, fats, and calories green beans are a healthier treat option for cats trying to lose weight by becoming a substitute for other starchy and fatty treats. For more tips on helping a pet lose weight, take a look at this weight management plan for pets.
Risks of Green Beans for Cats
Digestion issues – Introducing new foods into your cat’s diet can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in stool consistency.
Allergies – It may rarely cause any allergic reaction in your cat but if it does then it can lead to itching, skin redness, or swelling.
Canned beans – The canned ones may contain preservatives and high amounts of salts. These can harm your cat’s digestive tract severely.1
Risk of Choking – Raw beans can pose a risk of a choking hazard.
How Many Green Beans Can a Cat Have?
Cats are carnivorous, so fruits or vegetables should never make up more than 10% of their daily calorie requirements. Green beans should only be given to a cat as an occasional treat and should never become a part of a cat’s daily diet. Store-bought cat foods are made with a cat's nutritional needs in mind, so while green beans can be beneficial, they're not needed to meet your cat's needs.
How Can I Feed Green Beans to My Cat?
It is important to know exactly how to prepare green beans for your cat. Here are a few tips:
Cooked – Never give a cat raw green beans; they pose a choking hazard and can cause digestive issues. Cooked green beans are much easier for a cat to digest.
Caution Against Canned Green Beans – If you choose to give your cat canned green beans, choose low-sodium and low-salt varieties without any preservatives.
Monitor Your Pet – Whenever you let your cat try new food, make sure to introduce it gradually, in small bite-sized pieces, and monitor your cat for 24 hours to look out for any signs of an allergic reaction or upset stomach.
It's always a good idea to consult your vet before introducing any new food items to your cat. Contact your vet immediately if you see any symptoms of an upset stomach or allergic reaction.
Only give your cat green beans as an occasional treat, and make sure they are plain and well-cooked. Green beans can provide multiple benefits to your cat, but, always remember cat food should make up the majority of your cat's daily diet. When it comes to treats, moderation is always the key.
“Can Cats Eat Green Beans?” Catster, https://www.catster.com/guides/can-cats-eat-green-beans, Jan. 12, 2024.
“Can Cats Eat Green Beans?” Wag Walking, https://wagwalking.com/wellness/can-cats-eat-green-beans, July 14, 2024.
The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.