As a cat owner, you’ve probably seen your cat watch you as you prepare vegetables in the kitchen. As you’re chopping green beans, you might have wondered if it’s safe for your cat. The short answer is yes! Green beans are safe for your cat, and can be a healthy occasional snack.
In this article, we explore how green beans benefit your cat, how much they should consume, and how to start feeding your cat green beans!
Should Cats Eat Green Beans?
Just like their wilder counterparts, pet cats are obligate carnivores. This means their diet primarily consists of animal protein. Vegetables are not necessary in a cat’s diet and they should primarily be fed a complete and balanced cat food diet. Some cats like a little nibble of veggies and others will have no interest at all. Many commercial cat foods contain vegetables for nutrition and variety, but also because it appeals to us humans!
As carnivores, cats’ diet cannot consist entirely of vegetables, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to get any nutrients from certain veggies. Green beans are a good example of a veggie that is both safe and nutritious for cats. They are high in fiber and rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. Green beans are also heavily packed with nutrition at a low-calorie count, making it a good addition in a cat’s diet—especially if you are watching their weight!
Why Are Green Beans Good for Cats?
While cats can easily get the nutritional requirements they need through their carnivorous diet, adding small portions of vegetables, fats, and carbohydrates into their diet is a great way to keep your cat healthy. Green beans provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
Health Benefits of Green Beans for Cats
With all the vitamins and minerals packed in green beans, your cat may get a boost in their overall health and immune system. The vitamins and minerals present also promote bone and muscle health, which can help keep your cat strong and healthy!
Helps With Weight Loss
Green beans may be rich in nutrients, but they are also low in calories! Green beans are also high in fiber, which gives cats a feeling of fullness much easier and quicker than foods with lower fiber content. This high fiber food added to a low-calorie, healthy diet can definitely help your cat lose weight!
When managing obesity, however, it is important to consult with your veterinarian regarding proper diet planning. It is vital that the correct proportions of nutrients are maintained.
Another advantage of green beans’ high fiber content is how it aids in your cat’s digestion. The soluble fiber present in this veggie can help alleviate constipation and diarrhea, keeping your cat’s digestive tract happy!
Good Alternative to Treats
Green beans are a low-calorie, high-fiber, and nutritious alternative to commercial cat treats. Because of this, tiny slices of green beans can also serve as treats for your cat!
How Can I Introduce Green Beans to My Cat?
When introducing green beans to your cat, another question may be which kind of green beans to choose. Ideally, it is best to use either fresh or frozen green beans instead of canned. Canned green beans often have sodium and other additives, which are best avoided, but canned green beans with little to no additives should be fine.
Choosing between raw or cooked green beans highly depends on your cat. Some cats may be okay with eating raw green beans, but some cats may not enjoy the texture and can even trigger indigestion, especially for sensitive cats. Green beans can easily be cooked by steaming or boiling it for 10–15 minutes, just enough to soften it.
Depending on your cat’s preference, you can either give them the whole bean or chop it up so that your cat has an easier time eating it!
How Much Green Beans Should I Feed my Cat?
When introducing a new food or vegetable to your cat, it is recommended to start slow and small. While green beans don’t have any toxins or usually trigger allergies, it is still best to find out how the vegetable will affect your cat. This is also the best time to gauge their preferences. Does your cat prefer them raw or cooked? The whole bean or chopped in small pieces?
As you build confidence that your cat is able to eat the green beans in small portions, you can slowly introduce more into their diet. Adult cats can have up to five beans, or half a cup per day. Ideally, green beans can be added at no more than 10% ratio into your cat’s regular meals.
Remember that not all cats are the same. Your cat’s dietary requirements heavily depend on their weight, age, and lifestyle. For the best dietary recommendations for your cat, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
Can Cats Eat Green Bean Casserole?
A popular dish involving green beans is green bean casserole. While this dish remains a holiday staple, you may wonder if it is safe for your cat to partake in the holiday festivities by eating green bean casserole. Unfortunately, green bean casserole is not recommended and should not be fed to your cat.
While plain green beans are healthy for your cat, green bean casserole is a dairy-based dish, which can cause indigestion for your kitty. Most recipes also contain onions, which can cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, and at worst, can even prove fatal.
Should you wish to let your cat experience the festivities of the holiday, it is best to stick to plain green beans!
Other Veggies That Are Good for Cats
Aside from green beans, there are other vegetables that are healthy and safe for your feline friend. These vegetables can also be added into your cat’s diet as a healthy alternative to cat treats!
While these vegetables are safe and healthy for your cat, it is important to remember that they are carnivores and rely on a meat heavy diet. There are nutrients that they cannot make in their own bodies and only come from animal sources. Cats cannot be vegetarian. Remember to only give small amounts, no more than 10% of their daily diet.
Green beans are completely safe for cats and provide them with various essential vitamins and minerals with many benefits. They promote your cat’s overall health and also aid in boosting their immune system. As cats are obligate carnivores, introducing green beans into your feline friend’s diet can help keep them healthy and strong!
Featured Image Credit: flockine, Pixabay