Skip to Content

Can Cats Eat Black Beans? The Ultimate Guide

Can Cats Eat Black Beans? The Ultimate Guide

✔ This article was reviewed for accuracy by a licensed veterinarian.

You just got home from Chipotle. In fact, you raced home so you could eat it while your burrito is still hot. You rip it open, begin to eat, some beans fall out, and your cat pounces on them faster than you can react. You ask yourself: can cats eat black beans? You also ask when your cat began training for the Olympics.

The answer is yes — cats can eat black beans in limited quantities. The beans should be plain and cooked, as well as washed well before cooking.

Beans and cats are an interesting combination, to say the least. Cats require a high volume of protein as part of their diet, and beans provide a ton of protein. However, cats require animal protein more than anything, and beans are legumes — part of the plant family Fabaceae.

Our team has performed extensive research on the feline diet in recent months. We’ve been coordinating with our staff vet, reading peer-reviewed research, and speaking with specialists in the field. This due diligence has enabled us to share answers to your pressing questions about cat dietary restrictions!

We cover the following items in this post:

So, Can Cats Eat Black Beans? 

Black beans. Can cats eat black beans?

Yes, they can. But they should have small amounts intermittently. The beans should be served fresh, non-processed, and without additional seasoning.

While beans are high in protein and can be a great source of nutrition for humans, they are not full of the protein that a cat needs. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they require meat to survive and need animal protein.

Beans contain phytates (phytic acid) which bind with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. However, soaking beans before consuming them can assist in reducing phytate levels. Cats can’t digest phytic acids and the nutrients simply pass through their system. This isn’t a bad thing, however, we point this out as it doesn’t provide much benefit either.

Black beans don’t pose a threat to cats, as they can still eat the legume as an occasional snack.

Can Cats Eat Canned Black Beans?

We recommend avoiding feeding your cat all types of canned beans, inclusive of canned black beans. Even if they seem to include minimal ingredients, canned beans use preservatives to keep the food from expiring.

Preservatives usually include plenty of salt, which can be poisonous to your cats in large doses.

For instance, the very popular Goya Black Beans have three main ingredients: black beans, water, and salt.

However, if you decide to feed your cat canned black beans, we recommend rinsing them off well in advance, to attempt to wash off the unnecessary juices and preservatives.

Can Kittens Eat Black Beans?

Yes, kittens can eat black beans as well — assuming the above guidance is followed.

However, kittens are in high growth mode which is generally fueled by a healthy serving of kitten food often. No other treats are necessary as long as you provide them with the minimum necessary calories per day. Your veterinarian and the directions on a cat food can put you in the right direction. We also have a post extensively covering how much to feed a cat.

We recommend against feeding kittens human foods often. Not due to health risks, although present. We advise against it so you don’t build bad habits in kittens. If a kitten expects human food, it will continue to do so into its adult stages as well.

What Effects Do Black Beans Have On Cats?

A frightened cat. Can cats eat black beans?
I can’t tell if I have to fart or poop. My dear god, what is going on in my stomach?

Now that you understand that cats can eat black beans, let’s take a look at the impact they could have on your pet and their diet. 

In the sections below, we have outlined the various characteristics of black beans and why you should proceed with caution when feeding them to your cat.

Black Beans Contain Protein – Not The Kind Your Cat Requires

As we previously explained, black beans contain a high amount of protein. And to humans, for the most part, protein is protein.

However, in cats, protein is a requirement as part of the obligate carnivore diet. And the vitamins cats require are found in meat, not plant foods.

This is because cats have evolved to absorb protein through animal meat.

They Produce Gas

Beans contain a compound called raffinose. Raffinose is is “a trisaccharide composed of galactose, glucose, and fructose. It can be found in beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains.” Raffinose is not easily digested by cats and can cause gas and stomach discomfort.

It’s not uncommon for a cat to have a sensitive stomach, and gastrointestinal (GI) troubles in cats are commonly caused by foods that are tough to digest, food allergies, or food additives and preservatives.

They’re Hard To Digest

Beans are also very high in fiber, which is an integral part of a cat’s diet. Fiber provides a means to assist in moving food through a cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

However, IAMS, a major cat food brand, has performed research on the impact of fiber on cats and noted that higher levels of fiber could lead to issues in digesting nutrients from other foods, which can overall negatively impact the nutritional quality of a feline diet. This may lead to an increase in litter box trips.

Because of this, it is best to keep black beans away from cats with a history of stomach problems, as this could lead to future problems. 

We love this video as it helps to explain how to tell if something made your cat sick:

The Nutritional Benefits of Black Beans For Cats

There are a few benefits from black beans if you decide to share a small amount with your cat. WebMD notes that black beans contain the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A can help support a cat’s immune system and provides antioxidants that protect the body against diseases and health issues.
  • Calcium is essential to a cat’s diet. Calcium is an electrolyte that helps cats with regulating fluids, healthy cell function, and promotes bone strength.
  • Folate, or folic acid, assists in the production of oxygen, aids in metabolizing fat, and promotes healthy growth in cats.
  • Magnesium can assist in healthy urination and help reduce constipation in cats.
  • Iron is necessary to avoid anemia and maintain healthy red blood cell counts in cats.
  • Potassium helps to regulate muscle contractions and heart function.

All of the above are great, but don’t forget that cat food is created with a healthy cat in mind, and most brands provide all the necessary nutrients to lead to a healthy feline lifestyle!

What Types Of Black Beans Can Cats Eat? 

Black beans. Can cats eat black beans?

There are various types of black beans. We commonly see black turtle beans in our supermarkets, however, there are quite a few variations. Popular black beans also include Domino, Black Magic, Blackhawk, Condor, and Raven.

None of the above prove to be a great risk to your cat as long as they are served cooked and without preservatives or seasoning.

How To Feed Your Cat Black Beans

Check With Your Veterinarian First

You should always consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure of what foods your cat can eat. This article covers cats generically, but your vet knows your cat best and can advise appropriately.

Serve A Small Amount At First

Less is more. Give your cat a few cooked beans and see how they react. If it likes them, you can share small portions intermittently. If it hates them, stop reading here!

Don’t Use Seasoning

Ensure there is no seasoning on the beans. Wash them and cook them plain prior to serving.

Final Thoughts: Can Cats Eat Black Beans?

Your cat can eat small amounts of black beans, but shouldn’t have this snack often. If you do give your cat some black beans, they should be served fresh and without additional seasoning. Organic beans are the best option when possible.

It’s worth remembering that cats can and do fend for themselves in the wild. They don’t always have the best cat food available and tend to do alright. So, don’t fret if you shared a bit too much of something your cat shouldn’t eat often. If you feel it was too much — monitor your cat, and do your best to avoid doing so in the future.

Are you wondering about beans in general? We cover whether cats can eat beans in this post!