Can cats eat chickpeas? Chickpeas are the legumes of round shapes having different colors, i.e., white, black, red, and green. In some countries, they are also called garbanzo beans. These legumes are rich in fibers and protein. They are a good source of protein for those on a vegan diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores; they need most of their nutrients and protein from meat/ animal sources. They do not lie between omnivores and herbivores. Hence, it raises the question that are they good for cats? Can cats eat chickpeas?
The answer is yes, but they should not. Thus it is good to leave out chickpeas from your cat’s diet. They are hard to digest, and your cat’s gut is not designed for plant-based protein digestion.
Health Benefits Of Chickpeas For Cats
Do chickpeas have any health benefits for cats? They do, but only in a limited way. They don’t replace your cat’s normal diet. Its nutritional and health benefits can’t be denied. Dietary fibers in chickpeas show benefits on the cat’s digestive system and prevent constipation.
Different minerals like magnesium and potassium are needed for the proper functioning of felines’ vital organs.
Amino acids like lecithin and arginine are also found in chickpeas. Arginine is important for heart functioning. Vitamin B6 in chickpeas helps the cells to live a longer life and encourages the production of hemoglobin.
Hence, cats can reap the benefits mentioned above if we give them a few soft chickpeas once in a while. However, the overall benefits never equal what cats can get from meat or cat food.
Are Chickpeas Safe For Cats?
Chickpeas are healthy beans loaded with protein and fibers. They offer a great nutritional value to humans. These are essential ingredients in different salads. But, cats can not enjoy them as we humans do.
Cat’s digestive system is adapted for processing the meat food. It is difficult for them to metabolize the plants’ elements. They are hard and difficult to chew, and your cat may have difficulty digesting them. They could be a choking hazard.
The following constituents of chickpeas make them a relative no option for your cats:
- High fiber content
- Oxalic acids
- It may contain e.coli and staphylococcus in raw form
Why Can Cats Not Eat Chickpeas?
Can cats eat chickpeas? Well, there is nothing toxic in chickpeas. Cats can eat, but that does not mean they should. Giving your cat the right food is important.
Food for Cats: Did You Know?
Felines are not actually picky eaters as one might think. Therefore, we have looked at several different foods and tell you if it’s safe for your cat to eat or not. Like this one: Can Cats Eat Dates?
The Feline’s digestive system is evolved for digesting animal-sourced protein. They need dietary fibers but in lesser amounts. On the other hand, chickpeas are rich in plant proteins and dietary fibers. Cats can suffer gastrointestinal disorders.
Risks Of Feeding Chickpeas To Cats
If cats munch on chickpeas, their digestive system is forced to do more work. So, instead of health benefits, they might get harmed. Following are the problems that can arise by feeding chickpeas.
- Bacterial Infection- Raw chickpeas may contain E.coli and Staphylococcus. So feeding them unwashed chickpeas can cause bacterial infection in your kitty.
- GIT Obstruction- As chickpeas are round, if not chewed properly, they can cause obstructions in a cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Digestive Disorder- As cats are weak, the strong nutrients of chickpeas can cause the weakening of the digestive system. They can cause digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, or indigestion due to high fiber content.
- Allergic Reaction- Chickpeas contain oxalic acid. This acid can cause itching and rashes in cats prone to skin allergies.
- It can aggravate the condition of arthritis, kidney stones, hyperacidity, and gout in the sick cat.
Can Cats Eat Chickpeas In Small Amounts?
The garbanzo beans can prove a health risk if the meat protein in your cat’s diet is replaced with chickpea protein.
Chickpeas don’t contain the necessary nutrition in meat (like taurine- an amino acid essentially required for felines in meat protein). They do offer some health benefits, but those are of secondary importance.
If you necessarily want to add chickpeas to your cat’s diet, the way to introduce these beans is to do so as an occasional treat. When it comes to feeding your cat, you can give only a small amount for your cat’s health.
Conclusion – Can cats eat chickpeas?
Now you have got the answer to this question. Can cats eat chickpeas? Yes, but they do not necessarily need to be a part of your cat’s diet.
Chickpeas cannot be the alternative to a cat’s regular food. Though it contains various minerals, vitamins, and proteins, it does not meet a cat’s nutritional requirements.