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Can Cats Eat Bean Sprouts? What You Need to Know!

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

Bean Sprouts

It feels like every couple of years we have a new lineup of superfoods that we can’t wait to get our hands on. Bean sprouts are nutrient-dense foods that are perfect for adding texture to a sandwich or stir-fry. But we must be careful when we introduce new foods into our home. We can’t always keep an eye on our cats, and It’s possible that they might try to steal a couple of bites of these baby veggies. Before you allow them to have any, you must ask yourself if this new food is safe for animals.

While bean sprouts are technically safe for cats to eat, you have to be sure that they only consume them in moderation. These plants are not poisonous and are generally safe for pets to eat. However, there is always some risk with new foods. Because they grow in warm and wet environments, any sprouts are capable of being contaminated with dangerous bacteria that could cause a foodborne illness. If your cat does happen to get into the bean sprouts, watch them very carefully over the next few days and look for signs of illness.

The Benefits of Bean Sprouts

While cats are mostly carnivorous, plants like bean sprouts are still dense in nutrients and have high amounts of proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that could actually be beneficial for your cat. They also contain high amounts of fiber that help aid in digestion.

With that said, cats are not equipped to handle too many veggies at a time. It is more helpful for them if they get the sprouts as a treat here and there rather than consuming large amounts at a time. Your cat should really be getting most of their food from a veterinarian-approved diet of kibble or other forms of meat protein.

Bean Sprout
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

What Are the Risks of Feeding Cats Bean Sprouts?

The biggest concern you should have with giving cats bean sprouts is contamination. As we mentioned before, bean sprouts grow in moist, warm environments where it is easy for bacteria to thrive. Raw sprouts especially have been associated with several foodborne illness outbreaks.

There are ways to sanitize the sprouts and reduce the chances of contamination. To do this, you must cook the sprouts thoroughly before giving them to your cat. If your cat does eat raw sprouts, you must monitor them for any gastrointestinal upset and infection which include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Twitching
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Collapse
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Drinking, urination, or appetite changes

Do Cats Need Vegetables in Their Diets?

Cats do not require any fruits and vegetables in their diets to live healthy lives. There may be some cats that like to have some greens as an occasional treat, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to perish without it. The main thing that they truly need to survive is animal protein.

tabby cat savoring catnip in the garden
Image Credit: Badon Hill Studio, Shutterstock

Safe Plants Cats Can Eat

Nobody wants to accidentally poison their cat because they didn’t do the proper research before feeding them something. There are some plants that cats might enjoy munching on better than the foods that are on your plate. Let’s look at some of the top choices among cat owners.

  • Catnip – Catnip is an all-around favorite between felines. While not every cat responds to it, there are many who can’t get enough of it. Catnip gives cats feelings or euphoria. Smelling, biting, and licking it makes most felines act more mellow and calm.
  • Cat Grass – Contrary to popular belief, cat grass and catnip are not the same. The real name for cat grass is oat grass or wheat grass. These plants are eating to grow, although you do have to keep them cut short because the grains that grow when the plant matures are toxic.
  • Cat Thyme – Cat thyme isn’t the same as the thyme that we season our food with. It has a strong smell and the same soothing effects as catnip that our kitties love.
  • Mint – Plants belonging to the mint family are also popular for attracting cats. Try growing apple mint, spearmint, lemon mint, or peppermint in a small pot and watch your cat rub against the plant for hours. However, be sure that they don’t eat it because it could upset their stomach.

Conclusion

While your cat might not need veggies to survive, there are some that are considered safe for cats to eat every now and then. Bean sprouts are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and they do make a good treat for cats so long as they aren’t contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Remember that if you don’t cook the sprouts, you will have to look for signs of illness over the next couple of days.

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Featured Image Credit: hansbenn, Pixabay

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