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Can Cats Eat Green Beans? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono

Green beans

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’ve had cats in your life for any amount of time, you know that they can be finicky about their food. Of course, as obligate carnivores, cats like meat over anything else and need it to survive and thrive. Does that mean they can’t, or won’t, eat vegetables like green beans? Cats can eat these crunchy green veggies, and many cats enjoy munching on green beans.

However, there are a few important factors to consider before serving green beans to your cat. To help you find out, we put together the following bean-based information. Read on to learn how to feed your kitty cat nutritious green beans and give them a healthy and delicious snack below!

Are Green Beans a Healthy Cat Snack?

Before feeding your feline friend anything besides well-balanced cat food, it’s best to know if the food provides any health benefits. For example, cats might like cow milk, but it’s difficult for them to digest. As for green beans, they offer some health benefits when given as an occasional snack.

Green Beans Have a Lot of Fiber

Although cats have a shorter gastrointestinal tract than humans, they still need a bit of fiber to keep their GI tract healthy and “regular.” Green beans have a high amount of fiber to aid your cat’s digestion.

Cat looking at purple and green beans
Image Credit: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Green Beans Are a Low-Calorie Snack

If your cat is overweight, low-calorie snacks are a better choice. Green beans are very low in calories and a good snack choice if your feline friend is getting too chunky.

There Are Several Vitamins and Minerals in Green Beans

Like all green vegetables, green beans have several vitamins and minerals, all of which can be a boon to your cat’s health. They include:

  • Vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting
  • Vitamin C for your cat’s immunity
  • Manganese to support your cat’s metabolism
  • Iron, which is great for blood health
  • Potassium for normal fluid levels
  • Calcium for strong bones and teeth
  • Manganese for brain and nerve function

Do Green Beans Pose Any Health Risks for Your Cat?

Green beans aren’t toxic for cats, but as a food that contains carbohydrates, they aren’t necessary for your cat’s overall health and well-being. Eating too many green beans might cause your cat to experience bloating and gas, and raw green beans pose a small choking risk. However, if fed to your cat occasionally as a snack, green beans are low-risk snack food.

Beautiful feline cat eating on a metal bowl
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

What’s the Best Way to Serve Green Beans to Your Cat?

Although you can serve washed raw green beans, most cats won’t eat them that way. Also, there’s a slight choking risk when serving raw green beans to your cat, which is why it’s best to serve them fully cooked. That way, the beans will be soft, easier to chew, and easier to swallow. Remember to let them cool before serving the beans to your cat!

One important factor to note is that you should cook green beans with no additional ingredients, including salt, pepper, garlic, onions, or anything else. They should be 100% plain since too much salt is bad for your cat’s health. More importantly, onions and garlic are toxic to cats, and most won’t enjoy the potent taste and smell of pepper.

Do Cats Like Green Beans?

All cats are unique individuals and have their likes and dislikes. Your cat might enjoy the occasional green bean snack but, on the other hand, might turn their nose up and not touch them at all.

How Often Should You Feed Your Cat Green Beans?

When it comes to anything besides your cat’s regular cat food, veterinarians generally recommend using the 90/10 rule of snacks. This unwritten rule states that 90% of the food you feed your cat should be well-balanced cat food. That leaves 10% for any snacks you wish to feed your feline friend, including green beans.

It’s important to remember that if you’re feeding your cat high-quality cat food, they shouldn’t even need snacks. Feeding them green beans once or twice a week is more than enough, especially if you give your cat other snack foods.

green beans
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Can You Give Your Cat Canned Green Beans?

While fresh, steamed green beans are a good snack for cats, canned green beans have several risk factors that make them an unhealthy choice. The first is their salt content, which is often significantly higher in canned vegetables because it’s used as a preservative.

Chemical preservatives are also in canned vegetables and are never a good choice to feed your cat. Most canned green beans also have other ingredients, including pepper, onions, garlic, and others, which are unhealthy or toxic for cats.

Frozen green beans can be given to your cat if they’re free of additional ingredients and have been thawed and cooked. Check the package label to ensure no other ingredients have been used in the frozen green beans you purchase.

Which Other Green Vegetables Are Healthy Snacks for Your Cat?

If your cat isn’t exactly wild about green beans, don’t fret. There are several other green vegetables that you can try. Most of them, like green beans, have several nutrients that are beneficial to your cat’s health.

cat eating boiled eggs and broccoli
Image Credit: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock

Broccoli

Since it’s high in antioxidants, broccoli is a superfood that also has a lot of fiber.

Fresh Cucumber

One of the best things about cucumbers is their water content, which will keep your cat hydrated. Also, it’s crunchy and fun to eat and has a few vitamins and minerals.

Asparagus

A small piece or two of steamed asparagus can add dietary fiber to your cat’s diet and help them stay regular.

Which Vegetables Should Never Be Given to Your Cat?

While you might love them, several vegetables are highly toxic to cats and should never be given to them. They include the following:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Chives

FAQ

Are Green Beans a Healthy Snack Option for Cats?

Yes, green beans are healthy and nutritious.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Green Beans to Cats?

Steamed, cooled, and cut into bite-sized chunks.

Do Green Beans Pose any Health Risks to Cats?

There is a slight choking risk if you feed your cat raw green beans. They also have high amounts of carbohydrates, which can be unhealthy for cats.

chopped fresh green beans on a cutting board
Image credit: Louis Hansel, Unsplash

Are Canned Green Beans Safe for Cats to Eat?

No, canned green beans are usually high in salt and chemical preservatives and may have other ingredients that are toxic to cats.

How Many Green Beans Should I Feed My Cat?

A tablespoon of chopped green beans once or twice a week is recommended.

Final Thoughts

Green beans are an excellent choice if you want to feed your cat the occasional green vegetable. They’re low in calories, high in fiber, and have several vitamins and minerals. The best way to feed green beans to your cat is to steam them with no other ingredients and let them cool before serving them to your feline friend.

However, your cat may not like green beans. All cats are individuals; while some may enjoy green beans, others may find them unappealing. There are several other green vegetables you can feed your cat as an occasional snack, so be sure to try them all. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one your cat enjoys!


Featured Image Credit: MikeGoad, Pixabay

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