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Can Cats Eat Chickpeas?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans, as they are also known, are quite a great choice of beans that can take place in salads, soups or many other dishes such as the popular hummus. They are filled with proteins and don’t have too much of a flavor but possess a pleasant texture so for us they are a very good option but what about our furry friends? Can cats eat chickpeas and if so are they in any way good for their health? Let us find out together!

Nutritional Value

Containing proteins that are important for the development and immune system of a cat, chickpeas are one source for this important nutritional element, but remember that meat has proteins too and that will be much easier for cats to digest.

Another ingredient in chickpeas is lecithin which improves the cat’s cell production and potassium that is important for the well being of the vital organs. Magnesium is also important for the body’s cells and copper helps to produce and store the iron required. Folate is important for the body’s overall well being and due to the texture chickpeas have they can help with the digestion to ease constipation.

The vitamins that help a cat are A and the B-complex, both of them being found in chickpeas and the antioxidants will lower the risk of cancer while also helping the cells live longer.

Possible Problems

Oxalic acid is found in chickpeas and if the pet has a predisposition toward allergies, itching, rashes or other skin problems then you should avoid foods that have a rich oxalic acid content.

There aren’t any actual elements in garbanzo beans which are toxic for cats so the risks are more in the fact that these shouldn’t replace their regular diet. It is much more difficult for cats to digest chickpeas instead of meat and they also don’t provide some of the vital elements that a cat gets from meat (amino acids like taurine) so although they may offer some health benefits they should still be used as an occasional treat only.

The idea of having a vegetarian cat is a very bad one and you will probably end up having a malnourished cat with other health issues on the side. If you want to add fiber to their diet then cucumbers (even pickles) or carrots might be better options as they don’t lead to as much bloating and risks of indigestion or diarrhea.

Short Answer:

It isn’t a good idea to give cats chickpeas as they are difficult to digest and have a low amount of the nutritional elements that are essential for your pet.

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