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The chickpea, or garbanzo bean, is a legume that originates from the Middle East and has gained the nickname of the Egyptian pea as a result. They are considered high in protein, which means that they are sometimes found in commercial cat foods as a means of increasing protein levels without having to include expensive ingredients like meat.
However, chickpeas are considered very difficult for cats to digest and should be avoided. If you do feed garbanzo beans to your cat, ensure that they are properly prepared so that they are soft. But the better approach would be to find alternatives for this ingredient, especially since it’s typically used to increase the total level of protein in cat food without being a complete protein for a cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They must get their nutritional and protein requirements from meat sources. In the wild, this would include rodents and some small mammals like young rabbits. They would also chase and eat birds and some, albeit very few, would also eat fish and water-based prey.
Although the cat would get some grains, vegetables, and fruits from the gastrointestinal content of prey that they eat, they would not specifically look to eat these categories of food. Therefore, when giving your cat a species-appropriate diet, you should largely avoid feeding these foods too. However, we will offer suitable exceptions to this below.
Are Chickpeas Good For Cats?
In particular, your cat’s protein intake, which should be high, will come from meat sources. Vegetable protein is considered incomplete and therefore inefficient for cats. So, while chickpeas are high in protein, they do not contain all the amino acids that a cat requires to survive.
Although chickpeas do contain potassium, magnesium, and folate, the levels are not high enough to have to consider feeding this ingredient. Look for alternatives that are healthier for your cat.
The big problem with the garbanzo bean is that it is very difficult to digest. Undigested food can cause gastrointestinal upset. Your cat could suffer gut pain, excessive gas, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Alternatives To Chickpeas
There isn’t really any reason to add chickpeas to a cat’s diet in the first place. They do not contain any ingredients that cannot be gained from another, more digestible source.
Should You Feed Chickpeas To Your Cat?
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a legume considered very good for humans. They are fibrous, low in calories, and contain minerals like potassium. However, they are very difficult for cats to digest and, therefore, are not considered a great option for a feline diet. Cats need to get the majority of their protein and nutrients from meat sources, but if you are looking for additional ingredients for your cat, vegetables like carrots and fruits like blueberries do offer some nutritional benefit, hence why they are sometimes found in dry kibble and other cat food recipes.
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