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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. They are considered high in protein, and they are sometimes added to commercial cat foods to increase 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 feed garbanzo beans to your cat, ensure that they are properly prepared and soft. However, it’s better to find alternatives for chickpeas, especially since they don’t provide the same beneficial nutrients as commercial treats.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They must get their nutritional and protein requirements from meat sources. For wild cats, this includes rodents and some small mammals like young rabbits in the wild. They chase and eat birds, and some, albeit very few, eat fish and water-based prey.
Although wild cats consume some grains, vegetables, and fruits from the gastrointestinal content of the prey they eat, they would not specifically search for them as food. Therefore, when giving your cat a species-appropriate diet, you should largely avoid feeding them vegetables, fruit, and grains frequently. However, we have 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 inadequate for cats. So, while chickpeas are high in protein, they do not contain all the amino acids a cat requires to survive.
Although chickpeas contain potassium, magnesium, and folate, the levels are not high enough to justify feeding chickpeas to your cat. Look for alternatives that are healthier. The big problem with the garbanzo bean is that it is very difficult to digest. Undigested food can cause gastrointestinal issues; your cat could suffer gut pain, excessive gas, constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Alternatives To Chickpeas
There isn’t a reason to add chickpeas to a cat’s diet in the first place. They do not contain ingredients that cannot be gained from another, more digestible source.
Should You Feed Chickpeas To Your Cat?
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are considered very good for humans. They are fibrous, low in calories, and contain minerals like potassium. However, they are tough for cats to digest and are not suitable for a feline diet.
Cats need to get most of their protein and nutrients from meat sources, but if you want to give your cat healthy treats occasionally, vegetables like carrots and fruits like blueberries offer some nutritional benefit, hence why they are sometimes found in dry kibble and other cat food recipes.
Featured Photo Credit: PDPics, Pixabay