Cat Tips

Can Cats Eat Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans also known as chickpeas, are legumes that are high in fiber and protein. These are a staple in households around the world and are a great source of protein. Some of the most popular recipes made with garbanzo beans include hummus or curry.

Can Cats Eat Garbanzo Beans?

The one-word answer to this question is yes, garbanzo beans are safe for cats to eat but only in moderation.1 So before we get to the question of whether garbanzos offer any health benefits for your cat, let's first ask-

Do Cats Like Garbanzo Beans?

Cats are generally indifferent to garbanzo beans but might occasionally show interest in taking a bite. They may be curious about the beans because they want to play with them, rather than because of the taste.

Are Garbanzo Beans Good for Cats?

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas are a superfood for humans. Regardless of the recipe, they're a great source of protein. The real question is do these beans benefit cats in the same way they do to humans? Let's find out!

Cats are carnivorous creatures and hence chickpeas being carbohydrate heavy may be difficult for them to digest.2 They may be high in carbs and fiber, but your cat doesn’t need much of these nutrients. Too many garbanzo beans can lead to stomach upset.3

Since it's difficult for cats to digest chickpeas, it’s better to let them nibble on other vegetables or fruits like carrots or blueberries, as they are easier to digest and also have a higher nutritional value, so we suggest keeping the hummus to yourself!

Health Benefits of Garbanzo Beans for Cats

While garbanzo beans may not benefit cats in the same way they do humans. There is still a small amount of benefit that cats can derive from these beans.3 Some of the benefits can include-

  • High fiber: Garbanzo beans are high in fiber which can help with digestion and regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Nutrients: They are also rich in minerals, protein, and fiber. While these nutrients are good for the cat they may also be difficult to absorb.

Remember to always contact your vet before introducing any new foods to your cat's diet. If your pet shows any signs of an upset stomach or allergic reaction after eating a new food, contact your vet right away.

How Many Garbanzo Beans Can a Cat Have?

Because cats are carnivores, they are not able to digest plant-based foods as well as meat, and may not be able to digest high amounts of carbohydrates. Small portions of garbanzo beans, mashed or cut as an occasional treat are good enough for your cat. Garbanzo beans are generally safe if given in moderation.2

How to Feed Garbanzo Beans to Your Cat?

While garbanzo beans are safe for cats to eat, they should be given only in small amounts. Here are a few guidelines on how to introduce garbanzo beans to your cat as a treat-

  • Consult your veterinarian: Before introducing your cat to garbanzo beans, please consult your vet.

  • Keep it Simple: Never season the beans with salt or any other spices, they should be served plain. Once they are cooked, they can be served straight from the pot, sauteed, or fried, just make sure to let them cool down before giving them to your pet.

  • Bite-sized pieces: To help avoid choking, it's best to mash or cut these beans into fine pieces.

  • Mix with food: Garbanzo can be easily mixed with your cat’s regular food. Only small amounts of beans should be added for the cat's safety.

  • Treats: Another way of spicing up a cat's diet is by offering them garbanzo beans as treats instead of mixing them with their regular cat food.

  • Monitor: It is necessary to monitor the reaction of your cat once they are introduced to garbanzo beans. Watch out for an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

What Can Happen if a Cat Eats an Unusual Amount of Garbanzo Beans?

Feeding your cat a lot of garbanzo beans can be a potential health threat as it can lead to gastrointestinal issues.2 Here are a few effects of the overconsumption of Garbanzo beans-

  • Upset stomach: Cats may experience gas, bloating, and diarrhea if they eat large amounts of plant-based food.

  • Risk of Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause gastrointestinal upset, skin issues, or other symptoms. Some cats may have an allergy to plant-based foods. Learn more about skin conditions in cats.

  • Impact on blood sugar: Garbanzo beans are high in carbohydrates, which can affect the cat's blood sugar. As cats are carnivores, they cannot digest high amounts of carbohydrates.

  • High in calories: Garbanzo beans are dense in calories, which can also lead to obesity and weight gain in cats. Here are a few tips on how to keep you pet at a healthy weight.

Which Cats Should Not Eat Garbanzo Beans?

Cats should not be given garbanzo beans in general as they carry a risk of indigestion, and they also do not do much in the form of nutritional benefits for your cat. Cats with underlying conditions should stay completely away from these–

  • Cats with weight issues– Garbanzo beans are heavy in carbohydrates, which may not be the best thing to give to your cat if they’re overweight.

  • Cats with Urinary Tract Issues– Cats with urinary tract issues usually need a diet specific to their condition. It’s best to consult your veterinarian about different treats that can be used to spice up your cat's diet.

  • Cats with allergies– If your cat has had allergic reactions to vegetables or other beans in the past, it may be best to skip introducing garbanzo beans to their diet.

  • Cats with gastronomical issues– Cats with an irritable bowel may not be able to digest garbanzo beans. In this case, consult with your physician about alternative treats you can give your pet.


Garbanzo beans can be found in homes around the world and make a great addition to thousands of recipes, but they aren't great for cats. Their nutritional value is low and does not do much for your cat. Overconsumption of these can also lead to health problems and cause indigestion.2 An occasional bite of garbanzo beans shouldn’t cause harm, so if you want to give your cat a bite you can, but it shouldn't be a regular part of their diet. It’s best to ask your veterinarian before you make any decision.


“Can Cats Eat Chickpeas?” Modern Vet,, accessed Jan. 12, 2024.

“Can Cats Eat Chickpeas?” Catster,, Jan. 7, 2024.

“Can Cats Eat Chickpeas?” Hepper,, Jan. 8, 2024.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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