Can Cats Eat Lentils? 11 Things You May Not Know

Cats typically explore their environment through their mouths, and ingesting foreign substances or objects can be fatal, lending credence to the old adage that “curiosity killed the cat.”

While lentils provide a wealth of essential nutrients for humans, cats can get by on a fraction of that amount.

If your cat enjoys lentils, a small serving size can be a nice reward. However, they do not offer the same positive effects on human health.

Are Cats Allowed Lentils?

Lentils are safe for cats to eat, but only in small amounts.

Obligate carnivores like cats can only get the nutrients they need from meat.

Although lentils are a good plant-based source of protein and other minerals, it can be difficult for cats to get enough nutrition from plant-based diets alone.

Fibre is unnecessary for the diets of some animals like cats. In fact, cats may experience laxative effects from eating fiber-rich foods.

You can safely feed your cat a small amount of cooked lentils if necessary.

There are some healthy components in lentils, especially protein.

Cats are more likely to play with uncooked lentils than eat them.

However, cats may find cooked lentils to be a tasty and interesting treat.

Some feline friends find lentils to be a tasty treat. Quite a few of them can’t get enough of it.

Cats are strictly meat eaters because they are obligate carnivores. On the other hand, vegetables contain many beneficial nutrients.

It’s strange that cats can safely consume lentils, given that it’s common knowledge that felines can subsist on either meat or commercial cat food. Among cat people, this is highly unusual but not unheard of.

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In fact, lentils are one of many greens that cat owners try to feed their feline companions in order to diversify the animal’s protein and vitamin intake.

No one can say for sure what a particular cat will or will not eat. Some people prefer to eat nothing but meat and cat food, while others will happily munch on lentils and other leafy greens.

Never try to convert your cat to veganism by force. There are many key differences between a cat’s digestive system and our own.

Protein is still essential for a cat’s diet. They can get the carbohydrates they need and a variety of other nutrients from lentils.

However, if you believe your cat can survive on a diet of only lentils and vegetables, you should consult with your vet first.

What Do Cats Eat?

Cats in the wild don’t eat a very wide variety of foods. Hypercarnivores and obligate carnivores are a group of animals whose diet consists almost entirely of meat.

Since their diet consists primarily of animal proteins, cats are deficient in the digestive enzymes needed to metabolize plant matter.

The result is a different nutrient profile when they eat plant-based foods than when animals better adapted to digesting those foods do. Animal proteins are the only ones that provide them with the full spectrum of nutrients.

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Some researchers believe that wild cats satisfy their nutritional requirements for plant matter by consuming the contents of their prey’s stomachs. When they’re done hunting, cats eat everything, right down to the bones.

By consuming the enzymes from the prey’s stomach, they are able to reap the benefits of the plant matter, just like a human would if they took a Lactaid before eating cheese.

Cats don’t need the plant-based nutrients like carbohydrates and other “fast” energy sources because they aren’t designed to eat plant material.

Beans and Lentils

Lentil Nutrition

The nutrient density of lentils makes them a human superfood.

There are about 230 calories in one cup of cooked lentils, along with 39.9 grams of carbohydrates, 17.9 grams of protein, 15.6 grams of fiber, and 0.8 grams of fat.

One cup of cooked lentils contains nearly all of the RDI for several minerals and vitamins. This includes 90% of the RDI for folate, 49% for manganese, 37% for iron, 36% for phosphorus, 25% for copper, 18% for vitamin B6, 17% for zinc, 13% for pantothenic acid, and 10% for niacin.

However, keep in mind that these principles apply only to human beings. The nutritional value of lentils varies depending on the organism consuming them; in particular, cats do not derive anywhere near the same benefits from eating lentils as humans do.

While the high protein content of lentils may tempt you to include them in your cat’s diet, keep in mind that they will not provide your cat with the same nutritional value as they do to humans.

Are Lentils Toxic to Cats?

Cats should feel safe eating lentils. It’s okay if your cat dives headfirst into your bowl of lentil soup. While the lentils themselves are unlikely to be fatal, the other ingredients in your soup may be. Keep an eye on your cat if you discover they have been snacking on something they shouldn’t have.

Lentils

Are Lentils Healthy for Cats?

Lentils, when fed in moderation, can be beneficial to your cat’s health. Because of their high protein content, lentils aren’t completely pointless for our feline friends.

Plus, your cat will feel full longer on a diet that includes lentils, and their relatively low calorie content will aid in controlling their weight.

The dietary fiber content of lentils is also quite high. Although cats don’t have an especially high requirement for fiber, it’s still beneficial to include some in their diet.

Particularly as they age, cats’ digestive systems can benefit from a little extra help, and the added fiber in foods like lentils can help keep things moving along.

And because fiber makes you feel full for longer, it can aid your overweight cat’s weight loss efforts.

The antioxidants found in lentils can help keep your cat in top condition.

Risks of Feeding Your Cat Lentils

Lentils’ fiber content is both beneficial and harmful. Fiber helps cats with constipation and hairballs, but giving them too much can make them sick due to its laxative effect.

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The high carbohydrate content of lentils can lead to weight gain if your cat isn’t closely monitored.

siamese cat eating

Way To Prepare And Feed Lentils To Cats

Lentils can be eaten in a variety of forms, depending on the method of preparation. However, there is only one way to serve lentils to cats in terms of both preparation and texture: –

  • To begin, soak the lentils in water for a full night. This breaks down the phytates and trypsin inhibitors that can be found in these grains.
  • The soaked lentils should be cooked over a low to medium heat until soft. In this way, the animal’s digestive system will have an easier time processing the grains. However, many of the lentils’ essential minerals may be lost if they are overcooked.
  • First and foremost, just use water to cook the grains. The dish should not be seasoned in any way. Flavor enhancers like salt and spices are delicious to humans but can be fatal to cats.
  • You can either give your cat the cooked lentils on their own, or mix them into other foods like rice.

How to Safely Feed Your Cat Lentils

It’s all about moderation when it comes to giving your cat lentils. Lentils are a great addition to a cat’s diet and are good for them in moderation.

You must not substitute lentils for animal proteins in your cat’s diet. Lentils may be high in protein, but that doesn’t mean they should be a cat’s main source of nutrition.

Lentils cannot provide the same nutritional components for your cat as meats and organs do; therefore, your cat will quickly begin to suffer from malnutrition if you try to make them its primary food source.

Can Kittens Eat Lentils?

Kittens shouldn’t eat lentils because their developing stomachs can’t handle them the way an adult cat’s can.

Kittens are more defenseless than full-grown cats. Indigestion and diarrhea are more likely to occur after consuming a large quantity of lentils.

The problem with feeding your kitten lentils is that they don’t provide enough nutrition for a kitten. There is a worrying surplus of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates shouldn’t make up more than about 2% of a kitten’s diet in the wild, or even an indoor diet that’s balanced. Lentils and other legumes have the same amount of fiber.

Eating lentils could be problematic because kittens only need a tiny amount of fiber in their diets.

Due to their lack of experience, kittens could easily choke on raw lentils. Keep your kitten far away from raw lentils.

Can Cats Eat Lentils? (Here's What You Need to Know)

Can Cats Eat Lentil Soup?

Lentil soup has no nutritional value, so you shouldn’t feed it to your cat.

While it’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, in this case you absolutely should. After all, this is cat food, and if cats can’t even stomach their regular diet, there’s no reason to expect them to enjoy lentil soap.

Although there are cases in which exposing a cat to novel experiences can have positive outcomes, in this case the cat would be better off avoiding the lentil soup.

Cats will likely not develop any health issues from tasting or licking a small amount of soap, as this is no longer a novel experience for them.

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It’s possible that some kittens would enjoy trying these things when they’re younger, but they’d likely stop doing so once they realized that their developing stomachs weren’t meant to hold them.

Lentils, whether raw or cooked, and lentil soap don’t seem to provide the nutrients a cat needs and may even be harmful if given on a regular basis.

Can Cats Eat Lentil Sprouts?

Cats can, in moderation, eat lentil sprouts.

Even though cats are carnivores, they still need some greens in their diet for the vitamins and fiber. It’s generally safe to feed your cat grass.

Sprouted lentils or beans are a treat for some feline eaters. Growing sprouts or grass is easy, and you can eat the results in about a week.

Clinical associate professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at Texas A&M University Dr. Lori Teller breaks down the fundamentals of cat sprouts for all cat owners.

“Cat sprouts isn’t essential in a cat’s diet if their food is well balanced,” Teller said.

While it’s not dangerous to have cat grass on hand, you may want to check in with your vet if your cat seems to be devouring it.

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The greater worry is that a household pet, such as a cat, will mistake a batch of lentil sprouts for something more dangerous. Such plants must be kept well away from any animals.

FAQs

What are the alternatives of Lentil?

Cats can occasionally enjoy a small amount of cooked lentils without any adverse effects. Why not try a cat food made with lentils instead?

Experts recommend Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food, SuperFood Blends because the first ingredient is protein-rich chicken.

Blueberries and carrots are two other foods that are safe for cats, so you can try those out as well to see if your cat likes them.

What are lentils?

Lentils are harvested from a bushy plant in the legume family known scientifically as Lens culinaris. Lentils are the lens-shaped seeds of a plant that merely resemble beans. There is a large variety of sizes and colors of lentil seeds to choose from.

Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been eating lentils for at least the past 10,000 years. Lentils have been shown to be a particularly healthy food for people. The tiny legumes known as lentils are packed with healthy nutrients.

Folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, and zinc are just some of the many nutrients that lentils provide in abundance.

Can cats eat legumes?

Beans are safe for cats to eat, but only under certain conditions that we’ll discuss later. Vegans on the human side can get their protein from plants like beans and lentils, but cats can’t make the same substitution.

Final Thoughts

Your cat may benefit from a diet that includes lentils, but remember that moderation is the key to providing a healthy and well-rounded diet. Long-term nutritional success is more likely if you stick closely to your cat’s natural diet in the wild.

Calling a vet should be your first step if you suspect your cat has consumed something harmful to them. A vet is the best person to advise you on how to care for your cat and whether or not they need to be seen immediately.

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