Edamame is very healthy for humans but not all food that is healthy for us is also healthy for cats. So how about the delicious edamame? Can cats eat edamame?
Somehow the cats are drawn to edamame, at least that is what I have seen in my experience. I don’t know if it is the texture or the smell but whenever a few edamame drops to the ground, cats run to grab them. But can cats eat edamame? It is not like they go crazy for them like they do for wet cat food but they definitely want to have some. Is edamame safe for cats?
Can cats eat edamame?
The short answer is yes, cats can eat edamame. Edamame is not toxic or harmful for cats and can be easily marked as safe for feline consumption but this doesn’t mean you should replace your cat’s regular cat food with edamame. Cats are obligate carnivores and they get their required nutrition from animal sources. Plants are not as beneficial to cats as they are to us.
Edamame is basically soybeans that is cultivated early while it is still green so it has lots of similarities to soybeans when nutritional value is considered but it is not exactly the same. There is a certain difference in taste and texture but edamame and soybeans are actually both low calorie, high fiber, high protein foods. However, while edamame is considered a green vegetable, soybeans are legumes.
Don’t let the high protein content fool you. Cat digestive system is evolved to process animal proteins, not plant proteins so the real benefit is not there. The main benefit and risk that edamame has for cats is in its fiber content. Although this high fiber content can solve some digestive issues for your kitty, too much of it can cause bloating and diarrhea.
Also some cats may have allergic reactions to this otherwise harmless plant. Although rare, these allergic reactions can be severe in some cases. The allergic reactions to edamame can include:
- Inflamed or itchy skin
- Hair loss and excessive scratching
- Gurgling noises in stomach
If you see these symptoms after your cat eats some edamame, please stop feeding your cat edamame and consult your veterinarian immediately.
How many edamame can cats eat?
While there are much more beneficial snacks for cats such as lettuce, your kitty might have some benefits from one or two occasional edamame. Since edamame is rich in fibers more than a couple of edamame can cause diarrhea or bloating. Also the pods might be hard for cats to digest so your cat’s once a week edamame should not include the pods.
Can cats eat soybeans?
Since edamame and soybeans are basically the same plant, you may assume everything we said about edamame applies to soybeans as well but soybeans are slightly different than edamame. However, it is not toxic to cats and it even has less sodium content than edamame so as long as it is cooked properly and given in moderation, soybeans do not pose any risk to your little friend.
Can Cats Eat Edamame? – Conclusion
After all these information, let’s sum it up. Can cats eat edamame? Yes, they can eat edamame and it might be slightly beneficial to cats but if you haven’t fed any edamame to your cat before, it is better to start with very little pieces and check for any allergic reaction.
Also, since edamame does not have all the nutrients your kitty needs, it can not replace the main meal of your cat and can only be an occasional treat. Remember that giving too much edamame can cause diarrhea and bloating due its fiber content so a couple of edamame once a week is enough.
If you see any kind of adverse reactions or any unusual behaviors from your cat, please consult your veterinarian because some cats can be allergic to this amazing plant.