Do you like lentils? Lentils are one of my favorite foods.
On more than one occasion you have heard that lentils are a super food. Therefore, you may be wondering if lentils are also a suitable food for your cat.
As you will see, lentils can be a fun and different food for your cat. However, while they are not harmful to your cat, they are probably not the best food for your feline friends as they are for people.
What you should know about lentils
Lentils come from a plant in the legume family scientifically known as Lens culinaris.
Lentil seeds can be of different sizes and colors. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been eating lentils for more than 10,000 years.
Lentils have proven to be a very healthy food for people. Lentils are low in fat, high in protein and fiber . In fact, lentils contain the highest amount of protein among all plant foods known to man.
Lentils are also a source of many nutrients, such as folate, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.
Can Adult Cats Eat Lentils?
The short answer is that, yes, you can give your cat lentils , if they are cooked, and always in moderation. Lentils contain some good nutrients, especially proteins, which are much needed in your cat’s diet.
Cooked and prepared lentils can be a fun and interesting treat for cats.
But if your cat likes lentils, the inescapable question is, are they healthy for cats?
Well, cats are strict carnivores, which means that meat is a must for them. Although lentils contain protein and other nutrients, in order for your cat to stay healthy, most of its diet must be rich in animal protein.
For example, cats do not need fiber, obtained from lentils, in their diet. Even fiber foods can have a laxative effect on cats.
Can Kittens Eat Lentils?
With young kittens we must be more careful than with adult cats. They are even more prone to indigestion and diarrhea if they eat too many lentils.
Also, since kittens are inexperienced with different types of food, raw lentils could pose a choking hazard. You should avoid your kitty’s access to raw lentils.
Benefits and drawbacks for cats that eat lentils
The benefits provided by lentils for your cat are scarce , the nutrients that they provide are also found in meat and this is more necessary for our cats.
On the other hand, its fiber content could cause indigestion and flatulence (excess gas) in cats. This can be very uncomfortable and painful for your pet, so it is best avoided.
Lentils also contain two important antinutrient factors, trypsin inhibitors and phytates .
Trypsin inhibitors reduce your cat’s ability to digest protein. Phytates block the absorption of important dietary minerals.
However, the activity of these antinutrient factors can be reduced by soaking the lentils overnight before cooking. This is one of the reasons why you should never give your cat raw lentils.
Not forgetting the downsides, lentils can be a fun and healthy treat for your cat. And, it’s always good to give them a change from their routine meal every now and then.
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