Do Green Beans Help Slim Down Obese Cats?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Green beans are a nutritious "people food" for kitties.

    Green beans are a nutritious "people food" for kitties.

    Offering your pet foods made for human consumption is a generally unhealthy practice, but a few notable exceptions exist. Green beans are among them. The good old green bean, served as a regular treat, can help overweight and obese cats slim down -- not bad.

    Safety

    Before thinking about whether any natural food is helpful for feline weight loss, you need to make sure it's safe to feed it to your kitty in the first place. According to the ASPCA, green beans are totally harmless and safe for your cat. Green beans are one of the few favorite people foods you can share with your pet, since most human foods are simply not appropriate for felines.

    Green Beans for Weight Loss

    When it comes to assisting your cutie in his battle of the bulge, one of the secrets is to cut down on treats that may taste wonderful but aren't so wonderful for the feline waistline. For this purpose, the U.S. Army Veterinary Services recommends green beans. Instead of giving your cat calorie-laden crispy cheese treats, for example, consider offering canned green beans. Green beans are a good source of fiber. You don't want to serve your cat too many, so limit the beans to about four or five. Some fiber is beneficial, but an overload is not a great idea, as it can reduce vital nutrient digestibility.

    Portion Reduction

    Understandably, one major aspect of helping an obese cat lose weight involves portion reduction, plain and simple. Speak to your veterinarian regarding how much exactly you should take away, and take into consideration your fluff ball's age and overall bill of health, too. If your pet is having a hard time feeling satisfied with decreased portions, consult the vet about temporarily substituting the amount of "normal" food you eliminated with healthy green beans, at least until he fully adjusts. Remember, cats require primarily meat-based diets.

    Prescription Diet Plan

    Don't rely solely on green beans to get your obese kitty's weight down. Speak to the veterinarian in depth about devising a dietary plan that will still provide your cat with all the vital nutrients he needs, while simultaneously allowing him to safely and steadily lose weight. The vet may give you tips on what you can do yourself, such as increasing the fermentable fiber in your cat's daily food. She also may recommend that your pet follow a prescription diet regimen. Be sure to also make sure your fluff ball gets sufficient regular exercise, no excuses. Diet is just one component of healthy weight loss, of course.

    Types

    All varieties of green beans can be a good treat for felines, from fresh to frozen or canned. If you're opting for canned green beans, make sure they're either low in sodium or totally free of it. Canned foods often contain a lot of salt. Also make sure to avoid feeding your cat seasoned or otherwise flavored green beans. Butter contains milk and can lead to stomach upset in kitties, as the little guys are usually lactose-intolerant. Herbs can bother a cat's sensitive digestive tract. You want to keep the calorie count low; totally plain green beans are optimal.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images