Can Cats Eat Eggs?

While some foods are safe to share with your pet, there are others that should be avoided at all costs. If you have asked yourself, “Can cats eat eggs?”, you are not alone. The honest answer to this question is yes, and no, it really depends on the preparation. Cats can eat eggs so long as the eggs are cooked and prepared correctly with all shells removed.  However, just like in humans, consuming raw eggs can make your cat very sick.

What’s so bad about raw eggs?

Let’s first discuss why cats should never eat raw eggs. To begin, there are harmful bacteria in raw eggs that could be detrimental to your cat’s health.  Salmonella and E. coli can be found in uncooked eggs and could be extremely toxic and dangerous to both humans and pets. In addition, uncooked egg whites contain a protein called avidin, which binds to biotin (an essential vitamin in a cat’s diet) and blocks its absorption.

What is Biotin and What Does it Do to My Cat?

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is an essential part of your cat’s healthy diet and helps to build strong nails and a healthy coat. When your cat consumes avidin, it can rob him of this necessary nutrient, potentially leading to a vitamin deficiency, along with a myriad of other health issues.  Always remember that your cat’s diet is one of the most significant contributors to long-term health. That’s why you should always consult with your vet before making any new long-term changes to your cat’s feeding regimen.

Why Are Cooked Eggs for Cats Okay?

Cooked eggs are a great source of easily digestible protein for your cat.  The avidin that exists in raw egg yolks is denatured, i.e., cooked out, as the egg is heated.  Egg yolks that are a little runny or raw are just fine for a cat to consume.

How to Prepare Eggs for Cats

1)    Cooked scrambled eggs – this method is the easiest for cats to digest and ensures that the egg is thoroughly cooked

2)    Hard Boiled Egg – Serve your cat a fully-cooked hard boiled egg cut up on top of his food or for a snack

3)    Fried Egg – this method allows you to cook the egg white all the way through while controlling how much the egg yolk is cooked. It’s important to note that the egg must be cooked in a nonstick pan without any oil or butter

4)    Poached eggs – This method ensures all the avidin in the egg whites is cooked out but leaves the yolk runny for your cat to enjoy a creamy, savory treat.

How Much Egg is Too Much?

A cat should only have egg in moderation.  When eggs are cooked, they are fine to give to cats in small doses.  There are certain aspects of an egg’s nutritional value that make it an excellent treat for cats, mainly because it’s an easily digestible protein.  However, eggs are very high in calories, especially for a cat’s diet. An average 10-pound cat should consume somewhere around 200 calories a day, and a whole egg hovers somewhere around 80 calories.  Because of its caloric density, you should not feed your cat eggs on a regular basis. Feeding your furry friend a diet high in calories can lead to feline obesity or weight gain.  

Watch Out For Allergies

Just remember, all cats can develop a wide range of allergies, which is why you should always be careful when introducing new foods into their diet. When feeding your pet eggs, monitor his behavior and health to see if he is showing signs of a feline food allergy.

Here are the symptoms of food allergies in cats:

If any symptoms of a food allergy begin to show, make sure to contact your Vet right away.  

Although cats are omnivores, they still require a specific diet of protein to carbohydrates. The food you give to your cat should always be of the highest quality and nutrients to ensure healthy development. While it may be tempting to give your cat human food as a special treat, please remember that it should only be given in moderation

 

Sources:

“What Every Pet Owner Should Know about Food Allergies.” Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School, 30 Jan. 2017, vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/.

“6 Superfoods For Cats (Yes, They Do Exist!).” Pet Chewy, 18 Feb. 2019, petcentral.chewy.com/6-superfoods-for-cats-yes-they-do-exist/.

Barchas, Eric. “Can Cats Eat Eggs? And If So, Are Eggs Good for Cats?” Catster, 1 Nov. 2018, www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-health-can-cats-eat-eggs-ask-a-vet-food-tips.

“2: Eggs.” Animal Planet, 15 May 2012, www.animalplanet.com/pets/2-eggs/.

“7 Healthy Human Foods for Cats to Enjoy.” Healthy Pet Food for Skin & Coat, www.avodermnatural.com/blog/human-foods-cats-can-eat.

“Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Diagnosis.” WebMD, pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-allergy-symptoms-triggers#1.

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