Can cats eat eggs? Eggs are nutritious, they taste great no matter how we cook them, and they tie together many of our favorite recipes. It’s amazing how many things we can do with just a small egg, but is it a good idea to feed our cats this tasty food?
If you’re one of the many owners who give in to their cat’s pleading glances and offer them a bite of the egg for breakfast, but still ponder the question, ” can cats eat eggs?”, here are all the answers you need to know about cats and eggs.
Can cats eat eggs?
The short answer is yes, cats can eat eggs, but only in moderation and always cooked. However, remember that while eggs are packed with nutrients, their high-fat content can be harmful when trying to help your cat lose weight. If you’re considering introducing eggs into your cat’s diet. Check with your vet first to make sure you’re keeping your feline friend healthy anyway.
In general, it’s best not to feed your cat too many eggs. This can lead to them eating less of their complete, balanced diet that contains the beneficial nutrients they need. So it’s always best to offer eggs in moderation as an occasional reward. Instead of feeding a whole egg at a time, just feed a small piece of egg in addition to their regular food.
If just answered the question, Can cats eat eggs, now, let’s look at the benefits of eggs for cats.
Are eggs good for cats?
Eggs are good for cats and once cooked they are safe to eat in moderation. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they meet their nutritional needs by consuming animal protein. Eggs are a perfect source of protein, which is why many cat food manufacturers include them in their formulas. Breeders also add eggs to cats’ diets to give them healthier nails and shinier coats.
Health benefits of eggs for Cat Eggs provide much more than just protein. Here are other benefits of cats eating eggs:
- Vitamin A supports the health of your cat’s coat, skin, nervous system, and heart.
- Vitamin B12 supports your cat’s nervous system, immune system, and digestion.
- Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin promotes the production of red blood cells and antibodies, which your kitten needs to keep disease at bay.
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism.
- Vitamin D supports bone growth. Cats do not make this vitamin on their own and cannot synthesize it as we do, so it is added to cat food.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage.
- Zinc is an essential mineral that improves the quality of your cat’s hair and skin and keeps its reproductive system healthy.
- Iron is responsible for keeping red blood cells healthy. If your pet doesn’t get enough iron in his diet, he could become anemic.
- Taurine is only found in animal proteins and is necessary for maintaining healthy eyes and heart. Cats cannot make taurine themselves, so it is often added as a supplement to cat food.
- Amino acids. Eggs are very rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Cats need eleven essential amino acids and ten are found in eggs.
- Biotin helps cats with protein processing and excretion, supports adrenal and thyroid function, and improves coat and skin quality.
- No carbohydrates. As obligate carnivores, cats have no essential need for carbohydrates. Eggs are carbohydrate-free and a great source of pure protein.
When are eggs bad for cats?
While they can provide our feline friends with many essential nutrients, in some situations eggs can be bad for cats and harmful to their health.
Foremost, eggs are quite high in calories, fat, and cholesterol, so they should only be given in small amounts. Too many eggs can lead to obesity and related health problems, so offer them occasionally or as a supplement to a balanced diet.
Furthermore, eggs are a common allergy in cats and so should be incorporated into their diet slowly. Try a taste first to see if there is any side effect. If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction (itching, ear infections, or stomach upset), stop feeding and call your vet.
Eggs should not be given to cats suffering from certain health conditions, such as kidney disease and obesity, nor to cats with pancreatitis. Remember to always consult your vet before giving your pet any new food, especially human food.
Can cats eat raw eggs?
Raw eggs are not suitable for feeding your cat. The presence of bacteria such as Salmonella and E.Coli can be just as bad for your cat as it is for humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eggs are only safe if they are cooked and handled properly.
A cat’s digestive system works much faster than yours. So, any bacteria your cat eats will likely pass through it pretty quickly and won’t stay in your cat’s digestive tract long enough to cause too much trouble. Still, these bacteria can affect your cat, especially if your cat has other medical conditions or a compromised immune system.
Even if your cat doesn’t get sick, handling contaminated raw eggs or meat can expose everyone in the household to these harmful bacteria. It may be of particular importance to young children, the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems. Things like handling your pet’s bowls can spread these bacteria throughout the house if proper hygiene is not followed.
In addition, raw eggs contain a protein called avidin, which can cause problems with your cat’s ability to absorb vitamin B7, which they need for healthy skin and coat. This can eventually lead to a vitamin B7 (biotin) deficiency in your cat.
Can Cats Eat Eggs Yolks?
Eggs can be a very nutritious snack for your cat. But the high-fat content in the yolk can mean it can add too many calories to your cat’s diet, leading to weight gain. In addition, excess fat in your cat’s diet can also lead to gastrointestinal distress.
Most of the fat in eggs is in the yolk, so it’s a good idea to limit the amount of yolk you give your cat. A little yolk won’t hurt, but it’s best to be conservative.
If your cat is overweight or has kidney problems, it’s probably best not to include the yolk in their diet at all.
Can Cats Eat Eggs White?
Unlike egg yolks, egg whites contain almost no fat and contain all proteins. Compared to the yolk, which turns into 2-3g of protein in a large egg, the egg white is about 4g of protein. Giving your cat only egg whites will reduce the calories that a whole egg would provide. As most of the fat and calories are in the yolk.
Can cats eat scrambled eggs?
Scrambled eggs can be good for your cat as long as no salt or spices are added to them. The biggest concern with scrambled eggs is how they are cooked. It is easy to add too much fat to the eggs during the cooking process, which will likely increase the calorie content of the eggs.
Keep in mind that too much fat in your cat’s diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems and long-term weight gain. One way to avoid adding too much fat is to just whip the egg whites without seasoning.
Can cats eat boiled eggs?
Boiled eggs, whole or just the white, are great for cats. No extra fat is needed in their preparation, keeping the calories in check.
Once you’ve boiled the egg, mash it without seasoning and add it to your cat’s regular food or serve it as is.
Remove the yolks to reduce the calorie and fat content, and don’t forget to watch the portion size.
Can cats eat eggshells?
It is widely believed that eggshells provide a calcium boost for your cat and contribute to strong bones and teeth. In addition, the shells contain other minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron that are also good for your cat. But most cats won’t be interested in eating eggshells as they are. So you can either order eggshell powder for cats or grind shells yourself.
Because of the potential for bacteria on eggshells, make sure to cook the shells first to avoid any discomfort. Let them dry completely before putting them in the oven at 300 degrees for a short time. This process makes the shells more brittle and easier to crush.
Use a clean coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the peels into a fine powder. Once you have it, you can sprinkle about half a teaspoon of it over your cat’s usual food. Leftover shell powder can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, protected from moisture.
How to cook eggs for cats
We’ve largely addressed those concerns here, but when it comes to preparing eggs for your cat as a treat, make sure they are cooked and free of salt or spices. If you want to reduce fat or keep calories lower, just stick with protein.
The best way to prepare eggs for your cat is to scramble, boil, or poach them (no vinegar). Note that any method that requires oil or butter will add significantly to the caloric content of the eggs and should be avoided completely.
How many eggs can cats eat?
Cats don’t need many calories (an average 10-pound cat only needs about 150 to 200 calories a day), and the number of eggs your cat eats should make up no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake. A full egg is probably too much for your cat and can make her sick. A whole cat egg is roughly equivalent to eight human eggs. There are 90 calories in an egg, so the amount you give them should be very small.
Final Thoughts On Can Cats Eat Eggs
So, can cats eat eggs? Like humans, cats like variety in their diet and some will enjoy an egg snack now and then. Others… well, they may wrinkle their noses as if you just insulted them.
If your kitten is eating a quality diet that meets its nutritional needs, you don’t have to worry about feeding your cat eggs. But if your kitty seems curious, you can try eggs, following the advice we’ve provided here.