Eggs are often praised for their high protein content and nutritional value so it is not uncommon for humans to consume eggs on a regular basis.
However, we don’t consume eggs raw which will maybe give you a hint when determining whether or not cats can eat eggs too.
In short, cats can safely consume cooked eggs but it is important to know the risks and benefits before serving up eggs for your beloved feline.
Eggs As Part Of A Cat’s Natural Diet
Wild cats may occasionally raid birds’ nests and eat the eggs they find. As obligate carnivores, the nutrition provided in eggs is easily digested and safe for a cat to eat.
If your cat has never eaten egg before and you would like to offer them some, be sure to give them a very small amount and watch for signs and symptoms of an egg allergy (outlined at the end of the article).
According to the Tufts University Cummins Veterinary Medical Center egg is a common allergy in cats and dogs.
Although this is important to know, it is worth remembering that the total number of pets who suffer from food allergies is low.
The Nutritional Value of Eggs
As we mentioned earlier, eggs are high in protein which is great for a cat.
They are also high in vitamins including A, B, D, E and K as well as iron, zinc, thiamine, selenium and riboflavin.
An egg contains nutrients which help to keep your cats claws strong, fur thick and eyes clear.
Overall, a small amount of egg makes a great snack for cats.
Why Cats Should Only Have A Small Amount Of Egg In Their Diets
We say a small amount because eggs are also high in cholesterol and fat which can lead to weight gain and the related issues such as heart problems.
If your cat is overweight or has kidney problems then it may be best to avoid giving eggs at all.
Also remember that your cat is small and does not require a large number of calories each day, feeding a whole egg would be far too much and would mean your cat could miss out on proper meals and nutrition due to this.
Therefore, offering a small amount of egg as an occasional treat is more than enough.
When you consider that one egg for a cat is about the equivalent to eight eggs for a human it is clear to see why offering a whole egg is too much.
Can I Feed My Cat Raw Eggs?
No, raw eggs should not be offered due to the risk of bacteria.
Raw eggs often carry bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli which can cause your cat to become unwell and this infection can also then be spread to people.
By cooking the egg, you kill the bacteria and reduce the risk of illness.
Cooking the egg also denatures avidin, which is a protein that in raw eggs would bind to biotin and over time could cause a biotin deficiency.
Will My Cat Actually Eat Egg if Offered?
This completely depends on your cat, cats are known for being both fussy when it comes to food and equally known for being adventurous.
This usually means they do enjoy some variation in their diet but you won’t really know for sure until you’ve offered a small piece to your kitty and seen how they react.
Your cat may not want to try the egg on its own but may enjoy it when mixed in with kibble.
Some cat foods contain a small amount of egg in their recipes which is a balanced way to include egg within your cats’ diet.
How To Cook An Egg For A Cat
The egg should be fully cooked before offering it to your cat, this can be done by boiling, poaching or scrambling it (do not use fats, oils or milk when scrambling the egg).
When the egg is cooked and the shell has been removed you should limit the portions and offer a small amount.
You can offer the egg on its own as a treat or you can mix a small amount with their usual kibble to change things up a little at meal time.
Just remember, egg should be an occasional treat and not a daily part of your cats’ diet.
Can Cats Have Eggs Instead of Meat?
No, do not use eggs as a way to replace meat in your cat’s diet.
Meat is an essential part of a cat’s diet and they need it to get all of the nutrition they need.
Remember that your cat is an obligate carnivore which means they must eat meat in order to get the proper nutrition their bodies need.
Can Cats Eat Egg Shell?
The egg shell can be powdered and offered as a sprinkling over your cats’ food in order to provide a boost in calcium.
The shell can be boiled first if you are concerned about bacteria and should be left to dry before grinding them.
However, do not leave the shell on the egg when you offer it to your cat as it is a choking hazard.
Can I Offer My Kitten Egg?
Yes, you can offer kittens a small amount of egg too.
However, it is very important to consider the small number of calories a kitten requires in a day and whether or not it is worth offering egg as part of this.
As kittens only eat a small amount it is vital to make sure what they do consume is providing them with all of the nutrients they require.
Although it is safe for kittens, we’d suggest offering egg as a treat to older cats as there are better options to offer kittens.
Signs of Egg Allergy in Cats
If you notice any of these symptoms after feeding your cat egg, it may be that your cat is allergic and you should avoid feeding egg in the future.
• Sneezing and wheezing
• Itchy skin
• Runny eyes
• Swollen paws
It is safe to offer your cat a small amount of cooked egg; your cat will probably enjoy the taste and they are healthy and high in nutritional value. The two important points are that the egg must be cooked and you must moderate the portions. Cats often need to be rationed and portion controlled as they will easily overeat. By offering a small portion, your cat can enjoy the benefits without becoming nutritionally deficient in other areas or overweight.