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Can Cats Eat Eggs? Are Eggs Safe for Cats?

If you’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and have some leftover eggs from brunch, can you feed them to your cat? Are eggs safe for cats to eat? The good news is that, yes, eggs are safe for cats to eat in small quantities, as long as they’re cooked and unseasoned. Cats should never eat raw eggs.

Let’s find out more about eggs, so you can decide whether or not you want to feed your cat a small amount of egg every now and again.

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What’s good about eggs for cats?

Cat eating eggs_shutterstock_okeykat
Image Credit By: okeykat, shutterstock

Eggs contain high levels of protein and amino acids. Both of these are used by your cat’s body to help build healthy and lean muscle. Eggs are also easy to digest.

Egg whites contain very little fat but a lot of protein. Egg yolks contain a lot of fat and very little protein! So if you’re feeding egg to try and raise the protein content of your cat’s diet, then the whites will be more beneficial.

What’s bad about eggs for cats?

If your cat is on a calorie-controlled diet, feeding them egg yolks can increase the number of fats and calories they’re consuming very quickly. This can lead to them becoming obese and increase the risk of them suffering from complications like diabetes.

Meals containing a high level of fats, like egg yolks, can increase the risk of your cat suffering from gastrointestinal issues as they struggle to digest their meal. Long term, it can also lead to conditions like pancreatitis.

Do cats like eggs?

Some cats may like the occasional piece of egg as a treat. Eggs don’t smell strongly appealing to cats, so many cats won’t be too bothered if you offer them a piece. Cats do like variety in their diets, but that doesn’t mean they will all enjoy the taste and texture of an egg.

The best way to find out is to give your cat a very small amount of cooked egg and see if they seem to like it or not.

If your cat does like egg, you may prefer to feed your cat a commercially prepared cat food that contains egg, like Purina Beyond Simply Grain-Free Kibble. They have multiple flavors including egg as a main ingredient. Doing this means you can feed your cat eggs but also feel confident that they’re getting all the nutrition they require.

What’s the best way to prepare egg for your cat?

Eggs should always be cooked before you feed them to your cat. Hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled eggs are the best option –– but don’t add any seasonings, oil, or butter. If the egg is hard-boiled, carefully peel it and make sure there are no remnants of shell.

How much egg can your cat eat?

Soft and boiled eggs in basket image in Food and Drink category at pixy.org
Image Credit By: Dorthea Olson, pixy

You should only ever feed your cat a small amount of egg as a treat. Two small pieces of chopped hardboiled egg, or around a tablespoon of egg per week will likely be enough. Feeding more than this can increase the number of calories your cat is eating, so you may find they start to put too much weight on if you feed them any more egg than this.

Can cats be allergic to eggs?

Yes, some cats are allergic to eggs. While this is usually rare, the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University lists eggs as one of the most commonly reported food allergies in cats.

If you do decide to feed your cat egg, start with a very small amount and observe your cat over the next 24 hours. If you see any of the following signs, we recommend that you don’t feed your cat any more egg:

  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Frequent scratching
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing or sneezing

Can cats eat raw eggs?

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that raw eggs should never be fed to cats. It’s possible that they can contain salmonella or E.coli: types of bacteria that are destroyed by cooking. Symptoms of bacterial poisoning can include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea, and need prompt medical care.

Raw egg whites also include avidin, a protein that binds to Vitamin B7, also known as biotin. This means that your cat can’t absorb this essential vitamin. If you feed your cat raw eggs regularly, over time, they could develop a Vitamin B7 deficiency.

The good news is that cooking the egg makes it safe for your cat to eat.

Can kittens eat eggs?

A very small amount of cooked egg is safe for your kitten to eat, but even a small amount of egg will provide a lot of your kitten’s daily calories. You may find more suitable foods to give your kitten as a treat. Never feed your kitten egg in an attempt to add nutrients to their diet.

It’s always better to find a food that’s been specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of kittens.

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Wrapping it up

Eggs contain good levels of both protein and fats, depending on which part your cat eats! They can be fed as the occasional treat, as long as they’re completely cooked and free from any seasonings.

Eggs should never be used as the only source of protein in your cat’s diet.

While some cats may enjoy a small piece of egg every now and again, this food doesn’t offer them any nutritional benefits that they can’t get from their regular cat food. It’s always best to feed your cat a diet that’s primarily made up of a nutritionally balanced cat food. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your precious feline is getting all the goodness they need to stay happy and healthy.

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Featured Image Credit By: ponce_photography, pixabay