Egg whites and yolks contain no carbohydrates, are rich in protein, and are a source of healthy fats. Given these health benefits, you may wonder if your cat can eat eggs. Cats may eat cooked eggs, but not raw eggs.
You can feed eggs to your cats, but they must be prepared. Raw eggs contain the protein avidin, which prevents the cat’s body from absorbing biotin. Raw eggs may also contain salmonella. Cooking the eggs kills these bacteria and also neutralizes the avidin. Eggs should always be boiled or poached for cats, peeled, and divided into bite-sized pieces.
Do not throw away the eggshells, as they are a good source of calcium. After you have boiled an egg, peel it, let it cool and dry, and chop it up.
They should grind the shell into fine particles the size of grains of sand. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of it over your cat’s food to increase calcium intake.
Can Cats Eat Raw Eggs?
As mentioned earlier, cats should not eat raw eggs. Cats are at the same risk of contracting salmonella as humans.
In addition, raw egg whites contain the glycoprotein avidin, which interrupts the absorption of biotin due to an interaction. Avidin combines with biotin and prevents its absorption.
Cats need biotin, or vitamin H, to maintain a healthy coat, skin, and claws.
Biotin is also vital for carnivores because it helps the body eliminate protein byproducts.
However, it also supports other body functions and organs, such as the reproductive and nervous systems and the thyroid and adrenal glands.
Boiling eggs kills salmonella and neutralizes avidin in the egg white.
Signs of Biotin Deficiency
One study found that cats can naturally produce biotin independently, so they don’t need to get it from food.
However, if a cat eats raw egg whites, biotin deficiency can still occur. This is because the avidin in raw egg whites prevents the absorption of biotin.
Instead, the avidin-biotin pairs are excreted. If the cat is repeatedly fed raw egg whites, the biotin deficiency becomes noticeable through skin problems.
The signs of biotin deficiency are:
- Skin lesions
- Scaly dermatitis
- Achromotrichia, a loss of pigment in the coat
- Dried saliva, nasal, and tear secretions in female cats
- Weight loss
- Bloody diarrhea
Your veterinarian may prescribe a biotin supplement to aid in recovery from a biotin deficiency.
Signs of Salmonella Infection
Salmonella is a bacterium that is transmissible to humans but also to cats. It is a zoonotic disease that leads to intestinal inflammation and, if left untreated, septicemia. This can lead to death even with treatment.
Raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which can lead to severe infections.
Signs of salmonella infection include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Mucus in the feces
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Blood loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rapid heart rate
- Skin diseases
- Vaginal discharge
Female cats that are pregnant might also miscarry due to a salmonella infection.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Eggs?
Boiled eggs are a great source of protein and amino acids for cats. They are also rich in vitamins B, A, D, E, and K and iron, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, and selenium.
Including cooked eggs in your cat’s diet in moderation can benefit its health. In addition, eggs are pretty high in fat, so they can help with weight gain.
However, cats can be allergic to eggs. So start with a small amount and watch for any adverse effects.
Signs of egg allergy may include vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin or ears, and skin infections. After a week, if no symptoms appear, you can start making eggs a regular treat.
However, the eggs must be fully cooked and not contain a runny yolk.
Can Cats Eat Eggs and Cheese?
Almost all cats are lactose intolerant. Even eating a small amount of dairy products can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Still, many veterinarians believe that a bit of cheese can’t hurt in rare cases.
As with eggs, cats can be allergic to dairy products. Even a tiny bite of cheese can trigger a reaction. So cats should avoid milk, cheese, and any other dairy products.
However, it is not a problem if your cat steals a bit of your egg and cheese omelet when you’re not paying attention.
On the other hand, if you want to include eggs in your cat’s diet, you should only feed him poached or hard-boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs are also acceptable, depending on how they are prepared.
Can Cats Eat Eggshells?
A powder made from chicken eggshells is a good source of calcium. Studies have shown that cats can benefit from eating eggshells.
Eggshells are 95% calcium carbonate, while the remaining 5% is a complex mixture of proteins that affect how the calcium builds and protects the fluids within.
Cats need calcium in their diet, and crushed eggshells are one way to ensure this.
A cat that does not get enough calcium in its diet will develop a calcium deficiency.
However, calcium is essential for kitten growth and helps maintain healthy body functions in cats of all ages.
These include bone growth, muscle contraction, blood clotting, nervous system function, and many other body functions and organs.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stiff limbs
- Difficulty walking
- Itching of the face
- Muscle twitching
Severe cases of calcium deficiency can lead to death if untreated. Other health problems can also cause calcium deficiency.
These symptoms can be alleviated by feeding eggshells.
As long as no other health problems are present, including eggshells in the cat’s diet may also prevent calcium deficiency from developing.
Eggshells should be crushed to prevent gagging or constipation. Sprinkle the eggshell powder over your cat’s regular food.
To address concerns about salmonella or avidin, boil the eggshells beforehand. After cooling, crush the shells into tiny pieces or until they look like refined grains of sand.
Sprinkle half a teaspoon of this eggshell powder over your cat’s food; store the rest in an airtight container.
However, talk to your veterinarian about how often you should give your cat eggshells when you can.
Do Cats Like Eggs?
A cat can be picky about its food; therefore, whether cats like eggs depends on your cat’s preferences.
In general, however, it seems that many cats like to eat eggs.
Do Cats Need Eggs?
Cats are obligate carnivores that get all the nutrients they need from eating meat. So, a cat does not need to eat eggs.
However, occasionally, adding eggs to your cat’s diet can be beneficial in moderation.
The eggs’ high protein and amino acid content helps ensure your cat gets all the nutrients it needs. The egg is also an excellent source of taurine.
However, eggs cannot replace other essential foods in a cat’s diet. It would be best to consider them only as a treat or an addition to regular meals.
As a rule, eggs should not comprise more than 5% of your cat’s diet.
Egg Yolk and Hairballs
Egg yolks are a natural remedy for hairballs in cats. However, we would recommend consulting a veterinarian before trying egg yolk as a food for cats with hairball problems.
Including cooked egg yolk in your cat’s food will help him eliminate swallowed hair.
Egg yolks contain choline and lecithin. These two nutrients have a dual effect on your cat’s internal organs.
Choline contains acetylcholine, which enables the body to move things more efficiently in the digestive tract.
Lecithin emulsifies fat. The hairs in your cat’s stomach are associated with fats. Lecithin stops the hair from binding and breaks up the larger hair clumps in the stomach.
This ensures the hair can pass through the digestive tract without forming a hairball.
The recommendation is to give a maximum of one or two cooked egg yolks per week. However, this can lead to weight gain due to the high-fat content.
Can Cats Eat Too Many Eggs?
Eggs are protein-rich, and cats have evolved to convert protein into energy.
If a cat has an excess of protein in its body, it will convert it to fat. A wild cat can rely on these fat reserves to survive winters with little prey.
Domestic cats, however, are fed regularly and do not need these fat stores. Therefore, it is easy to overfeed a cat.
Feeding your cat too much egg can lead to obesity, which, in turn, can lead to other health problems.
Egg yolks are also high in fats and cholesterol, so too much can lead to heart problems. The egg white is the best part of the egg for feeding a cat.
How to Prepare Eggs for Cats?
Eggs should be hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled. Do not add spices to eggs or dairy products to scrambled eggs.
Cats are lactose intolerant, and cooking will not remove the lactose. The same goes for spices, some of which – like garlic and onions – can be toxic to cats.
Hard-boiled eggs should be peeled and mashed or chopped into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle these pieces over your cat’s regular food or offer them as a treat.
Do not use oil, lard, or butter to grease the pan when scrambling or frying eggs. These foods are not healthy for your cat and will cause digestive problems.
Eggs can be included in your cat’s diet, but they must be thoroughly cooked and served in moderation.