Eggs are rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals and they also contain a good amount of protein as well as fats. This food is excellent for humans, especially in certain quantities.
But can cats eat eggs? We’re answering this question and more in today’s article. Read on to find out more!
Are Raw Eggs Safe to Feed to Cats?
The short answer is no.
The reason for this is that eggs can often still be covered in chicken feces even if you’ve gone out of your way to clean them as best as possible. Even the eggs that you get from the supermarket (not the Farmer’s Market or those that your own chickens lay) can be contaminated with certain germs.
The two most common microorganisms that can be found on and in raw eggs are Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Both of these can cause severe digestive distress in our feline friends.
Therefore, it is a lot better to feed cooked eggs to cats. Even though some people might argue that only raw eggs can provide the right benefits, that is not true. Boiled eggs contain a lot of nutrients, too, so they can make a great occasional snack for your pet.
In case you’re wondering, the same rule applies when feeding eggs to dogs.
What about the Eggshells?
Eggshells are extremely rich in minerals, which is also why some farmers keep them and grind them up so as to create a calcium powder that they then feed to their chickens.
While this can also be done with cats, there are many other safe mineral supplements for domesticated felines out there, and none of them might be contaminated with chicken feces.
If your cat really doesn’t have anything against eating kibble to which you’ve added a bit of eggshell powder, so long as you thoroughly wash and boil the eggs, you don’t have to worry about anything.
Is Feeding Eggs to Your Cat Beneficial?
Eggs have a lot of important nutrients, so they could be beneficial for cats in some situations. They can also be risky, but we’ll get to that in another section of the article.
Here are some of the vitamins that eggs contain:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin D
And here are some minerals that eggs are rich in:
Eggs also contain a lot of protein and unfortunately, a lot of cholesterol. A large hard-boiled egg contains 5.3 grams of fat and 212 mg of cholesterol.
The yolk has many more calories compared to the egg white, but the latter has almost half of the entire amount of protein in a whole egg.
Feeding Eggs to Cats – Potential Risks
Bacterial contamination is the first and most important risk that you are taking when feeding eggs to cats, particularly raw ones. For this reason, hard-boiled eggs are the safest option you have available. Even scrambled eggs are less safe, by comparison.
No two cats are the same when it comes to their digestion. Therefore, some might have a bad reaction to being fed egg, such as experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, while others might not show any clinical signs at all.
Do not feed your cat the eggs that you eat, especially if you’ve used any oil while cooking them or if you have added any spices or seasonings on your plate. The same goes for salt — cats are not supposed to have any salt, if at all possible.
Obese cats or those that are at a high risk of developing obesity should not have any egg in their diets.
If you have taken your feline buddy to the vet clinic and the blood tests that the vet has performed have shown that your cat has high cholesterol levels, you should avoid feeding her eggs.
How Much Egg Is Too Much?
Due to their cholesterol content, eggs should be considered occasional treats. It’s true that some cats absolutely love them, and for good reason, since they feel that they’re rich in protein and fat.
If you absolutely must, try to feed a very small amount of egg only once a week to your cat. For reference, a teaspoon is safe, but a tablespoon is way too much, even for a 10 to 15 lb cat.
Do Cats Really Need Eggs in Their Diets?
Not really. Most of the commercial cat diets available today already supply them with the nutrients they need. If you do want to give your feline friend something that you eat, you could try feeding her cooked fish or cooked chicken breast, instead — and of course, small amounts at a time, and also without any seasonings or spices.
Some cats can develop pancreatitis if they already have problems with their pancreas and you feed them eggs. Also, adding eggs as well as other types of food at the same time to your cat’s usual diet can cause digestive upset.
Before making any changes to your pet’s diet, it is always a good idea to sit down and talk to your veterinarian about it. They’re the person that best knows what your cat’s health condition is and what she is or is not supposed to eat.
As rich as they might be in certain nutrients, feeding eggs to cats can be quite risky. If your cat is really crazy about the taste, try to limit the amounts as much as possible — keep it under 5% out of her entire weekly diet.
Eggs are very rich in cholesterol and can pose a real threat to the health of cats that are obese, have diabetes, or other metabolic diseases, including kidney disease and pancreatitis.