September 9, 2020

Can Cats Eat Eggs?

Cat Food Guide

Fact checked by Dr. Edele Grey, DVM
Published by Sheila Wilson

Vet Approved

Cats seem to be in their own little world. They love to explore and play with whatever they can find. However, there is one thing cats seem to love more than anything; and that is food. You may start hearing your cat meowing when they see you making food, and you know they want to have a taste.

However, knowing what foods are safe to give to your pet is important for a happy cat. You also want to know if it is healthy for your furry friend to eat. In this article, we will be going over eggs to see if they are a good option for your cat.

Can Cats Eat Eggs?

Yes, cats can eat eggs. Cooked eggs can be a great high protein treat with many useful nutrients like thiamine and vitamins B, A, D, E, and K. Raw eggs are not suitable for cats because they may contain Salmonella. Also, check our vet-approved feeding guidelines as some cats may be allergic and should not be fed eggs.

"Eggs are a great high protein treat for kitties packed with some extra vitamins and minerals that complement their normally balanced diet.", confirms veterinarian surgeon Dr. Edele Grey.

It can also depend on your cat, as some can be picky eaters. One cat may enjoy this, while another could turn its nose up and walk away. Each cat is different, so they may not warm up to it quickly.

Eggs do also have a lot of benefits that can help out with your cat's diet. However, it is important to give them only as treats and not as a meal. Giving too much is not never the best option. We will go over more on this later on.

Health Benefits: Are Eggs Good for Cats?

You may be wondering what things eggs offer that could help your kitty cat. There are a few nutrients found in eggs that prove to benefit your furry friend. Let's take a look at some of these now.

Small amounts of boiled or unseasoned scrambled eggs are great treat options for your kitty. They're full of protein and provide a little extra vitamins B, A, and K to your fur-friend's diet.
- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

High in Protein

Protein is one of the main benefits of eggs. Cats are carnivores, and they eat a diet high in animal protein. This protein often comes from chicken, fish, lamb, beef, liver, and other such meat products, but eggs are a good source of protein for your cat too.

Your cat needs 2 grams of protein per each pound of their body weight every day, so make sure your pet's diet is balanced, and they are getting enough protein in their diet to stay healthy.

boiled eggs

Packed with Vitamins

Another great thing about eggs is that they are packed with vitamins that can help your feline out. Vitamins found in eggs include vitamins B, A, D, E, and K. All of these help to keep your cat's system running smoothly.

The vitamin B complex helps to give them energy. This is because the food they take gets turned into energy for more playtime, and vitamin B is essential in this process. Vitamin A helps to provide your kitty with good eyesight, and it also helps with their cell growth.

Vitamin D also plays a good role for your furry friend. It assists by making sure their bones are growing healthy. Vitamin E helps to keep their immune system healthy. Last but not least, there is Vitamin K. This helps to clot the blood faster from any injury they may incur.

Contains Thiamine

Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is found in eggs. This mineral is important for your cat's daily diet. The reason for this is because it helps out with your kitty's brain function. In addition, it also aids in helping other organs that use a lot of energy. When all your furry friend's organs are working great; you will have a happy cat in your home.

Health Risks: Are Eggs Bad for Cats?

While eggs do contain some good benefits, eggs can also cause problems if you aren't careful. It is one reason why you want to feed it in small amounts. It will ensure a safe snack time.

Weight gain

While protein helps your kitty in many ways, it isn't good to let them have too much. Since eggs are so high in protein, it is best to give it in small amounts. Excess protein is stored in the body as fat, and a diet that is too high in protein may cause your cat to gain weight.

If you are feeding your cat with high-quality cat food, they are already getting enough protein in their food. A little extra won't hurt, but be sure to keep the eggs as a small treat in addition to that well-balanced diet.

If your furry friend is already overweight, you giving them eggs may not be the right choice. While the egg whites contain protein without the fat, egg yolks don't. Keep this in mind if you decide to give your cat eggs. Egg yolks may cause your cat to add a few extra pounds if you give too much of it.

Allergies to Eggs

When you first give your cat eggs, you will want to watch them for a bit. This is because some cats can be allergic to eggs.

However, it isn't common, so it is most likely safe for your cat. If you observe them after they eat eggs for the first time, you will be able to tell if they get allergic symptoms or not.

Here are a few systems to look for when you first start giving your cats some egg.

  • Scratching
  • Excessive grooming
  • Vomiting frequently
  • Rashes or red spots
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive problems

If you see any of these signs, stop feeding your cat eggs and take them to the vet for a check-up.

No Raw Eggs

You may be curious to know if you can give your cat raw eggs. The simple answer is no. Raw eggs are not safe for cats to eat at all. This is because they may contain the nasty bacterium, Salmonella, which cats are able to contract.

Never feed raw egg to your kitty as it may contain the bacterium Salmonella, which causes a nasty tummy upset with vomiting and diarrhea.
- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

If your cat happens to eat some raw egg, it is best to take them to the vet. Even though it might not be a lot, it is best to check. Some symptoms of salmonellosis are vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. If not taken care of quickly, it could be fatal for your furry friend. Salmonellosis is especially troublesome for cats that are older, very young, or have a weakened immune system.

Serving Size and How to Feed?

The part to keep in mind when feeding them eggs is to keep it in small quantities. There are also different methods that you can use when feeding eggs to your cat. This is to help ensure a safe, happy snack time.

Different Methods to Try

There are a few different ways you can give eggs to your cat. The first option is to boil the egg. Make sure to take off all the shell and let it cool. After it has cooled, you can give some in small bits for treats.

It is best not to give them the whole boiled egg as it would be too much, and they probably won't eat it all or could give them an upset tummy.

Another option is to give scrambled eggs with no seasoning or salt. It is also best to scramble the eggs without milk, butter, or cooking spray. Once it is fully cooked, you can then give it to your cat, after it's cooled down of course.

How Often to Give Eggs to Your Cat

The best thing to do is not to give your cat eggs every day, as it should be treated as a special treat. To prevent weight gain from this high-protein snack, you should only give it a few times a month and stick to small amounts at a time.

Eggs, along with other treat options, should add up to no more than 10% of your cats daily calorie intake. Since an average 10-pound cat only eats up to 150-200 calories per day and one whole egg contains about 90 calories, the amounts you should be feeding your cat are very small.

Don't serve more than about one or two cubes of egg per feeding to keep your cats diet in balance.

Nutrition Facts

As we mention above, there are a lot of benefits to giving eggs to your cat as treats. You already know it has animal protein your cat needs, and it is packed with vitamins. However, there are a few more things that eggs contain in them.

They also include zinc, which also aids with the immune system. It helps in fighting off viruses and bacteria. Iron is also found in eggs that help with giving oxygen to the blood cells. As you can see, there are a lot of minerals and vitamins found in an egg that can be beneficial to your cat.

Bottom line: Can Cats Have Eggs?

Eggs are an excellent treat that your cat may enjoy. However, cats can be picky. If your cat doesn't seem interested in it, don't worry as there are many other good animal protein sources for your pet.

Just remember to stick to moderation when feeding eggs to your cat. Just a couple of small cubes a few times a month is more than enough to let your cat get the benefits without health risks.

Related reading: Best Cat Foods - Top Picks to Keep Your Cat Healthy and Thriving

Vet's Comment

Small amounts of boiled or unseasoned scrambled eggs are great treat options for your kitty. They're full of protein and provide a little extra vitamins B, A, and K to your fur-friend's diet.

Eggs shouldn't replace their usual complete, nutritionally balanced kibble, but do make a healthy snack option. If your kitty is a little chubby, it's best to minimize treats, but a tiny piece of egg white as an extra special tidbit is fine.

- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

Dr. Edele Grey Veterinary Surgeon

Vet-Approved by
Dr. Edele Grey
DVM

Edele Grey, BSc, MVB, PGCertESM, MRCVS was born and raised in Ireland on a farm, so she was destined for veterinary-related work from a young age. Dr. Grey attended the only veterinary university in Ireland, the University College Dublin, and graduated in 2013. Since graduation, Dr. Grey has worked with a range of exotic, companion, and production animal species.

NOTE: Advice provided within this article is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your cat's specific dietary needs (based on his breed, weight, age, and health status) with a veterinarian.

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