When our cats aren't hiding in their favorite corner, they love to follow us around often with the goal of joining us for a nap. This daily intimacy with our cats begins at the breakfast table where they undoubtedly are sniffing around our plates. Before kitty gets too close, let's see if she can share a classic breakfast staple: eggs.
Can cats eat eggs?
Cats are obligate carnivores and require a protein-rich, meat-based diet. Eggs are also quite high in protein, but are they safe for cats to ingest? Yes, cats can safely eat cooked eggs, but like with most human foods, moderation is key.
What about raw eggs?
If you feed eggs to your cat make sure they are cooked (preferably boiled) and never raw. Raw or undercooked eggs come with the risk of Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. These bacterias are commonly acquired through contaminated meat, poultry, and eggs.
Raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin. If a cat consumes too much avidin, it can lead to a biotin deficiency. If the egg whites are cooked, this risk drastically decreases.
How frequently can cats eat eggs?
Although cooked eggs are safe for your cat to eat, they should not eat eggs daily. Nor should a cat eat an entire egg in one serving. One egg per day for a 10-pound cat is about the same as 15 eggs a day for an average-sized adult human, which is far too many. Stick with a small piece mixed in with their daily food and watch for any signs of digestive issues or allergies like vomiting or diarrhea.
What's the best way to serve eggs to cats?
Again, eggs should be cooked if fed to cats. Boiled is best, as the oil contained in fried eggs is fatty and unhealthy for your cat. A peeled boiled egg can be cut up in small pieces and added to your cats store-bought food or given on its own as a treat.
Egg shells are also safe for kitty to consume when they're ground in a food processor until the shells have the consistency of powder. You can sprinkle this powder on top of your cat's regular food for an extra boost of calcium. This is a creative and satisfying way to promote healthy teeth and bones for your furry friend!
Food allergies are the third most common allergy in cats ranking behind flea and inhalant allergies. Obviously, if you're aware your cat is allergic to eggs, avoid them at all costs. If you are not sure about egg allergies, consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new food to your cat.
A cat having an allergic reaction usually experiences rashes around her ears and face. Extreme allergic reactions can result in vomiting and diarrhea. If any of these symptoms arise after introducing eggs, consult a veterinarian for further guidance.
Although it may not be the first human food to come to mind, eggs are a perfectly safe treat to share with your cat. Make sure the eggs are fully cooked in order to avoid bacterial infections and not mixed with oils or other seasonings that may be harmful to your cat. Moderation is key! A cat should never eat an entire egg in one serving, but half an egg cut into bite-sized pieces is fine once or twice a week. When feeding eggs to your cat for the first time, watch for signs of distress like rashes, vomiting, or diarrhea. If any of these issues appear, consult your veterinarian. If not, feel free to share the incredible, edible love of an egg with your kitty!