As obligate carnivores, cats always want to eat protein-rich foods. This isn’t just a taste preference – it’s a necessity to keep felines healthy. Cooked eggs are a good source of protein for cats.
Arguably more than any other food, eggs are surrounded by myths and untruths that make people wary about their nutritional value. We will look at how you can safely introduce eggs into your pet’s diet. You may be surprised at just how much good they can do your cat’s health and wellbeing.
- 1 Are Cooked Eggs Good for Cats?
- 2 Can Cats Eat Boiled Eggs?
- 3 Can Cats Eat Scrambled Eggs?
- 4 Can Cats Eat Poached Eggs?
- 5 Can Cats Eat Fried Eggs?
- 6 Can Cats Eat Egg Shells?
- 7 Can Cats Eat Egg Whites?
- 8 Can Cats Eat Raw Eggs?
Are Cooked Eggs Good for Cats?
Cooked eggs are a superfood for felines. This is because they are a fantastic source of taurine, the essential amino acid that cat bodies require to function. Introducing eggs into your cat’s diet as a complementary food can have numerous health benefits.
Despite this, eggs should be fed to cats sparingly. This is not due to cholesterol. Cats that suffer from heart disease usually do so as a hereditary condition (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).
Obesity can aggravate this condition, but eggs consumed in sensible quantities will not cause excessive weight gain. Another potential cause is dilated cardiomyopathy, which is caused by insufficient levels of taurine. As we have established, eggs will have quite the opposite impact.
Some of the other health benefits of eggs include the presence of:
- Vitamins A, B, D, E and K
Of course, eggs are also broken into three core elements:
- Eggshells are very good for your cat, but must be cooked and ground up. Never feed your cat a whole eggshell, as this is a choking hazard.
- Egg Whites are high in protein, but can be an allergen. Observe your cat for any signs of an allergic reaction to egg whites.
- Egg Yolks contain the bulk of health benefits for cats. Yolks are ideal in moderation.
Before we go any further, there are a few more pieces of egg-related housekeeping. We sincerely hope that this goes without saying, but never offer your cat rotten eggs or eggs that may have gone bad. You would not eat them yourself, so why should your cat?
Also, as we will explain in greater detail elsewhere, never feed your cat raw eggs. This food must always be cooked thoroughly and safely.
While eggs are good for cats, they are no substitute for a balanced diet. A single boiled egg does not replace meat, or high-quality cat food. Eggs are just complimentary food.
How Often Should Cats Eat Eggs?
Eggs are an occasional treat for your cat. A typical domestic feline only needs around 200 calories each day, maximum. A single boiled egg will account for around 90 of these. As eggs alone do not provide a balanced diet, that doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
The best way to get eggs into your cat’s diet is to offer a slice at a time. This will give you an idea of whether your pet likes them, for a start. Your cat will also then gain nutrients, without any real risk.
If our cat seems to develop a taste for eggs, offer small quantities once or twice a week. Here’s a way to look at things. Pound-for-pound, a single egg for a cat is equivalent to fifteen eggs to a human. This should give you an idea of just how dangerous overfeeding eggs to a feline can be.
What are the Risks of Overfeeding Eggs to Cats?
There are two primary risks of providing too many eggs to cats:
- Obesity. Eggs are comparatively high in calories for a cat’s tiny body. If your pet eats too many, they’ll quickly gain weight. Obesity comes with a long list of health risks for felines.
- Excess protein. While cats need taurine to flourish, they can struggle to process it in large amounts. This can lead to kidney problems, and urinary tract infections.
Can Cats Eat Boiled Eggs?
Cats can eat boiled eggs, but this doesn’t mean you should offer an egg and leave it. Boiling an egg, removing the shell and slicing it up can make a great feline snack, though.
Eggs for cats should be hard boiled. That means no runny yolk, and a sturdy, rubbery white exterior. You must remove the shell of a boiled egg before offering it to a cat, too.
While a cat may enjoy crunching through a tough eggshell, it can be hazardous to your cat’s health. If the shell splinters, injuries to the throat or choking are likely.
How to Boil an Egg for Your Cat
- A boiled egg for your cat must be hard. That means placing the egg is boiling water for a minimum of ten minutes.
- Once that’s done, you won’t be able to feed your cat straight away.
- Remove the shell, and let the egg cool down to room temperature. If it’s too hot, your cat will reject the egg.
You’ll also need to check whether your cat cares for eggs before committing. Slice the hard-boiled egg up, and select a piece that includes the yolk. Offer this to your cat, and see how they react.
If our cat seems interested, chill the remainder in the fridge. You can offer the remaining slices every few days. If your cat isn’t interested, you could try mixing the egg in with their kibble.
Remember that cats are smart, though. When they get a whiff of egg, it could put them off their entire meal. If they’re particularly fussy, they may refuse to eat this brand of kibble again. It doesn’t make much to ‘taint’ food in the eyes of a feline.
Can Cats Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Scrambled eggs are possibly the best way to introduce eggs to your cat. A vet will recommend scrambled eggs as food for a cat with diarrhea. This dish is bland, but still contains sufficient protein.
However, this blandness is essential. Never season your scrambled eggs with herbs, salt, pepper or spices if they’re for a cat. Also, you’ll need to avoid butter and oil in the cooking process. These will be too fatty for your pet to cope with.
Scrambled eggs can be mixed with cat kibble to make a nutritious meal. As always, you’ll have to feed it sparingly. If you cat seems to like scrambled eggs, however, that’s no bad thing. Just remember that they cannot enjoy the same bells and whistles as humans.
How to Make Scrambled Eggs for Cats
Scrambled eggs that are suitable for cats are a little different to the traditional breakfast recipe. You won’t be able to use butter, oil or seasoning, for a start. You should also avoid adding milk if that’s your usual technique. Many cats are lactose intolerant.
- Choose a non-stick pan to make up for the lack of oil.
- Crack one egg into this pan, and start frying it on low heat.
- Around halfway through the process, start to scramble it up.
- Let it cool, and it will be ready to serve.
If your cat shows no interest, you could add a tiny amount of cooked bacon. No feline will be able to resist the smell of this! We do mean a tiny amount, though. Bacon is far from healthy for cats, not least because of the high sodium content. Use this ingredient very sparingly.
Can Cats Eat Poached Eggs?
Poached eggs are typically the healthiest option available to you. However, they’re also the easiest to undercook. A good poached egg will be creamy and soft. Tasty to a human, but dangerous to a cat.
Poached eggs are also quite substantial and dense. If you are going to offer poached eggs to your cat, chop them the way you would a boiled egg. However, this technique is arguably the least advisable for felines.
How to Make Poached Eggs for Cats
Poached eggs are best avoided for cats. However, if you do decide to proceed, poach your eggs as usual. This will require a slightly more refined technique, but there is no need to mix it up.
The only exception to this is the usual caveats. You cannot use oil, butter or seasoning in your cat’s poached eggs. Once they are sufficiently cooked through, let them cool off.
You can then slice the poached egg up, and serve it in appropriate doses. This could be as an independent treat, or alongside kibble.
Can Cats Eat Fried Eggs?
In theory, there is nothing wrong with offering a fried egg to your cat. The white of the egg will be safely heated, and the yolk is rich in nutrients.
It’s crucial that you do not douse the pan in oil, however. This can create a dangerous amount of fat in the egg. You’ll also need to fry the egg thoroughly, and ensure it’s not runny. Over easy, not sunny side up, is the way forward.
If you are going to offer your cat a fried egg, sticking to the well-cooked yolk may be safest. There are better ways to get eggs into your cat’s diet.
How to Fry an Egg for Your Cats
To make a cat-friendly fried egg, you’ll have to fight all of your instincts. That means no oil or butter in the pan, and no seasoning on the egg itself.
Ensure that the egg has been fried thoroughly, so nothing is raw. It’s always better to over-fry and egg than under-fry it. You’ll need to let the egg cool off before serving anyway.
Once the egg has fried sufficiently, consider serving the yolk only. This can be chopped into small pieces and mixed in with your cat’s food.
You could provide the egg whites. These are low in fat and high in protein, making them healthy if cooked thoroughly. An entire fried egg will be far too calorific for your cat. It’s one or the other.
Can Cats Eat Egg Shells?
Eggshells are something of a superfood for felines. Just some of the vitamins found in these ingredients include:
Eggshells are also a great source of calcium for cats. Just like in humans, calcium is essential for feline teeth and bones.
Despite this, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Calcium should only make up less than 1% of a cat’s diet. Excessive amounts can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia.
As Pet Health Network explains, the symptoms of hypercalcemia include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Constipation and trouble urinating
- Sudden and inexplicable weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Lethargy and muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
If you spot these symptoms, get your cat to a vet for further testing. A professional will confirm if hypercalcemia is at play, and advise upon treatment. Cats can often make a full recovery from hypercalcemia if it’s captured early enough.
If you do want to offer your cat egg whites as a calcium boost, do so carefully. Raw eggs have various health risks. The shell is no exception.
Eggshells should be hard-boiled, then removed from the egg itself. Don’t offer your cat the shell whole, though, as this is a choking hazard. The eggshell may also splinter, and cut your pet’s tongue or throat.
The safest way to get eggshells into your cat’s diet is by grinding them into a fine powder. This can be sprinkled over food.
How Should I Feed Eggshells to My Cat?
To create an eggshell powder, follow these instructions:
- Wash the eggshell thoroughly.
- Break the eggs open, and remove the yolk and egg white. Keep the membrane inside the shell.
- Rinse the eggshell again.
- Dry the eggshell thoroughly.
- Bake the eggshell at high temperature. This will kill any bacteria, and make it more brittle.
- Grind the eggshells. If you have a coffee grinder, this will be very useful. If not, use a rolling pin.
- Sift the powder through a sieve to remove any large, dangerous pieces.
- Store the powdered eggshell in a jam far, or something else with a lid. Leave this in a cool, dark place devoid of moisture until required.
This powder should be served sparingly, hence why you’re keeping it in a jar. One quarter-pound of meat should be accompanied by a quarter of a teaspoon of eggshell powder. This is enough to offer your cat a calcium boost without risking their health.
Can Cats Eat Egg Whites?
Eggs whites enjoy a reputation as the healthiest part of the egg. Egg whites are high in protein and low in calories and fat.
Unfortunately, they are also a common allergen for cats. Food sensitivities are the third most common allergy in felines, and eggs feature prominently. Your cat may display the following symptoms to an egg allergy:
- Constant scratching and excessive grooming
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Skin complaints, including rashes, hives and hot spots
- Hair loss
- Inflammation and infection in the ears
- Sneezing, and discharge from the eyes
- Swelling around the paws
Thankfully, food allergies are easy to manage. Eggs are not essential to cats, and many commercial cat foods do not use them. Just review the ingredients of anything you feed your cat carefully.
There is one other thing to note about egg whites. Never feed them to a cat raw, as this can make your cat very sick.
What if My Cat is Allergic to Eggs?
All the health benefits of eggs can be found in other foods. High quality cat food will offer everything that your pet needs to be healthy. Anything else is just a bonus.
The same also applies if your cat does not like eggs. Felines can be notoriously picky eaters. No health benefits will change their mind if eggs do not appeal to your cat’s palate.
Check the ingredients of your cat’s food if they do show sensitivity to eggs. Many products will use egg to boost the quality of the meal. If you’re in any doubt, speak to your vet.
Can Cats Eat Raw Eggs?
Raw eggs should never be part of a feline diet. The American Veterinary Medical Association openly warns against a raw diet, and eggs are no exception.
The most common, the risk associated with raw eggs is bacteria. Salmonella and E.coli can often be found in raw eggs. These conditions have unpleasant symptoms, which include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Sudden weight loss, potentially leading to anorexia
- Fever and raised body temperature
- Discharge from the genitals of female cats
- Skin infection and disease
- Seizures, shock, and loss of consciousness
These issues can be treated by a vet, but they’ll be very unpleasant for your cat. There is nothing to gain by taking any chances and offering your cat raw eggs.
Another issue with raw eggs is the presence of avidin. Avidin is a protein, which means that – on paper – it’s good for your cat. Unfortunately, it also binds another vitamin, biotin – aka Vitamin B7.
This is the vitamin that converts protein, fat, and carbohydrates into energy within your cat’s body. This is why eating too many eggs is sometimes referred to as being ‘eggbound.’
A cat living with a Vitamin B7 deficiency will show various symptoms, which include:
- Skin issues, including lesions and fungal infection
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Lethargy and depression
These are surely enough reasons to ensure that you keep raw egg out of your cat’s diet! No good comes of this.
Wat to Do If Your Cat Ate Raw Egg
Bacterial infections can be treated on an outpatient basis. Your vet will advise how to proceed, which will usually involve a restricted diet. If your cat has become dehydrated, however, they may require an overnight fluid drip. Your vet may also wish to observe your pet over a period of several hours.
Keep raw eggs out of the way of your cats. Your pet may not have the most discerning palate, and tuck into harmful foods. If you’re baking, or otherwise utilizing raw eggs, don’t let your cat lick the bowl. It will likely end badly for all concerned.
Cooked eggs are a feline superfood. If you take all appropriate safety steps, they make a great addition to your pet’s diet. Just remember that cooked eggs are just that – an addition. Eggs do not replace meat in a cat’s diet, and should never attempt to do so.
Not every cat will enjoy the taste of eggs, so don’t panic if yours shows no interest. If they do seem keen, however, there is no harm in the occasional treat. Just remember – always cook eggs thoroughly, and never apply any seasoning. Follow these rules, and you’ll have a healthy pet.