Can cats eat eggs? Yes! Cats can eat eggs! Cats are carnivores, and eggs are nature’s perfect little package of animal-based nutrition. But eggs can be cooked in approximately a ba-zillion different ways. So what is the best way to prepare eggs for you cat? And how many eggs can you feed your cat? How often can you feed your cat eggs? Lots of questions here.
Here is what you should keep in mind before giving your cat or kitten a bite of your best breakfast.
Can Cats Eat Raw Eggs?
Yes, cats can eat raw eggs. Raw eggs are rich in micronutrients, and are in their natural unaltered states. It may sound strange, but felines in the wild eat eggs in their raw form. Raw egg yolks in particular contain valuable unoxidized cholesterol, which is an important nutrient for your cat’s nervous system health and other biological processes. Eggs also contain vitamin A, vitamin D, choline, and many other important and bioavailable micronutrients.
Be sure that your eggs come from a quality source to minimize concerns such as salmonella or E. coli, which are bacteria that can accompany eggs. You may feel more comfortable washing the egg shell before breaking it to scrub off any external bacteria if you plan to use an egg raw.
Another consideration when feeding your cat raw eggs is that raw eggs contain a protein called avidin. Avidin prevents your cat from absorbing the essential vitamin biotin (or B7). This can cause vitamin deficiency in your cat if overdone. If you are feeding your cat a lot of raw eggs, consider separating whites and feeding only the yolks to avoid a vitamin B deficiency.
Cats also tend to love egg yolks because they instinctively understand how nutritious they are. If you want to give your cat an easy nutritional boost and yummy treat, drop a raw egg yolk onto their food every now and then.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Eggs?
Cats can also eat eggs cooked in a variety of ways. There are pros and cons to each Some of the nutrients may be lost or compromised compared to raw eggs, but risk of bacterial infection is mitigated if the eggs are cooked.
Eggs are a safe and species-appropriate food for cats, but different egg cooking methods introduce new ingredients, many of which may not be appropriate for your cat.
Can cats eat boiled eggs?
Hard or soft boiled eggs are probably the best way to serve cooked eggs to your cat. No other ingredients are introduced, so boiled eggs are nontoxic for cats. Be sure not to add any extra seasonings or salt when giving your cat a hard boiled egg or soft boiled egg.
Can Cats Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Scrambled is a fine way to prepare eggs for your cat. Be sure that there are no additional seasonings or ingredients. In particular, onion or garlic is very dangerous for your cat. Too much salt can also be harmful. Scrambled eggs are typically cooked in oil. The type of oil you choose can provide health benefits or health detriments to your cat.
Cooking Eggs: Animal Fats & Coconut Oil
Butter, ghee, or other animal fats such as tallow or lard would be the most appropriate choices for your cat. These fats also come with fat-soluble micronutrients that your cat benefits from. Coconut oil is minimally processed and highly saturated, giving it a similar nutritional macronutrient profile to animal fats and making it a good choice.
Cooking Eggs: Avocado & Olive Oil
Minimally processed oils such avocado oil or olive oil are usually not oxidized, but don’t provide much species-appropriate nutrition for a carnivore. They’re likely fine if you don’t have an animal-based fat or coconut oil.
Cooking Eggs: Avocado & Olive Oil
Plant-based vegetable oils such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, or soybean oil are doubly bad for your cat. Processed vegetable oils provide no micronutrients because any nutrition has been destroyed in the processing of these oils. These overly processed plant oils also overload your cat with excess omega-6 oils, which are not typically found in species-appropriate animal foods. They are also oxidized during their processing, which causes a great deal of inflammation in your cat’s body.
Note that cooked egg whites do not contain avidin and do not present any risk of B-vitamin deficiency. Cats may eat egg whites, preferably as part of whole eggs, freely, as part of an animal-based diet balanced with muscle meat, organ meat, fat, and other dietary components.
Regardless of the oil used to cook the scrambled eggs, be sure the eggs are not too greasy or your cat may experience digestive distress.
Can Kittens Eat Eggs?
Kittens are growing quickly and require a lot of calories dense in species-specific nutrition. Eggs cooked in oils aren’t going to be a good choice for kittens with sensitive young digestive systems. And kittens need balanced nutrition, so you don’t want to overdo eggs of any kind. But an occasional raw egg yolk is a wonderful, nutritious treat for a growing kitten.
How Many Eggs Can Cats Eat?
A 10 lb cat requires between 200 and 300 calories per day. One egg contains about 70 calories. How much to feed your cat depends on your cat’s health and health goals. If you are feeding your cats egg as a part of his regular diet, about 1/2-1 egg every 1-2 days is a good amount to start with. Keep an eye on your cat’s preferences, and consult with your veterinarian about your cat’s overall diet.
Most cats self-regulate the amount of food they eat, and will keep themselves at a healthy weight. If your cat is struggling to lose weight, be mindful not to provide too many calories. If your cat is working to gain weight, eggs are a great snack.
Kittens are growing quickly, but require far fewer calories each day because of their small size. An appropriate way to share egg with a kitten would be to provide 1/2-1 egg yolk with meals and let them self-regulate. A raw or soft-cooked egg yolk will present less of a choking hazard to kittens than a hard cooked or scrambled egg yolk.
Cats can eat eggs!
As carnivores, cats and kittens require large amounts of protein in their diet. Eggs are a source of easily digestible protein and contain lots of lean muscle-building amino acids.
As a snack or a dietary supplement, eggs make great addition to your cat’s usual balanced diet. However, cats need relatively few calories a day, so be mindful of overloading a cat with excess calories, even if the calories are nutritious.
Always consult your veterinarian before feeding your cat or kitten anything new. Introduce new foods to your cat slowly and carefully. Watch them for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchy skin or ears, skin infections, or gastrointestinal issues.