Yes, cats can eat eggs. Fully cooked eggs are a great nutritional treat for cats. Eggs are packed with nutrients, like amino acids, which are the building blocks to protein, and they’re also highly digestible.
Scrambled, or boiled, however, you choose to prepare them is fine. Be sure there is no salt or seasonings and that you’ve removed the shell. Of course, given the mercurial nature of cats, a better question might be, “Will my cat eat eggs?” Only your cat can answer that one.
Are Eggs Good for Cats?
Eggs are good sources of protein and fat, and cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat a diet of mostly animal protein. Eggs aren’t recommended as the sole dietary source of protein for your cat, but cats can eat eggs to supplement the protein in the rest of their diet.
Egg whites contain protein without fat. Egg yolks, on the other hand, contain mostly fat with some protein. So take note that feeding your cat egg yolks will increase the fat content of their diet.
Eggshells contain calcium and other minerals but tend to be less palatable (aka tasty) for your feline friend. Supplementing minerals in your cat’s diet should only be done under the direction of a veterinarian.
How To Feed Eggs To Your Cat
Eggs should always be cooked before serving to your cat. Cook or boil the eggs as-is without oil, butter, salt, or any other additives.
We suggest making scrambled eggs, as it’s much easier for your cat to digest and can provide quick access to the protein cats need for maintaining lean muscle and energy. But again, keep them plain.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Eggs?
According to the University of Missouri Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service in Columbia, Mo., cooked eggs like plain scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs are safe for cats to eat.
While cats can eat eggs, it’s best to separately prepare a dish for your cat rather than giving her scraps off your plate. Eggs cooked for humans likely contain added ingredients that are high in calories or toxic for cats, like butter, oil, cheese, milk, salt, or seasonings like garlic and onion.
Can cats eat raw eggs?
Raw eggs are not appropriate to feed your cat. The presence of bacteria like Salmonella and E.Coli can be just as bad for your cat as they are for humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eggs are only safe when cooked and handled properly.
A cat’s digestive system works much faster than yours, so for the most part, any bacteria that your cat consumes is more than likely to pass through quite quickly and not be inside your cat’s digestive tract for long enough to cause too many problems.
Still, these bacteria can affect your cat, especially if your cat has other conditions or a weakened immune system.
Even if your cat doesn’t get sick, handling contaminated raw eggs or meat can expose everyone in the household to these harmful bacteria.
It can be particularly concerning for small children, older people, or anyone with a weakened immune system. Things like handling your pet’s bowls can spread these bacteria through the home if proper hygiene is not followed.
In addition, raw eggs contain a protein called avidin that can cause problems with your cat’s ability to absorb vitamin B7 that they need for healthy skin and coat. Over time this can cause a vitamin B7 (biotin) deficiency in your cat.
How Much Egg Should Cats Eat?
The majority of your cat’s calorie intake should come from high-quality, nutritionally complete cat food. No more than 10% of your cat’s daily calories should come from treats—including eggs.
One large chicken egg has about 75 calories. On average, a 9-lb cat needs about 280 calories per day. Feeding too much egg (or any other treat) can easily lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Every cat is different, but as a rule of thumb only feed your cat one tablespoon of cooked egg as a meal topper or treat, no more than once or twice a week.
When are eggs bad for cats?
Although they can provide our feline friends with many essential nutrients, in some situations, eggs can be bad for cats and may damage their health.
First, eggs are quite high in calories, fat, and cholesterol, which is why they should only be given in small amounts. Too many eggs can result in obesity and related health issues, so offer them as an occasional treat or a supplement that is part of a well-balanced diet.
Second, eggs are a common allergy among felines, and should therefore be introduced to their diet slowly. Try feeding just a taste at first to see if there’s an adverse reaction. If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction (itching, ear infections, or stomach upset), stop feeding and call your veterinarian.
Eggs should not be given to cats suffering from certain health conditions like kidney disease and obesity, as well as to cats with pancreatitis. Remember to always talk to your vet before feeding your pet new food, especially human food.