Can Cats Eat Eggs?
There are a lot of myths about what cats can and cannot eat, and we daresay the answer would differ markedly depending on whether you're asking a human or a cat!
One of the most common questions is whether or not cats can eat eggs. The answer, as with many things, is that it depends on the situation. So, let's get into the nitty gritty: raw, cooked, or yolk?
Can Cats Eat Raw Eggs?
Eggs are nutritious human food and contain many vitamins and minerals that benefit our health. They are also popular for cats, as they are high in protein and fat. However, there is some debate over whether raw eggs are safe for cats to eat.
Raw eggs may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning in cats. For example, Salmonella can make your cat very sick. This bacteria is found outside the eggshell and can contaminate the egg.
Healthy adult cats have a relatively low risk of becoming seriously ill from salmonella poisoning. However, it is more dangerous for kittens, older cats, and cats with weakened immune systems.
Therefore, if you feed your cat raw eggs, it's important to source them from a reputable farmer with healthy chickens. You should also wash the eggs before feeding them to your cat to remove any bacteria from the shells.
Raw eggs contain enzymes that may also contribute to the malabsorption of nutrients from other foods. For example, raw egg whites have a substance called avidin, which can prevent the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin necessary for good health). This can lead to a biotin deficiency, which in turn can cause:
- Skin and coat problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Neurological issues
Can Cats Eat Cooked Eggs?
Cooked eggs are safer for cats, as they are less likely to contain bacteria and enzymes. The cooking process also destroys avidin. How you cook the eggs also makes a difference.
- The healthier option is poached eggs - where the only additive is water.
- Fried or scrambled eggs - Avoid these with added butter, oil, or cream; they are not as healthy for your cat. Apart from the obvious contribution to obesity, these additives can also cause pancreatitis in cats.
However, cooked eggs should not be fed to cats regularly, as they can be high in fat and cholesterol - even without additives.
Can Cats Eat Egg Yolk?
So, what about egg yolks? Both cooked and raw egg yolks are safe for cats to eat. Egg yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg for cats and an excellent source of:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamins A, D, and E
How Much Egg Can a Cat Eat?
Once again, we come to a loaded question: it depends on who you ask! In general, moderation is the key. A little bit of egg here and there probably won't hurt your kitty but making it a staple in their diet is not recommended. Too much of a good thing can be bad for them.
In a Nutshell
So, what's the verdict? Can cats eat eggs?
The answer is…maybe. It really depends on the individual cat. If your cat is inclined to tear your leg off in anticipation at the thought of eating eggs, don't deprive them! As long as they don't have any adverse reactions, there's no reason why they can't have eggs as part of their diet.
If you have any concerns about your cat's diet, a friendly chat with the team at Cornucopia Pet Foods will certainly steer you on the right path. They can advise you on what's best for your feline friend.