Can cats eat eggs?
Yes, a small amount of egg is fine for most cats to eat. Eggs are a good source of protein and provide many essential nutrients including vitamins A, B6, B12, D and E, riboflavin, folate, niacin, iron, zinc, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
As with any ‘treat’, limit the amount and frequency you feed as this adds excess calories to the cat’s diet. An average 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) cat on a maintenance diet should consume 246 calories per day, and one egg is approximately 74 calories (310 kilojoules), which is just under 1/3rd of the cat’s total daily calorie allowance. While eggs contain many beneficial nutrients, they are not balanced and complete, cats are obligate carnivores and must ingest meat to survive.
So feed eggs as a treat, and feed less at the next mealtime. As a general rule, treats should not make up more than ten percent of a cat’s diet.
Related: Human foods cats can eat
How to feed cats eggs
Cooked eggs are recommended to reduce the risk of salmonella. Many sources caution raw egg due to the risk of biotin deficiency. Raw egg white contains the protein advin which binds to biotin (vitamin B7) in the small intestine preventing absorption. Biotin deficiency was induced in kittens fed dried raw egg white over a period of 25 weeks. Obviously that is a lot of egg white over a long time, but there is no research on the impact raw egg whites and biotin deficiency in cats who ingest the occasional treat of raw eggs. Cooking denatures avidin.
How do I cook eggs for a cat?
Poached, hard-boiled, scrambled are the best way to feed eggs. Go easy on the butter and milk if you are feeding scrambled eggs as they can cause dairy intolerances in some cats.
Once cooked, allow to cool and cut into bite-sized pieces before feeding to the cat.
When not to feed a cat eggs
Cats on therapeutic diets:
Therapeutic diets are diets which are prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or manage underlying medical conditions such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, digestive help and stone dissolving diets. Most of these diets must be fed exclusively, with no other foods. Always check with your veterinarian before feeding any non-prescription foods to cats who are on therapeutic diets.
Cats who are on food trials
Food trials are recommended for cats with allergies, during the trial, the cat is fed a novel source of protein, such as duck or kangaroo, and no other type of food can be fed during this trial.
Cats who are on a weight control diet
Avoid extra calories for cats who are overweight and on a calorie-controlled diet.
Kittens who have not started solids yet (under 4-5 weeks) should not eat eggs, they get all the nutrients they need via their mother’s milk.
Cats who are allergic to eggs