Can Cats Eat Eggs Safely?

Here’s what happens when cats eat eggs 🍳

can cats eat eggs

While you’re eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, you might feel tempted to share your human meal with your pet.

But can cats eat eggs?

We spoke with Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian at Paramount Pet Health, and Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian working with Pet Keen, to find out what you need to know about feeding eggs to your cat.

Are eggs healthy for cats?

Plain, cooked eggs can be a healthy treat for cats since they’re a great source of protein and other nutrients, like vitamin A and iron.

Eggs also have a bunch of amino acids that are good for your cat, including taurine, which is essential to have in a cat’s diet.

Are eggs ever unsafe for cats?

Cooked eggs can be bad for cats if eaten in excess, particularly because the yolks are high in fat.

“Overeating cooked eggs can result in weight gain in cats, causing obesity,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

Your cat’s weight gain or obesity can lead to other health issues, like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis

So if your cat’s already overweight, you should skip the yolks. You can still give him cooked egg whites — in moderation, of course — since that part of the egg is pretty low in fat.

Seasoned eggs can also pose a pretty big problem, because you can accidentally feed your cat something that’s toxic to him, like garlic or onion.

It’s also important to note that eggs shouldn’t be the only source of protein in your cat’s diet.

“Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they require lots of protein to use for energy, muscle building and muscle maintenance,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo. “Animal sources provide the most complete protein, while eggs are only partially complete.”

Can cats eat eggs raw?

Cats should never eat raw eggs, because cats can get bacterial infections if they do.

“Cats are at risk of contracting food-borne diseases, such as salmonella, from eating raw eggs,” Dr. Burch said.

On top of possible salmonella exposure, the raw egg whites, specifically, can cause other issues for your cat.

“Raw egg whites can also pose problems for cats due to the protein called avidin,” Dr. Burch said. “Avidin will bind to the essential vitamin biotin, making cats unable to absorb it.”

Biotin deficiencies in cats can lead to things like:

If your cat eats raw eggs, be sure to call your vet. If your cat develops salmonella, he’ll need antibiotics and possibly other supportive care.

Can I feed my cat eggshells?

Believe it or not, you can actually feed your cat eggshells — in fact, they’re a great source of calcium.

However, if you do give your cat eggshells, make sure you’re grinding them up into a powder to prevent a potential choking hazard.

How much egg is too much for cats?

According to Dr. Burch, eggs shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily caloric intake, which really isn’t a lot.

“A moderately active cat weighing 10 pounds only needs 150 to 200 calories per day,” Dr. Burch said. “A whole egg is 70 to 90 calories, resulting in a minimal amount given to your cat to achieve the 10 percent rule.”

Dr. Burch also advises against letting your cat eat eggs super frequently.

“I recommend giving eggs sparingly and only once a week as a small treat,” Dr. Burch said.

There you have it. Cats can eat eggs — that is, as long as they’re fully cooked. Just make sure you only feed your cat totally plain eggs to avoid any toxic ingredients and don’t give him too much too often.

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