Can cats eat eggs? Eggcellent advice from Untamed!
Cats love being treated like one of the family when it comes to food.
Even though their regular diet may consist of commercial dry, semi-moist, or wet food, cats can often confound you with the most bizarre eating habits.
Felines’ natural curiosity makes them want to try anything you are eating—be it cheese, chocolate, bananas, or strawberries. Eggs could easily be your cat’s choice of a treat to complement their regular diet.
In this case, you need to understand the benefits and potential risks involved as eggs are not part of your cat’s diet.
Can cats eat eggs at all? Read on and find out how to tailor-make a meal plan to keep your feline healthy and happy.
What’s in an egg?
Eggs are highly nutritious, being made up of:
- Animal protein
- Animal fat
- Vitamins and minerals
As obligate carnivores, cats have evolved to process animal protein considerably better than vegetables. A typical chicken’s egg contains around six grammes of protein. This nutrient consists of amino acids—such as taurine—a cat is supposed to metabolise to form the combinations it needs for:
- Muscle development
- Skin and coat health
- Organ maintenance
Unfortunately, there’s not enough scientific evidence that cats can benefit from egg proteins. Wild felines eat eggs rarely, if at all, which may mean that the available nutrients are incompatible with a cat’s digestive system.
Protein quality for cats is measured by its biological value (BV), which determines what percentage of amino acids a feline can metabolise.
Of all the protein sources available, eggs are the non-plus-ultra for humans, as can be seen by their BV compared to other proteins. The table below represents bioavailability for people, which prompted certain nutritionists to assume that the values are the same for all mammals, including cats. Once again, there are no relevant studies that back up such claims.
● Other vegetable proteins
Fat is an excellent source of energy for your cat—second only to proteins—and eggs are rich in it.
With around five grammes of animal fat in a standard chicken egg, your cat is supposed to get a considerable number of calories in a comparatively small package.
Animal fat also delivers the fatty acids, including:
- Arachidonic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
These help maintain cell membrane structure and regulate inflammatory responses.
Animal fat is also great-tasting to your cat’s palate—this may be the reason your breakfasts are disturbed by headbutting and incessant screaming.
Keep in mind that high-calorie content in eggs is not suitable for every cat, especially indoor pets. Cholesterol is another concern because it can lead to chronic cardiovascular diseases in felines.
Vitamins and minerals
One standard chicken egg contains almost all the vitamins and minerals a cat needs daily.
Eggs are particularly rich in:
- Vitamins A, B2, B5, and B12
All these should help cats’ organs function correctly. Since there’s no proof that wild cats are inclined to eat eggs, it’s not safe to assume that an egg can be a vitamin and mineral cocktail for your kitty. All essential micronutrients are present in meat, so it would be wiser to stick to a meat-based diet and use eggs as occasional treats or skip them altogether.
Yes, I KNOW they’re not real!
Is raw egg good for cats?
As most humans know, it’s not all good news with eggs.
Raw eggs are a breeding ground for countless harmful bacteria, the most dangerous of which are:
Salmonella bacteria in raw eggs can cause severe gastrointestinal problems for your cat.
A cat’s digestive system contains millions of bacteria, both good and bad. Under normal circumstances, the bad ones, such as salmonella, are kept in check by beneficial microbes, like bifidus and lactobacillus.
If your cat receives a dose of salmonella from a raw egg, the harmful bacteria can gain the upper hand, resulting in:
If left untreated, your feline can quickly experience:
- Severe dehydration
- Unwillingness to eat
- Rapid weight loss
While most problems with a sensitive stomach clear up once the pathogen has passed through your cat’s system, gastrointestinal issues lasting more than 24 hours can have serious consequences.
If cats do not eat for more than a day, their systems begin to mobilise fat reserves to deliver energy. The sudden flood of fat can overwhelm a cat’s liver, leading to hepatic lipidosis or the build-up of fat deposits around the liver.
Treatment to repair liver damage can last up to eight weeks and demands strict veterinary supervision, as well as a carefully controlled diet.
The symptoms of listeriosis are similar to those of a salmonella infection, including:
Listeriosis can lead to death in a matter of days.
Are these from, like, really colourful chickens?
Are any particular cats at risk from raw eggs?
While some believe that eggs are a great source of protein and fat for cats, everybody agrees that raw eggs are dangerous. Only cooking can destroy potentially harmful bacteria.
You should be particularly careful in serving raw eggs to:
- Kittens and growing cats
- Mature and senior cats
- Cats with comorbidities
Kittens and growing cats
Even after they transition to solid food, kittens’ immune systems are not fully developed.
Their digestive systems only mature after around four months, and the immune system follows the same pattern.
Before this point, kittens are particularly susceptible to gastrointestinal problems that can negatively affect their weight gain and development.
Raw eggs in your kitten’s diet should be avoided at all costs.
Mature and senior cats
As a cat goes past the age of ten, the immune system and digestive tract become less efficient. It leaves older cats prone to tummy upsets that can destabilise their already ageing organism.
The knock-on effect of gastrointestinal issues brought on by eating raw egg can be that your older cat stops eating and loses weight quickly.
Cats with comorbidities
Cats with any kind of chronic condition need to be treated with care.
Illnesses that could be made considerably worse by a bout of egg-related gastrointestinal problems include:
- Diabetes or pancreatitis
- Hyperthyroidism, typically accompanied by an insatiable appetite without weight gain
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis or bladder stones
- Pre-existing digestive problems, such as constipation or irritable bowel syndrome
Feeding raw eggs as a treat can upset the balance of any diet or food regimen prescribed by your vet. The best advice is to stick to whatever has been recommended to ensure a quick recovery and no harmful side effects.
Raw food should generally be avoided, particularly if you prepare your cat’s meals at home. Raw eggs, raw chicken, and other raw meats may not only cause gastrointestinal problems for your cat but lead to cross-contamination within your family.
“The better part of valour is discretion”
Can cats eat cooked eggs?
Cooking destroys most harmful bacteria, so you can offer your cat cooked egg as a treat.
Two common mistakes with boiled eggs are:
- Overseasoning the egg
- Feeding your feline too much fat
Overseasoning the egg
Cats have a very different sense of taste from humans.
As omnivores, we have evolved to enjoy well-seasoned or taste-intensive food, using generous amounts of:
- Herbs and spices
Cats have considerably simpler tastes because their natural diet consists of small rodents, birds, snakes, or lizards.
Cats are also sensitive to too much seasoning, particularly with salt. In quantities over 0.2% of their total diet, salt can become toxic to cats, inducing vomiting and causing kidney damage.
If you serve cooked eggs to your cat, they should be unseasoned—feeding from your breakfast plate is not recommended.
Feeding your feline too much fat
Even though fat is an excellent energy source for cats, too much can cause weight problems and eventual liver damage or pancreatitis.
You can minimise the fat content by only using the white—this is an excellent protein source and contains almost no fat.
However sensible this may seem, you may find your cat craves the smell and taste of the fat in the yolk. Good luck fighting that battle.
Do cats eat eggs in the wild?
Although it is not common, cats have been known to raid birds’ nests and eat the eggs they find there.
No statistics exist for how prevalent this is in the wild, but it is known that eggs can cause food allergies in cats.
Allergic reactions to food occur when a cat’s body mistakes an ingested protein for a harmful invader and mounts an immune response.
Allergies usually manifest as patches of red pustules on the skin, which can itch terribly, and cats often try to lick the problem away, causing raw, bald patches.
The only cure for a food allergy is identifying and removing the offending protein from the cat’s diet.
In the wild, this is impossible, but your indoor cat is a slightly easier proposition. If your cat breaks out in skin irritations after eating an unusual food such as egg, you can simply remove the culprit from the menu.
The problem will usually sort itself out, although any bald patches may take several weeks to grow back.
“Lemme just guard these for a moment”
What is the alternative to eggs?
If your cat is partial to sharing your fry-up, you should try experimenting with high-quality regular food to stifle the craving for extra fat and protein from eggs.
The ideal diet for a cat is made up of:
- A high proportion of meat
- Some animal fat to deliver calories and taste
- A low to zero carbohydrate content
- Adequate vitamins and minerals
A high proportion of meat
The best cat foods are grain-free and contain only meat as a protein source.
Many commercial cat foods use grains and cereals to bulk the product and make it cheaper to manufacture, but these are inefficient protein sources.
If you notice your feline constantly begging for eggs, this may come from their sensing a need for more protein or fat than their regular food is delivering. This behaviour is similar to that displayed by cats eating grass (or cat parents craving something sweet).
Animal fat to deliver calories and taste
If your cat’s regular food contains little animal fat, it may use carbs to deliver calories instead.
It is not the healthiest option. Carbs deliver fast-release energy, but any calories that are not burnt quickly are stored as fatty cells. The result is often an overweight feline, particularly in the case of indoor or neutered cats.
Low-fat content may also negatively affect palatability—cats may crave eggs because the taste of their regular food doesn’t do it for them.
In either case, food with a higher percentage of animal fat is healthier and more likely to drive your feline wild, meaning that eggs don’t get a second glance.
A low carbohydrate content
Carbs are a major cause of obesity in cats. They can also be responsible for gastrointestinal problems, overworked pancreatic systems, and problems with energy regulation.
Cats on foods rich in carbohydrates often experience bursts of energy directly after eating, followed by lethargy as their bodies are flooded with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
This lethargy, combined with the storage of unused calories as fat, can create a vicious circle of overeating and inactivity.
Healthy cat food should contain only tiny amounts of carbohydrates, if any at all.
Adequate vitamins and minerals
While eggs are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, cats can get what they need from other sources that already form part of a healthy cat diet.
The best alternative sources of vitamins are:
Vitamin B complex
● Fish oil
● Wheat germ oil
Meat is also an excellent source of essential minerals. For example, the liver covers all the nutritional bases without the need for eggs in your cat’s diet.
How can you tell if cat food is good?
Everything you need to know to judge the quality of cat food is on the label.
The two most important information sources are the:
- Ingredients list
- Guaranteed analysis
The ingredients list should tell you exactly what is in the product, and the ingredients have to be set out in descending order of volume.
Good cat food has meat as its first ingredient, and the more defined the description, the better.
You should try to avoid products with phrases, such as:
- “Meat” (without saying what animal has provided it)
- “Animal derivatives,” as this could include hooves, beaks, and other unpleasant body parts
After a clearly recognisable meat source at the top of the list, you should check for a long list of different types of grain. In many products, you may see different variations of the same cereal, such as:
- Ground yellow corn
- Corn gluten
- Corn meal
These are all one ingredient, but splitting them means that each ingredient makes up a smaller proportion of the product. If grouped, the corn content of the product may be larger than the amount of meat.
The best ingredients lists are:
- Free of complicated chemical names and additives you don’t recognise
The guaranteed analysis tells you how much of each nutrient group is in the product, including:
Read alongside the ingredients list, it shows you how good the product is. The ideal values you should look for are:
More than 50%
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
The product is of high quality if you can see:
- A concise ingredients list
- Meat as the first ingredient
- High percentage of protein in the analysis
Is Untamed a good way to stop your cat’s egg craving?
Untamed ticks all the boxes when it comes to high-quality nutrition for your cat.
Our recipes are all complete and balanced, and you can choose from tins of goodness enriched with cat jelly or gravy—either way, your feline will go wild for the taste.
We stick to the following principles in producing Untamed meals, namely:
- Only animal protein
- Vet-designed formulas
- Human-grade ingredients
- Ethical production methods
Only animal protein
Untamed is packed with twice as much animal protein as most commercial foods, and we only use meat, with no grains or cereals to bulk the product up.
With such high levels of goodness in each tin, Untamed can help your cat with:
- Shedding and hairballs
- Energy requirements during periods of stress, such as pregnancy
- Allergies and skin irritations
- Dental problems, since wet food is easier to chew than kibbles
You will also see that your cat doesn’t need huge portions to be satisfied—Untamed is energy-dense and delivers all the nutrition your feline needs in small doses.
The best bit is that the meat in Untamed will make even the fussiest feline go wild.
Every Untamed recipe is formulated by vets to ensure your feline is getting everything needed for long-term health.
We are committed to the highest nutrition standards for your kitty, so each tin contains the naturally correct balance of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
Only the best is good enough for your cat.
Everything that goes into Untamed products is fit for human consumption, and we work with long-term, trusted suppliers to ensure quality.
Ethical production methods
Untamed is good for both your feline and the planet.
We procure our meat from cruelty-free suppliers, and our fish comes from sustainable and dolphin-friendly sources. Our packaging is 100% recyclable, and we are committed to a carbon-neutral footprint as a company.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so try Untamed and see how good your cat will feel!
“Don’t care who comes first, the Chocka Chicken tastes better”
Image (c) Untamed
Get the best and avoid the shopping hassle with Untamed!
Switching to Untamed for your cat is as easy as one, two, three.
Every kitty is different, so we customise every meal plan depending on your cat’s:
- Life stage
- Special needs, like allergies
All you need to do to kick-start your tailor-made Untamed experience is:
- Visit our online cat food store
- Tell us about your feline friend
- Check the customised meal plan
- Order your Untamed trial pack
Once your trial pack arrives on your doorstep, your cat can sample the delights and decide which flavour is best.
We will make sure you get regular deliveries of cat food with free shipping—you can also reach out to us anytime to customise your meal selection or shipping details.
You should start seeing a difference in no time:
The Untamed effect
Within a week
You should see:
● Your cat becoming more active
● Less mess in the litter tray
In two months
Your kitty should be:
● Sleeker and more muscular
● More energetic
After four months
You should notice:
● A shinier coat
● Fewer hairballs
Untamed’s great nutrition should:
● Help your feline maintain weight naturally
● Keep your kitty playful and energetic
You can edit, pause, or cancel your plan any time—no commitments!
Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat: