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Eggs for a healthy cat

Yes, eggs are good for cats. Eggs can provide the protein and fat that your cat needs.

“..cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat a diet of mostly animal protein, “ said  Dalal Hares, DVM, in “Can Cats Eat Eggs?” in petMD.com

But eggs can not be the sole food of your cat. Eggs are given only to supplement the protein in the cat’s 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,” Hares stressed.

Always give a complete diet with all the nutrients a cat needs for all life stages. Consult your vet for this. Eggs can provide ADDITIONAL protein and fat to complement and supplement  your cat's diet.
The eggshells, on the other hand, are good sources of calcium and other minerals but are less palatable or less tasty for your cat. You can crush the eggshells and put in the wet food or dry food of your cat. Give only a small amount once a week or ask your vet for a more specific amount.

Check with your vet first how much egg and eggshell you can be given to your cat as you may give too much fat to your cats. Vets check the kidneys and heart of cats to see if they can take in more fat through a blood test.

Also, “Supplementing minerals in your cat’s diet should only be done under the direction of a veterinarian,” Hares stressed.

How to give eggs to cats

You can give scrambled eggs or boiled eggs with no salt or seasonings.

Scrambled eggs or boiled eggs with the yolks have an increased fat content which leads to an increases in calorie content. This will increase the possibility of your cat becoming obese or too fat which is not healthy, of course. Fatty meals, Hares said, can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) upset and pancreatitis.

It suggested that you feed only the egg whites that are either boiled or scrambled to your cat to reduce these risks. Egg whites contain almost no fats, making them the better source of protein for your cat.

Raw eggs

There are risks to giving raw eggs to cats.

Hares said the Centers for Disease Control noted that “ingesting raw eggs or raw egg whites increases the risk of getting infected with a bacteria called salmonella. Salmonella can infect both pet parents and their cats. It can cause GI symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.”

“Salmonella infects 1.35 million people in the United States every year and does carry a risk of hospitalization and death in humans. In general, feeding raw eggs will increase the risk of exposing you, your family, and your pets to harmful bacteria. It is much safer to feed your cat eggs that are cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F,” Hares added.

Kittens and eggs

Kittens can eat scrambled eggs or boiled eggs, preferably the egg whites, in small amounts only. Again, eggs should not be the kitten’s sole source of protein. It should only complement a complete, formulated diet for kittens to ensure they get all the nutrients they need for their growth.

Again, check with your veterinarian prior to giving eggs to your kitten, Hares said.

Recommended amount of eggs for cats

As a supplement, give only one tablespoon  of egg white to a cat. 

But  Hares warned that cats “are generally good at turning extra calories into fat or extra pounds. It is important that cats are fed a completely balanced diet.”

“Cats are also susceptible to developing disease secondary to nutritional deficiencies, such as cardiac disease. If you are considering feeding your cat a home-cooked diet, consult with a veterinary nutritionist who can help you formulate a balanced diet,” Hares added.

Reminders:

1.   Egg whites for cats should be boiled or scrambled without salt or seasonings.

2.   Make sure the eggs are cooked well.   Eggs must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.

3.   Let the eggs cool, then add a small amount to the top of your cat’s normal food.

4.   Give only a maximum of one tablespoon of egg white.

Topics: Eggs , cat , Dalal Hares , DVM , petMD.com
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