If you are a brunch nerd like you, poached eggs have to be one of your favorite things. On mornings when I feel lazy to move and unwilling to spend a pretty penny on eggs, I will settle for home-cooked ones.
I know of many cat owners that do feed their cats eggs on an occasional basis. There are a few things to be aware of when feeding eggs to your cat. What about cats in the wild? Do wild cats eat raw eggs in the wild?
Wild cats are known to raid the nests of small birds to eat their eggs for nourishment. However, this doesn’t happen on frequently as eggs are not part of a cat’s natural diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and require protein from animal meat to survive.
You might think that if cats are eating raw eggs in the wild, it must be good for my cat too. Not so fast. I will be sharing the dos and don’ts when feeding your cat an egg that every cat owner should know.
What Is An Egg Made Of?
Ask 5 people around you what an egg is made of and I’m sure more than half won’t be able to get it right.
They probably know that it came from a chicken or duck.
An egg consists of three parts:
- Egg white
- Egg yolk
The largest component of an egg is the egg white which forms close to 58% of its total weight.
Here’s the nutritional value of an average egg:
- 75 calories
- 7g protein
- 5g fat
- Vitamins and minerals
On the surface, it does look good and you can feed some to your cat occasionally but it needs to be cooked eggs.
Can Cats Eat Egg Yolk Raw?
If there is one thing that you need to always remember when it comes to feeding your cat eggs is never feed your cat raw eggs.
It needs to always be a cooked egg.
The Presence Of Salmonella
The reason for this is that raw eggs contain a foodborne bacteria called Salmonella. Salmonella is present in the eggshell, raw egg whites and raw egg yolks.
An egg can get contaminated with Salmonella after it has been laid and during the handling process.
A cat that has been infected with the Salmonella bacteria will show the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Mucus in stool
Prevents Absorption Of Vitamin B
Not only do raw eggs carry a risk of getting Salmonella for cats but raw egg white also contains a compound called avidin which hampers the absorption of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient for your cat’s immune system, digestive health and nervous system.
Cats are not able to produce vitamin B12 in their bodies and need to get it from their food.
If you are feeding your cat good quality cat food, it should be getting all the Vet B12 that it needs.
Cats that have a deficiency in B12 will start to lose weight, have diarrhea, vomiting and appear weak.
It isn’t possible to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency in your cat just by looking at it. A proper blood test needs to be done at the vet to be sure.
Are Cats In The Wild Immune To Getting Salmonella?
Feral cats do not have the best of diets if food is scarce. They will eat whatever they can get in order to survive.
Big cats in the wild will eat almost anything that has protein in it. This can range from reptiles to even dead animals.
Even though our focus is on smaller cats, they still do have the same diet in most cases. Cats in the wild prefer to hunt on their ground for food.
That is where they have the most advantage in catching their prey.
But if a hungry cat chances upon a nest with small eggs, it will try to eat it. Feral cats will probably leave the bigger eggs alone as they don’t have the tools to break them open.
Most dogs are big enough to crush the egg whole and swallow it. But if a large egg dropped from the nest and cracked on the floor, the wild cat will lick it up.
The FDA states that salmonella is uncommon in cats and dogs. Cats have a shorter and stronger digestive system that drastically lowers the risk of getting salmonella.
However, it is also possible for cats to have salmonella and not show any symptoms.
Do Cats Take Eggs From Nests?
Yes, they do. Even though cats prefer hunting on the ground, they are also excellent tree climbers which makes taking eggs high up in trees easy for them.
It was observed that during the Mocking bird breeding season in Florida, 70% of nest predation was carried out by cats and mostly at night.
Close to 29% of the time, the cats ate the eggs and the rest of the time, it was the chicklings.
Not many cat owners are aware of the impact their cats can have on the surrounding wildlife when they are let outside.
You should make it a point to keep your cat indoors at all times.
If you do want your cat to experience the outdoors, make sure it is supervised at all times.
How To Cook Eggs For Cats?
There is only one way to feed your cat eggs and that is cooked eggs. None of the Rocky Balboa hardcore raw egg protein shakes for both humans and cats.
Hard-boiled eggs are the best type of eggs to find your cat. It takes about 7-10 minutes to cook a hard-boiled egg and eliminate all the nasty bacteria and neutralize the avidin in the egg white.
Can Cats Eat Fried Eggs?
Do not feed your cat fried eggs as that isn’t a healthy way to prepare an egg for your cat. Fried food contains too much saturated fat which isn’t healthy for your cat.
Scrambled eggs are fine as long as you don’t add other ingredients like salt, pepper, butter or milk.
Just keep it as plain as possible.
How Much Egg Should I Give My Cat?
There isn’t an official guideline as to how many eggs a cat can eat. But I feed my cat eggs on a rather infrequent basis, about 2-3 times a week.
The reason for being conservative with the number of eggs is due to the high fat and cholesterol content of eggs.
The American Heart Association recommends a daily cholesterol intake of 300mg for humans.
One egg by itself has 213mg of cholesterol which is already two-thirds of our daily cholesterol intake.
Furthermore, there is too much fat in the egg yolk when cats eat eggs on a frequent basis.
And for your cat that is so much smaller, downing one full-sized egg frequently will send its cholesterol level through the roof.
This is similar to you eating 15 eggs a day. I would start to lay eggs if I consumed that many.
What I would do is boil an egg and mash it into very fine bits. When I want to feed some to my cat, I will add about half to a quarter teaspoon to his cat food and mix it in well.
There are some commercial cat foods that already have eggs as an ingredient. If your cat’s food has it, you can skip feeding your cat eggs altogether.
What Should I Be Feeding My Cat?
The best diet for your cat is one that is as close to its natural diet as possible. Please do not feed your cat dry food or kibbles as those are terrible for your cat.
The bare minimum should at least be good quality canned food that is high in animal protein and low in grain and fillers for your cat’s diet.
The best diet in my opinion is the raw meat diet for cats. I do agree that it does take some reading and experimenting to get it right but it is worth it.
My cat had FeLV and wasn’t doing too well. It wasn’t until I transitioned him to a raw meat diet that his health got better.
Some cat owners feel that a raw diet contains too much animal fat for cats to be healthy.
Dr Richard Butterwick, Head of Nutrition at Waltham, says that cats handle dietary fat very differently compared to humans.
Their bodies can handle a pure meat-based diet very efficiently.
You can read more about the raw meat diet for cats here if you are interested.
Don’t Feed Your Cat Raw Fish
Please do not feed your cat raw fish or seafood even though it might seem like it’s animal protein.
Raw fish meant contains an enzyme that prevents cats from absorbing vitamin B which is similar to avidin in raw egg white.
If your cat likes fish, you can boil or steam fish for your cat. Make sure to debone it before feeding your cat.
Fish should not form the main part of your cat’s diet. Use it sparingly as a treat.
Egg Shell For Calcium
Egg shells are a good source of calcium for your cat and can be added to its diet.
Do not add raw egg shells just like that as they can contain salmonella. You need to pasteurize the shells and grind them down to a very fine powder.
I will use a small blender and it does a great job.
Keep the ground egg shells in an air-tight container and sprinkle a little over your cat’s food a few times a week.