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Cat eating boiled eggs

The essentials

  • Eggs are a common protein source in cat food — They’re a familiar ingredient in high-quality cat food, helping kitties thrive.
  • Cooked eggs are generally OK in small amounts — Always talk to your vet first to be on the safe side, and be on the lookout for symptoms of allergies.
  • Never feed your cat raw eggs — Undercooked and raw eggs may have salmonella, E. coli, and enzymes that could cause illness and irritation.

Perhaps your cat makes their way to the breakfast table, where eggs are a staple food. If you love eggs, you may wonder if they’d make a good treat for your feline friend. Most healthy cats without allergies can safely consume a small portion of cooked eggs. But that doesn’t mean all eggs are a safe addition to a balanced diet for a cat. Like other human foods that are dangerous for cats, raw or undercooked eggs may harm them. Here’s what to know before adding eggs to your cat’s diet, including portion sizes, benefits, and potential risks.

Are eggs good for cats?

Although it’s safe to give most cats fully-cooked eggs, is it a good idea?

Eggs have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that provide health benefits for cats. For example, eggs are a rich source of protein and amino acids, which help build lean muscle. They also contain healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can bolster the brain, nervous system, and heart health.

Eggs are a common source of protein in nutritionally-complete cat food. Other animal protein sources found in commercial cat food include turkey, pork, chicken, and lamb.

Eggs alone aren’t a complete cat meal but an occasional treat. Kittens and adult cats can have small quantities of the food, but avoid giving a whole egg to a feline, particularly young kittens, which don’t need the excess calories.

👉 If you suspect your cat has allergies, talk to your vet and avoid giving your cat eggs. Signs of food allergies in cats may include scratching, skin lesions, and hair loss. 

Raw eggs

Raw eggs are a no-no for all cats. They can contain dangerous bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Raw eggs also have avidin, an enzyme that reduces the absorption of biotin, a type of vitamin B. Your cat can have skin and coat issues as a result.

Stray and wild cats are especially vulnerable to E. coli — they don’t have pet parents to help them steer clear of raw foods. However, even domestic kitties may eat something they shouldn’t.

🚨If your cat consumes raw eggs, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

How to cook eggs for your cat

Now that we’ve established the type of eggs that are OK to give to your cat, what are the best practices for preparing them?

Egg yolks can be controversial for their fat and cholesterol content in the human nutrition world, but there’s no need to separate egg yolks from egg whites for cats. Again, cook eggs before serving (scrambled or hard-boiled are good options), and never give raw egg whites or yolks to a cat.

Refrain from using salt and additional seasoning, especially garlic and onions. Both can cause health conditions from GI upset to red blood cell damage or anemia. Should you give your cat eggshells? Absolutely not — remove them from the egg before serving them to your kitty.

Downsides of serving eggs to cats

Because eggs have high-fat content, excess calories can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Rather, eggs are typically a healthy treat when consumed in moderation. You can give your healthy cat small pieces of eggs from time to time as long as they don’t have any conditions like allergies.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before introducing a new food to your cat’s diet — particularly dishes commonly reserved for people. Be on the lookout for adverse reactions, such as vomiting or diarrhea, especially if it’s your first time feeding eggs to your cat.

Egg alternatives

If your cat craves people food, there are plenty of other choices safe for moderate consumption. Other foods cats can consume include:

  • Blueberries
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Carrots
  • Lean deli meats

Remember, treats should make up a maximum of 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake. The rest should come from high-quality cat food. Feeding your cat too many eggs — or any people food — can build bad habits and expectations. Some of these foods are highly palatable to cats, and they may crave them any time they see you indulging in them, whether you want to share them or not.

Frequently asked questions

Do cats like eggs?

Felines are picky creatures, so your cat must taste test and answer that one! However, eggs are generally easy on the digestive system. Because cats are obligate carnivores used to animal protein, they have likely already been exposed to eggs through commercial cat foods.

Are eggs safe for cats?

Generally, cooked eggs are safe for cats to consume in small quantities. Raw eggs are not safe for any cat to eat. Pet parents concerned their cat has consumed raw eggs should call the veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

How much egg can a cat eat?

A couple of small pieces of eggs are usually safe for healthy cats. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake. The rest (90%) should come from high-quality cat food.

Can cats eat scrambled eggs with butter?

Giving your cat fully-cooked eggs without seasonings and add-ons, including butter, is best. Butter is high in fat and adds excess calories to what should be an occasional treat in eggs.

What happens if my cat eats eggs?

If the eggs were cooked and your cat doesn’t have allergies, your cat should be fine. Look out for adverse reactions, such as lethargy or vomiting. Call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you believe your kitty ate raw eggs.