Eggs for cats? Why not! Cats can eat eggs but the eggs should be cooked.
Dr. Dalal Hares in “Can Cats Eat Eggs?” in PetMD said that eggs are very nutritious for cats.
Here are some benefits and risks of feeding eggs to your cat:
1. Eggs are excellent sources of protein and fat.
“Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat a diet of mostly animal protein,” Hares said, thus, eggs are good for cats.
2. However, eggs can not be the sole source of protein for your cat. It can be eaten only as a supplement to the protein you provide through his or her main meal though. This means you have to maintain a different source of protein like ground chicken or fish as the main source of protein for your cat. Or check out the cat food you are giving your cat and ask your vet if it has sufficient protein for a cat.
3. Please also remember that egg whites contain protein without fat. Egg yolks, meanwhile, contain mostly fat with some protein.
“So take note that feeding your cat egg yolks will increase the fat content of their diet,” Hares said.
4. Eggshells contain calcium and other minerals but tend to be less tasty for cats. “Supplementing minerals in your cat’s diet should only be done under the direction of a veterinarian,” Hares stressed
5. You can scramble an egg but do not put any oil, salt, or seasoning so as not to add fat. Just scramble the egg and put it in the pan to cook it. Cook it well though.
6. You can also boil the egg. Make sure it is cooked well too. Again, do not put salt or any seasoning.
7. You might be adding too much fat to your cat’s diet so ask your veterinarian first before giving egg to your cat.
“Scrambled eggs or boiled eggs that contain egg yolks have an increased fat content, which increases the calorie content, which raises your cat’s risk of obesity. In addition, fatty meals can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset and pancreatitis,” said Hares.
8. We give only the white of the eggs to cats once a month. We do this only to provide a treat or something different to the cats.
“Feeding only egg whites that are either boiled or scrambled will reduce these risks. Egg whites contain almost no fats, making them the better source of protein for your cat,” Hares said.
Do not feed raw eggs to cats
Eggs should be well-cooked.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control, 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,” Hares stressed.
“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 can eat eggs
Kittens need a complete, formulated diet, Hares said. Thus, give scrambled or boiled eggs in small amount to kittens.
“Eggs should not be a kitten’s sole source of food. Consult with your veterinarian prior to feeding eggs to your kitten,” Hares said.
Suggested feeding amounts
A tablespoon of boiled egg white is sufficient to supplement a cat’s protein in the diet. Small amounts are recommended, Hares said.
“However, cats tend to need less food than we think, and they are generally good at turning extra calories into fat or extra pounds. It is important that cats are fed a completely balanced diet. Before adding eggs to your cat’s diet, consult with your veterinarian,” Hares said.
“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.
Remember: egg whites should be boiled or scrambled without salt or seasoning to an internal temperature of 160°F to avoid salmonellosis. Hardboiled egg whites are preferred.
Let the eggs cool before giving a small amount to your cat.
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