Can I Give My Cat Eggs?
Are eggs something you can give to your cat? Cats are not bothered by philosophical questions. They do not care if the chicken or the egg came first. They only care about how the chicken or the egg will make it to their stomachs.
In fact, studies have shown that even domestic cats that are allowed to roam freely in rural areas still obtain about 15 to 90 percent of their food from natural prey.
Natural prey for cats includes cockroaches, rodents, birds, and rabbits. Most cats love the taste of eggs, and people believe that feeding them eggs is beneficial to their coats, keeping their fur shiny and silky smooth.
Can I give my cat Eggs? Answer: Occasionally, if Boiled.
The digestive systems of cats are perfectly capable of processing eggs. If the eggs are boiled, it is not a problem to feed them to your cat. The feline diet is one that is very high in protein. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. In addition to the large quantity of protein contained in eggs, they also contain amino acids that are essential for cats.
It is not advisable to give your cat raw eggs because of the risk of bacterial food poisoning. Raw eggs also contain a protein known as avidin that disrupts the absorption of vitamin B.
Eggs Are Nutritious
Egg yolks contain a large percentage of the the daily recommended allowances of vitamins and minerals for cats. There are an excellent source of calcium, iron and an array of B vitamins. In addition to vitamins and minerals they contain 10 amino acids essential to cats. These are acids they cannot produce themselves and must therefore consume in their diet. There is one important amino acid lacking in eggs, however, namely taurine.
Taurine is Missing
Although an egg contains a large quantity of essential amino acids, it still lacks the very important taurine. This lack of taurine makes eggs an unsuitable choice for a cat’s long term diet. Only after a long term lack of taurine will the cat experience any negative effects from missing the amino acid. However, the effects of the taurine deficiency are severe including hair loss, tooth decay, heart problems and reproductive issues. The nutritional value of eggs in other areas make them an excellent supplement to a diet that contains enough taurine.
Biotin or B Vitamins
The biggest issue with feeding our feline friend raw eggs is their ativin content. Ativin is a protein that binds itself to certain B vitamins and interferes with their absorption. The enzyme is found in raw eggs in relatively low quantities and research indicates that is takes quite a few eggs on a regular basis to cause a biotin deficiency. The deficiency is only likely to occur if a cat consumes one or two eggs daily for an extended period of time. A potential biotin deficiency is not the only concern when feeding cats raw eggs, though.
Bacterial Food Poisoning
Raw eggs can result in bacterial food poisoning in cats and humans alike. Salmonella is one of the more common bacterial food poisonings caused by the consumption of raw eggs. Despite the fact that cats are obligate carnivores and survive solely on the raw meat of animals they are still vulnerable to salmonella infections. Salmonella has a whole array of unpleasant symptoms including, but not limited to fever, vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea.
If you suspect your cat has become infected, keep them well hydrated and contact the veterinarian. Other bacterial infections such as E. coli can also be contracted by eating raw eggs. Cooking the eggs is an easy solution to eliminate the risks of any bacterial infections.
Cooked Eggs are Safe and Nutritious
The popular belief that eggs increases the gloss and health of a cat’s coat can be based on the fact that it contains so many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are important to them. Eggs make an excellent supplement to the feline diet, but lack taurine so they cannot be the main source of nutrition for a cat. Even raw eggs may be fed to cats, but there is a risk of bacterial infection.
Raw eggs can also disrupt the absorption of biotin in the long term, so overall boiled eggs are a safer and more practical supplement to their diet.