raw eggs

Raw eggs are a controversial topic when it comes to cats. Some people believe that they are an excellent source of nutrition for felines, while others think that they can cause health problems. So, is it safe for my cat to eat raw eggs? What do I do if they eat one? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of feeding your cat raw eggs, as well as what to do if they accidentally.

Is It Safe for My Cat to Eat Raw Eggs?

The debate over whether or not raw eggs are safe for cats has raged on for years. There are a few things to consider when answering this question.

Pro: Raw Eggs Are a Good Source of Nutrition

Another thing to consider is that raw eggs are actually a very good source of nutrition for cats. They contain high levels of protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like iron and vitamin A. In fact, a single egg provides 21 percent of your cat’s daily protein needs, as well as small amounts of fat.

Con: Raw Eggs Contain Bacteria

First, it’s important to note that raw eggs do contain a small number of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans, such as E. coli and salmonella. However, cats are much less likely to get sick from consuming raw eggs than humans are.

Pro: Cats Are Known to Eat Eggs in the Wild

In the wild, cats often eat birds’ eggs. This is because they are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. That being said, cats in the wild typically choose eggs as a last resort, when hunting for fresh meat sources of protein have failed.

Con: Eggs Contain Avidin

Another thing to consider is that raw eggs contain avidin. Avidin is a protein that binds to biotin, which is an essential vitamin for cats (and humans). When cats consume too much avidin, it can lead to a deficiency of biotin. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.

raw eggs on bowl
Image courtesy of Unsplash

What Should You Do If Your Cat Accidentally Eats a Raw Egg?

If your cat accidentally eats a raw egg, there is no need to panic. Most likely, they will suffer no ill effects. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and monitor your cat’s health and behavior after feeding them eggs.

Signs of Food Poisoning in Cats

If you are concerned that your cat may have food poisoning, there are a few signs to look out for. These include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite

If your cat displays any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

yellow vomit on a light wooden floor and a cat
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Can Kittens Eat Raw Eggs?

It’s generally not recommended to feed raw eggs to kittens, as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. If you do choose to feed them raw eggs, make sure to only give them a small amount and monitor their health closely.

Are Cooked Eggs Better for Cats than Raw Eggs?

The jury is still out on whether cooked or raw eggs are better for cats. Some people believe that cooking eggs kills off the beneficial nutrients, while others think that it makes them easier to digest. Cooking also kills any of the dangerous bacteria that might be present.

Do Cooked Eggs Contain Avidin?

Cooked eggs do not contain avidin, which makes them a marginally safer choice. Still, cooked eggs are not the best source of protein for your cat, so they shouldn’t eat it every day.

The Bottom Line

Raw eggs aren’t the best choice of protein for your cat’s daily diet, but can usually be fed to cats safely as an occasional treat or snack. If you do choose to feed your cat raw eggs, be sure to use fresh, organic eggs from a reputable source, and to monitor their health and behavior in the hours and days afterwards.

There is no need to panic if your cat eats a raw egg. While there is a small risk of food poisoning, it is very unlikely that your cat will suffer any ill effects. However, if you are concerned, you can always contact your veterinarian for advice.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay