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The chicken egg is one of the foods most present in the diet of human beings, due to the benefits it offers for health and because of its versatility in the kitchen that allows the preparation of an infinite number of sweet and savory recipes. It is a very inexpensive source of pure protein, that does not present considerable levels of carbohydrates and sugars, being also an excellent ally for those who need or want to lose weight in a healthy way.
While science is busting many myths about eggs and proving their benefits, there are still many tutors wondering if cats can eat egg or if the consumption of this food is dangerous for feline health. Therefore, at AnimalWised, we tell you if the egg can be a beneficial food for cats, and we show you the precautions that we must take if we decide to incorporate this food into the diet of our kittens..You may also be interested: Can dogs eat eggs? Index
- Nutritional composition of chicken eggs
- Is it good to give eggs to cats?
- Precautions when offering eggs to our cats
- Is there a safe dose that I must respect when giving eggs to my cat?
Nutritional composition of chicken eggs
Before explaining to you if cats can eat eggs or not, it is important that you know the nutritional composition of this food so that, then, you can understand its possible benefits for the nutrition of our kittens, as well as the precautions we must take when introducing it into their diet. . According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) database, 100 grams of whole chicken egg, raw and fresh contain the following nutrients:
- Energy: 143 kcal
- Water: 76.15 g
- Protein: 12.56 g
- Total Fat: 9.51 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.72 g
- Total sugars: 0.53 g
- Total fiber: 0.0 g
- Calcium: 56 mg
- Iron: 1.75 mg
- Magnesium: 12 mg
- Phosphorus: 198 mg
- Potassium: 138 mg
- Sodium: 142 mg
- Zinc: 1.29 mg
- Vitamin A: 140 μg
- Vitamin C: 0.0 mg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.04 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.45 mg
- Vitamin B3 (niacin or vitamin PP): 0.07 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.17 mg
- Vitamin B12: 0.89 µg
- Folate: 47 µg
- Vitamin D: 82 IU
- Vitamin E: 1.05 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.3 µg
Is it good to give eggs to cats?
As we have seen in the previous nutritional composition, the egg consists of a very good source of lean, pure protein, since it contains almost zero amounts of carbohydrates and total sugars, with a moderate amount of fat. Almost all the protein contribution of the egg is found in the white, while the lipid molecules are concentrated in the yolk. Precisely these two macronutrients should be the energetic pillars of the nutrition of our felines, taking into account that they are strictly carnivorous animals (and not omnivores like us).
In this sense, it is important to note that egg proteins are made up mostly of essential amino acids, that is, those amino acids that the cat does not synthesize naturally in its body and needs to be obtained from external sources through its diet. Regarding the old bad reputation of eggs linked to the excessive contribution of cholesterol, we must clarify that the moderate consumption of this food is safe for your cat and will not raise his cholesterol levels or lead him to gain weight.
In addition, we must emphasize that the egg also shows interesting contributions of essential minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium, as well as vitamins A, D, E and the B complex. This means that, in addition to contributing to the formation and strengthening of the muscles and bones of our feline, the egg it also helps them maintain a healthy immune system, what is essential to prevent all kinds of diseases.
In addition to offering all these benefits to the health of our felines, eggs are also inexpensive and easy to find foods.
Precautions when offering eggs to our cats
One of the biggest concerns of guardians when incorporating eggs into their cats' diet is whether they should offer it raw or cooked. Although many experts and scholars of the BARF diet for cats highlight the benefits of providing raw food to felines, thus preserving all their enzymes and nutritional properties, we must be very sure about the origin of the eggs that we acquire to incorporate them raw in the feeding our kittens.
Raw eggs can contain bacteria very dangerous for the health of our cats, which is the salmonella. If we obtain eggs of organic origin, from birds with a controlled and organic diet, we considerably reduce the risk of them being contaminated. However, we must still wash the eggs very well only with running water before breaking the shell..
¡But pay attention! Only we must wash the eggs when using them, just before breaking them. As the egg shell is a porous surface, if we wash it well in advance and let it rest, we can encourage the bacteria present in the egg shell to penetrate inside, thus contaminating the white and the yolk..
¿Cats can eat cooked eggs?
If you can, in fact if we have no chance of getting eggs of organic origin or we are not sure about the origin of the eggs that we acquire, it is best to offer them cooked to our kittens. Cooking at high temperatures is capable of eliminating a large part of the possible pathogens present in this food. In this way, you can ensure that the consumption of the egg is safe for your feline companion..
On the other hand, it is also important to highlight that raw eggs contain a protein called avidin. Although it is not a toxic substance for the cat, this protein acts as an antinutrient, preventing its body from properly absorbing biotin (also known as vitamin H).
Although to cause a deficit of biotin in the cat's body it is necessary to consume high doses of raw egg (which is not recommended), we can simply cancel this unnecessary risk by cooking the eggs before incorporating them into the diet of our cats. Cooking denatures avidin, thereby inhibiting its action as an antinutrient. That is, your cat will be able to assimilate all the nutrients from the cooked egg more easily and safely..
Is there a safe dose that I must respect when giving eggs to my cat?
The moderate consumption of eggs can be very beneficial for our kittens, but we must respect a safe dose and frequency so that this food is not harmful to their health. As popular wisdom already states, everything in excess is bad…
It is generally recommended to offer eggs to cats alone once or twice a week, combining it with other foods beneficial to the cat's health. However, there is no single and predetermined dose for all cats, but the safe dose of egg must be adequate according to the size, weight, age and health of each cat, also considering the purpose of consumption of this food.
We must also highlight that the egg, even if it offers lean and beneficial proteins, should not substitute meat in the diet of felines. As we have mentioned, cats are strictly carnivorous animals, which is why meats should be their main food and source of protein, fat, and other nutrients..
Therefore, it is essential that you consult a veterinarian to choose the most appropriate diet according to the nutritional requirements of your kitten. The professional will be able to guide you regarding the introduction of eggs and other foods in your cat's diet, always advising you on the best form and the most appropriate doses of administration to obtain a positive impact on the health of your feline..