Is feeding a cat a hard-boiled egg occasionally safe?
Yes, but only if it’s hard-boiled, with no seasonings; raw eggs, or those that are cooked in butter and oil are not good for cats.
Cats are carnivores and, because of that, they require a high-protein diet for optimum health. Eggs are an excellent protein source that their bodies can easily and efficiently absorb and utilize. In addition, some evidence suggests that egg yolks can improve a cat’s coat.
Raw eggs, however, can cause a problem because egg whites contain the enzyme avidin, which reduces biotin (vitamin B7) absorption, potentially causing a deficiency. Research suggests that it would probably take relatively high amounts of raw egg white (one or more raw eggs per day) on a regular basis, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and just cook the egg. A biotin deficiency can result in poor hair and skin health and can stunt growth.
Another reason to always cook is salmonella. It’s not that common in cats, but it can occur occur. Salmonella bacteria can be destroyed by cooking eggs before feeding them to cats. However, many raw diet advocates believe that the benefits of feeding raw eggs outweigh the slight salmonella poisoning risk.
Of course, any egg that is smothered in butter and oil leads to things like obesity and pancreatitis.
Guidelines for Feeding Cats Eggs
• Many advise always cooking the egg to eliminate the slight salmonella and biotin deficiency risks.
• Cooked eggs may be fed 2-3 times per week. Choosing organic free-range eggs rather than classic battery-farm eggs is recommended, as free-range eggs are more nutritious.
• When preparing eggs for cats, do not add butter, oil or any of the seasonings or other ingredients that make them more appealing to humans as some of these ingredients may be harmful. In particular, onions (and other members of the allium family such as garlic) are toxic to cats.