There was a time, which now sounds far away to many, when the cat was little more than a “means” for the inhabitants of a house: the means by which to get rid of rodents, specifically. Precisely for this reason it was always kept a little hungry, which pushed it, in addition to hunting mice, to feed on what it found around. Like eggs in nests left unattended. Today, however, more than one cat lover has the problem: can cats eat eggs? Or is it more harmful to their stomach and health than anything else?
The answer, as in any question concerning the welfare of our cats, is more articulated than a simple “yes” or “no”. To begin with, we must remember that the egg is composed of three parts, namely the yolk, the egg white and the shell. Each of them has different effects on Pussycat: the yolk and the shell are considered suitable for feline nutrition, even beneficial, while the egg white is a slightly more complex subject.
The red yolk, with its nutrients, is a perfect energy source for growing, elderly or sick cats. It can be mixed with meat, or even fed on its own. Raw or cooked? There are different schools of thought on this, and the most prominent one is against raw egg. Better, then, to cook the egg before putting it on Pussycat’s plate.
The shells, for their part, are composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) for 94%, which means a high dose of calcium and protein. The best way to offer them to our kittens is to grind them into a fine powder, easily amalgamated with the rest of their food. They help in particular in the development of teeth and bones.
The presence of avidin and possible bacteria, on the other hand, makes the ingestion of raw albumen dangerous. Avidin slows down the absorption of biotin and therefore B vitamins, which can make your skin dry and scaly with hair loss or even cause other health problems such as hyperkeratosis, bloody diarrhea, scaly secretions around the nose, mouth and eyes, and increased salivation. The bacteria most present in raw yolk are Salmonella and Escherichia coli. The solution? Cook the egg white. This eliminates bacteria and avidin, and can provide Pussycat with a high protein element.
In short, yes, cats can eat eggs… under certain conditions and with the right precautions.