When you first welcome a cat into your home, researching which cat foods are healthiest, safest, and most nutritious is an important step in raising a kitty. But in the process of figuring out which foods your cat should eat, we can often forget which foods our feline friends cannot eat. We’ll make a list of all the human foods you need to keep away from your cats. For now, let’s focus on eggs.
We know that, as people, raw eggs are very dangerous to consume. When you eat raw eggs, you put your body at risk for contracting salmonella, which is essentially an infectious virus that bacteria that causes serious internal pain, especially in your abdominal region or in various muscles throughout the body. Salmonella is often associated with irregular body temperature fluctuations, usually in the direction of chills, along with extreme exhaustion and absolutely no desire to eat.
Just like humans, cats are prone to contracting salmonella from raw eggs, too. When you put your cat in a situation where they have access to raw eggs, they become susceptible to coming down with a bacterial infection, so no matter what, keep raw eggs far away from your feline friends. This is a great topic of discussion, so let’s talk a bit more about why raw eggs are a health risk before diving into the relationship between cats and eggs!
Why Raw Eggs are Dangerous in General
As we mentioned, raw eggs pose a threat to the overall health of not only your cats but your health, too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over a million people are struck by salmonella every year.
Not only does salmonella cause people to become very sick to their stomachs, but the bacterial infection can ultimately result in death if it is left untreated. When it comes to cats and salmonella statistics, the numbers are far smaller, and this is primarily due to the fact that people are more likely to eat raw eggs than your typical cat.
That said, about three cats for every five hundred forty-two felines contract salmonella as a foodborne illness originating in raw eggs. More often than not, if a cat has salmonella, then it is appearing alongside another condition or illness. It typically takes a decent amount of bacteria to fully affect a cat, and again, this is unlikely to occur because cats tend to be out of reach of raw eggs.
There was a study conducted back in 2017 that sought to determine the likelihood of cats and dogs coming down with salmonella. By conducting an investigation into the contents of stool samples, researchers reviewed the findings of a sample size of 3,000 cats and dogs in total. Of the total sample, only five hundred forty-two were cats.
The researchers discovered that only three of the five hundred forty-two cats had traces of salmonella in their systems. This calculates to less than one percent of the population, meaning the likelihood of cats having salmonella is relatively small compared to the rates of salmonella in people. Interestingly enough, another conclusion drawn by the researchers is that a diet comprised strictly of raw foods can actually be a leading cause in the development of salmonella in a cat’s body.
After taking a look at pieces of raw pet food, lab analysts found that many foods tested positive for salmonella cultures. In fact, out of a total of one hundred ninety-six samples, fifteen of them were positive for salmonella. This equates to roughly seven-point-seven percent of the samples having traces of salmonella.
Overall, raw eggs are not consumable, no matter who you are or what breed of cat you own. Raw eggs contain bacteria that are considered harmful. Additionally, there is a protein known as avidin that exists within uncooked egg yolks and egg whites. When avidin enters a cat’s body, it binds to a vitamin called biotin.
An absolutely necessary part of your cat’s diet and nutrition, biotin plays a key role in helping cats absorb energy from the foods they consume. Avidin and biotin do not exist comfortably in the same space, primarily because avidin binds to biotin, making it nearly impossible for your cat’s body to absorb biotin properly.
Everything You Need to Know about Vitamin B7 for Cats
Biotin is one of the main reasons why your cat is able to absorb the nutrients in food. As a necessary part of your feline friend’s diet, biotin makes it possible for your cat’s body to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which then allows your cat to use the calories as an energy source. It’s important that we go into more detail about biotin in order to emphasize the reason why cats cannot eat raw eggs, despite being able to consume cooked eggs just fine. Biotin is a B vitamin. More specifically, biotin is the B7 vitamin that you’ve probably seen in the natural health aisle of your local grocery stores.
If a cat has low or insufficient levels of biotin in his or her body, then you will notice that your cat’s fur will thin. This happens because biotin is also very much involved in the growth and maintenance of hair. Biotin is also heavily involved in keeping your cat’s skin healthy, too.
As a water-soluble vitamin, biotin dissolves very easily in the body. The vitamin naturally passes through the system when your cat uses the cat box. Like all vitamins, biotin is only beneficial when the appropriate dose is taken. If your cat consumes too much biotin, or if your cat’s biotin levels are lacking, then that is when problems begin to arise.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your cat is receiving enough biotin naturally from his or her diet, then we advise you to speak with your cat’s veterinarian. There are biotin supplements available for cats that are lacking in biotin but do not introduce these into your pet’s diet before consulting a medical professional.
Cooked Eggs vs Raw Eggs
At this point, we have established that cats can eat fully cooked eggs, but raw eggs are off-limits. But what is the difference between raw and cooked eggs, aside from the obvious fact that one has been met with heat and the other has not? Let’s find out!
When eggs are cooked through and served at an appropriate temperature, eggs provide cats with an abundance of protein, which is a macronutrient needed for muscle growth and repair. As a prime source of protein, eggs can also be digested by your cat’s body with ease.
How to Make Eggs for Your Cat
There are four main ways to cook eggs that are also acceptable ways for your cats to consume eggs. The first example of eggs for cats is scrambled eggs. As a very traditional and simple way of preparing eggs, scrambling egg whites and egg yolks together is encouraged.