Cat Cats Eat?

Can Cats Eat Ketchup? Will It Hurt Them?

A white ramekin on a brown cutting board filled with ketchup is in the middle of the image (with a leaf of parsley on the top of the ketchup) with tomatoes, salt grains, pink peppercorns, and parsley leaves around it.

Ketchup may be an all-American human food that we love to douse our hamburgers in or slop over our french fries. Some people may even eat ketchup at every meal. Even though ketchup is a popular condiment for us, it should not be a part of your cat’s diet. While ketchup isn’t necessarily toxic to cats, it’s not healthy for them either. 

Can Cats Eat Ketchup?

Ketchup provides no positive nutritional value to your cat’s diet. But that doesn’t mean that it does nothing for your cat. Ketchup can be quite harmful to them if consumed in high enough amounts.

  • High Sugar: Believe it or not, ketchup is high in sugar. Cup for cup, ketchup contains more sugar than vanilla ice cream! Giving your cat a lot of sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes that are not only difficult to treat but can also be life-threatening.
  • High Salt: Ketchup also has more than its fair share of salt. While small amounts of salt are usually no big deal, lots of salt can lead to heart and blood pressure issues long-term and salt toxicity short-term. Cats that eat an overload of salt may have vomiting and diarrhea, a decreased appetite, tremors, or seizures.
  • Garlic and Onion: These ingredients may give ketchup a tasty touch, but they are very toxic to our kitties. Both onion and garlic seasoning can lead to a blood disorder called Heinz body anemia which can potentially be very serious.
  • High in Calories: This goes along with high sugar content, but it’s still important to reiterate. Ketchup contains plenty of empty calories, meaning calories that don’t provide any other nutritional benefit. This means that giving your cat ketchup can put them on the fast track to obesity and all of the complications that come with it.

What Happens if My Cat Eats Ketchup?

A lick of ketchup here and there shouldn’t affect your cat much. So don’t worry if your feline friend sneaks a bit off of your burger wrapper or plate. The real trouble comes if your cat decides to gorge itself on ketchup behind your back. 

If that’s the case, carefully monitor your kitty for signs of stomach irritation, most commonly vomiting and diarrhea. Most of the time, these signs will resolve on their own in a couple of days, but if your cat is having trouble for longer than that or their symptoms are severe enough to cause dehydration, tremors, or seizures, see your veterinarian immediately.

Most of the time, cats won’t want more than a taste or two of ketchup, but if you happen to have a ketchup addict on your hand, be sure to keep any ketchup containing foods out of your cat’s reach and remember to lock up the garbage to prevent them from getting at the fast-food wrappers.

Are There any Health Benefits to Ketchup?

Tomatoes are the main ingredient in ketchup, and they pack an antioxidant and fiber punch. However, ketchup tends to be lacking in those nutrients due to its highly processed nature. Ketchup is mostly empty calories with no nutritional value other than providing a tasty pep for most of our fast foods.

Final Thoughts

Ketchup is a tasty condiment that most humans can’t live without. However, it has no place in your cat’s diet. More than a couple of licks of ketchup may be quite detrimental to your cat by potentially leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or digestive upset.

Can Cats Eat Parsley? Is It Really Healthy For Them?

A bunch of parsley on top of a wooden surface which looks like the inside of a tree trunk. There is a tag attached to the bunch of parsley that reads, “PARSLEY.”

Parsley is a popular herb that is used to flavor a wide variety of human dishes. Not only does it add a tasty touch to food, but it also has some surprising health benefits. But should your cat partake in parsley as part of their regular meal? 

While parsley in small quantities is ok for your feline friend to eat, it should be avoided in large amounts and should not be fed frequently, even in small amounts.

Should Cats Eat Parsley?

When it comes to parsley, a little goes a long way. Parsley consumed in high amounts can be toxic to your feline friend. So, if you’re looking to boost their antioxidant levels or freshen their breath, keep it small and infrequent. It’s also important to know that different types of parsley have different toxicity levels. Generally speaking, any parsley you buy in the grocery store is fine, but if you’re prone to gathering your own, it’s spring parsley that can be more detrimental.

Parsley contains furanocoumarins which can cause photosensitization, which is an oversensitivity to sunlight. While it’s not quite the same as a sunburn, the effects are similar. When exposed to sunlight, cats with photosensitization will experience a chemical burn due to reactions within their skin. It is quite painful and can lead to severe damage and even death if severe enough and left untreated.

Let’s keep in mind that a cat would have to graze pretty readily on parsley to eat an amount that can cause photosensitization, but the risk is still there regardless. 

How to Feed Parsley to Your Cat

Again, moderation is key when it comes to parsley and your cat. If you want to use it as a nutritional boost for your feline friend, be sure to use small amounts and don’t make it an everyday addition. 

You may find parsley as an ingredient in commercial cat foods. It’s there to provide those nutrients as well as enhance the flavor and freshen breath. You’ll also notice that there isn’t much of it in there. That’s to ensure that the cat food is safe and won’t cause any detrimental effects.

A safer way to enhance your cat’s diet with parsley is through parsley water. This can be made by adding a couple of pinches of parsley to one cup of boiling water, letting it cool, and then draining off the water. You can give this to your kitty every day as an antioxidant supplement or to boost their vitamin A and K for overall health.

If you have parsley growing in your herb garden and an overly curious cat, you may want to find a way to limit your cat’s access to the plant to keep them safe. This is only if your cat likes to sample things from your garden, and there’s a possibility they might consume more than they should. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Parsley?

Humans have long used parsley as a natural spice. It is native to the Mediterranean region, so it’s no surprise that meats and pasta from this region often contain some parsley. But along with that flavor, parsley also supplies the body with quite a list of benefits.

  1. Antioxidants:  Parsley is chock full of antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C. These antioxidants are essential to prevent and repair damage at the cellular level, helping to boost the immune system and help the body age healthily.
  2. Vitamins:  Along with vitamin C, parsley also contains vitamins A, K, and folate. These are important for bone health, normal blood clotting, immune function, and vision.
  3. Cancer-Fighting:  hose antioxidants and other nutrients present in parsley can help decrease the risk of certain cancers, specifically colon cancer. 
  4. Antibacterial:  Parsley extract has some antimicrobial properties that help prevent the growth of some bacteria, yeasts, and molds. It could play a role in future homeopathic remedies.
  5. Low Fat:  A couple of things that parsley is not high in is fat and calories. Instead, parsley contains lots of fiber to help you feel full longer and regulate your digestive system without adding unwanted weight.
  6. Freshens Breath:  If you’re looking for a natural way to freshen your cat’s breath with no toothbrush required, parsley may do the trick.

Final Thoughts

Parsley is a popular plant for both chefs and gardeners alike. It provides flavor and many health benefits to the food that we eat. It can do the same for your cat if given in moderation. Care should be taken to limit the amount of parsley that your cat consumes by feeding only small amounts infrequently or by giving your cat parsley water instead.

Can Cats Eat Mayonnaise? How Will It Affect Them?

A while dish filled with mayonnaise and a white spoon in it in the center. A cup of oil, 2 whole eggs, one egg yolk in a broken egg shell, a ramekin of what appears to be mustard seeds and sprigs of parsley can be seen around the dish of mayonnaise.

No, your cat doesn’t get any nutritional value from mayonnaise. They may eat it, like it, and even beg for it, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of boosting their diet. Sure, the main ingredients of mayonnaise are eggs and oils, which are great sources of protein and unsaturated fats, but there are far better foods to get those nutrients from.

One possible use for mayonnaise in cats is as a laxative or to aid giving pills. In addition, the oil content of mayonnaise may help grease up the intestinal contents of a constipated cat, and it may help a pill slide down the esophagus. But, again, there are better products available to do this.

Can Cats Eat Mayonnaise At All?

If your kitty gets a quick lick of your sandwich or a bite of macaroni salad, it shouldn’t hurt them. What you don’t want is your cat ingesting mayonnaise regularly. It shouldn’t be used as a snack or meal topper due to the caloric content and amount of oil.

That being said, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for the occasional appetite stimulant or to get one of those pesky pills that your vet gave you down a little easier. However, if you choose to do this, look for healthier, low-fat options. 

If your cat eats more than a couple of licks of mayonnaise, monitor them for signs of digestive upset and make sure that they stay hydrated. If they have vomiting or diarrhea that lasts longer than 24-48 hours or have severe abdominal pain and do not eat or drink, see your vet.

Possible Side Effects of Feeding Mayonnaise to a Cat

Again, mayonnaise is made primarily of oil and eggs. That means that it’s also high in fat. Most domestic housecats don’t need a caloric dense food like mayonnaise. Even a small amount of mayonnaise adds significant calories to a cat’s daily intake and can put your kitty on the fast track to obesity.

On top of the fat content, mayonnaise may also contain a lot of salt. Salt toxicity is a real issue in animals that can damage multiple organ systems and even cause death. Along with salt, other seasonings present in mayonnaise-based salads can create toxicities as well. Spices to stay away from include garlic and onion.

The oils in mayonnaise can also cause digestive upset. High fat or oil foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in cats, especially when they aren’t used to such foods. On top of that, high-fat foods can lead to a serious condition called pancreatitis.

Cats are also at risk for food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella and Listeria. While it’s not necessarily the temperature of the mayonnaise that’s the problem, it’s how long it took to get there. Heating mayonnaise in the oven or microwave doesn’t cause food poisoning. The problem comes in when you leave mayonnaise out on the counter or picnic table for more than an hour, allowing those nasty stomach bacteria to grow.

Final Thoughts

Mayonnaise is a common ingredient in many summer dishes, but that doesn’t mean it should show up in your cat’s food dish. Instead of giving your cat mayonnaise as a treat or letting them snack on food with mayonnaise in it, look for healthier, more feline-friendly options. 

If your cat happens to eat more than its fair share of mayonnaise, expect to see some short-lived digestive issues, and be sure to consult your vet if your kitty doesn’t get over it within a couple of days.

Can Cats Eat Cashews? Will My Cats Be Okay?

A brown wooden bowl filled with cashews. Cashews can also be seen scattered around the bowl.

A delicious, crunchy snack for humans, cashews are also packed with healthy nutrients. If you’ve ever wondered if your cat can eat cashews, know that they are not toxic but aren’t necessary either. Even though your kitty might enjoy a cashew now and then, there are other healthier snacks for your feline friend out there.

Should Cats Eat Cashews?

Even though cashews aren’t considered toxic to cats and have an impressive nutrient profile, that doesn’t mean your cat should eat many of them. Giving your cat a large number of cashews can have some harmful effects.

  • Not the Best Type of Protein: Cats require a high protein diet, and cashews are high in protein, so they should be the perfect food, right? Not exactly. Plant-based protein sources, like nuts, aren’t as good for cats as animal-based protein sources. That’s because a cat’s digestive system just isn’t set up to handle the digestion of plants as efficiently as it can handle meat.
  • High Fat: The majority of the fat found in cashews is considered healthy fat, but to a cat, it’s fat all the same. Again, a cat’s digestive system is made to digest lean meat, not a pile of fat. Giving your kitty too much fat can lead to digestive upset in the form of diarrhea and vomiting. More seriously, it can lead to obesity and pancreatitis.
  • Too Much Salt: Raw unsalted cashews are better for your cat than the roasted, salted kind. That’s because too much salt can cause problems, especially in the long run.
  • Choking Hazard: Finally, cashews are the perfect size for your cat to choke on, especially if feeding them whole. If a cat doesn’t thoroughly chew a cashew, it can become lodged in the throat or intestine, which would require an emergency veterinary visit.

How to Feed Cashews to Your Cat

If you’re a sucker for your cat’s begging face and you can’t resist giving them an occasional cashew, don’t worry. Treating your feline friend to one or two cashews every once in a while won’t hurt. If you start giving it to them all the time, that may cause some trouble.

If you have a cat that tends to inhale their food rather than chew it, it’s best to crunch or break up the cashews before you give it to them to prevent choking and intestinal blockages. You may consider sprinkling the crushed seed over food. Just be sure to supervise your cat while they eat cashews to ensure no problems.

Stick with unsalted varieties to help reduce your cat’s salt intake as well. It’s also essential to reduce the amount of cat food that you feed if giving your cat cashews regularly. This will help decrease the overall number of calories that they are getting to prevent weight gain. Just be sure that cashews aren’t taking over too much of your cat’s diet so that they do not lack any essential nutrients.

Can Cats Have Cashew Milk?

Cashew milk is becoming a popular choice as a dairy alternative, but it’s not meant for your cat. Cashew milk is still high in fat, and it just isn’t a necessary part of a cat’s healthy diet.

The Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashews are often referred to as a tree nut due to their similar composition. However, they are actually seeds of the cashew tree. They are a popular human snack or addition to many dishes due to their taste and nutrient profile. Cashews are good sources of the following:

  • Protein: Cashews are very high in protein. They go head to head with meat when it comes to protein content. This makes them a great alternative for someone looking for plant-based sources of protein.
  • Unsaturated fats: These are known as healthy fats and have been linked to decreasing the risk of heart disease.
  • Fiber: Fiber is essential for digestive regularity and the feeling of being full to decrease the amount of food you eat.
  • Minerals: Copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and iron, to name a few, are all found in significant amounts in cashews. These minerals are important for bone and brain health, immune function, and energy production.
  • Antioxidants: The antioxidant pair of polyphenols and carotenoids that are found in cashews help to reduce inflammation, boost immune function, and repair cellular injury for a longer, healthier life.
  • Low in Sugar: While a significant source of many healthy nutrients, what cashews lack is sugar. This makes them an important snack for humans with diabetes or those who are watching their sugar intake. 

As you can see, cashews are a nutritional superfood. They pack a lot of nutrients into a small package. However, they don’t necessarily provide all these benefits to our feline friends.

Final Thoughts

Cashews make great human snacks that are tasty, crunchy, and healthy. However, they are not the best snack option for our cats. Cats aren’t engineered to get a lot of healthy nutrition from cashews, and what they can get instead is a lot of fat and salt that they don’t need. If you decide to give your cat a cashew treat, make sure they only get one or two, and it only happens every once in a while.

Can Cats Eat Mango? Or Is It Poisonous?

A white, grey, and black cat on a table licking its mouth. In front of it, is a bowl that is filled with cut mango slices and ice cream.

With summer approaching, we all tend to crave the cooling sweetness of fresh fruits. One of those popular fruits is mango. If you’re thinking that our kitties are craving the same things, it’s important to know if eating mangoes are safe for them.

While mango isn’t considered toxic to cats, it’s also not a necessary staple for their diet. Read on to find out how much mango is okay for your cat to consume.

Are There Any Potential Issues With Feeding a Cat Mango?

Mango may have many benefits in its corner, but does that mean that it’s suitable for your cat? 

You may have a hard time getting your cat to eat sweet fruits, such as mango. That’s because cats don’t have tastebuds that sense sweet, so they don’t tend to crave it the way humans or even dogs can. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t get curious or enjoy the texture that mango provides.

Other issues can come about if you feed your cat too much mango. The fiber and sugar that come with the fruit can create digestive upset if your cat eats too much in one sitting. Look for things like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain if you exceed your cat’s digestive tolerance of mango.

Mango can also be a choking hazard if you give your cat large chunks of it. While the ripe fruit tends to be fairly soft, indiscriminate chewers may gobble pieces that are too large to be easily swallowed.

Mango is a stone fruit, meaning that it contains a large, hard pit in the center. It’s essential to remove this pit before giving the fruit to your cat as the pit contains poisonous amounts of cyanide. Plus, the pit is a choking hazard and doesn’t taste good.

How to Feed Your Cat Mango

If your kitty is into it, feeding them mango once in a while can be a healthy vitamin and antioxidant boost. But that doesn’t mean that mango should make an appearance at every meal or be given to your cat’s heart’s content. 

Rather, feed your cat one to two slices of mango with the skin and pit removed. Removing the skin helps to increase digestion and decrease the likelihood of fiber-induced digestive issues. Of course, remove the pit to prevent cyanide toxicity. 

You’ll also want to dice the mango up, especially if you have a kitty that prefers to eat their food whole. This will also increase digestion and decrease the possibility of choking. 

Make mango a once or twice a week treat at the most, and remember that since cats don’t taste sweet, they might not be interested. So, don’t force them to eat mango if they don’t want to. They can get all of the nutrients that mango provides from other, more desirable sources.

The Health Benefits of Mango

Mango is a great-tasting and pretty fruit. It also boasts a pretty impressive nutrient profile.

  1. Vitamins: Mango is packed with vitamin C. It also contains vitamins A, E, K, and many of the B vitamins. This makes mango especially important at boosting immunity and growth and repair of cells. They also aid in healthy vision, hair, and skin.
  2. Minerals: Mango also brings potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and small amounts of iron, calcium, and selenium. These minerals help to support heart health and many other bodily functions.
  3. Fiber: The fiber in mango helps to regulate digestive health and helps us feel full for longer. 
  4. Antioxidants:  Mango is a great source of polyphenols that help to reduce damage to cells. These antioxidants are essential for healthy aging and fighting chronic diseases.
  5. Anti-Cancer Activity: The polyphenols in mango are also important for preventing certain kinds of cancer.

Final Thoughts

Mango is a great summertime, or anytime, treat for us. Not only that, but it’s packed with many vital nutrients. If your cat is interested in snacking on mango, be sure to give it to them in small amounts every once in a while. This will help prevent digestive upset and potential toxicity from eating the pit.

Can Cats Eat Cabbage? Is It Good For them?

Three white and yellowish kittens inside of plastic cabbage leaves.

Being obligate carnivores, cats require high protein in their diets, with little to no vegetable matter. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to try some now and then. A food that people wonder if cats can eat is cabbage. 

Cabbage is a perfectly healthy, nontoxic food for cats to eat in small quantities. It provides many beneficial nutrients and has a pleasing crunch. But how much is too much cabbage for a cat? Let’s find out.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Feeding Cats Cabbage?

Even with all of the healthy benefits that cabbage provides, it still shouldn’t be given to your kitty in large quantities. There are several concerns associated with feeding cats cabbage regularly.

  1. Digestive Upset: Any food that is high in fiber has the potential to cause digestive upset. While fiber is a fantastic product that can help constipation and diarrhea, too much can cause the opposite reaction. This is especially true in cats that don’t have the digestive ability to handle a lot of fiber. Cats eating too much fiber may show up with diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, and gas.
  2. Thiamine Deficiency: Thiamine is a B vitamin that is needed to convert food to energy that can be used by cells in the body. Major systems that are affected by a thiamine deficiency include the nervous system, brain, and heart. Thiamine deficiency may result from eating excessive cabbage because it contains polyphenols that change the form of thiamine so that the body can’t use it.
  3. Thyroid Issues: Cabbage contains another compound, thiocyanate, that suppresses the thyroid gland. This compound is only found in raw cabbage. Cooking cabbage deactivates the thiocyanate so that it is safe for cats to eat.

How to Feed Cabbage to Your Cat

Cabbage is a nutrient-packed food that is on the plates of many human healthy eaters. However, since cats can’t digest vegetables the same way humans do, they might be missing out on some of those benefits. This means that cabbage isn’t required in a healthy diet for cats. Instead, it can be used as a crunchy treat from time to time to give your kitty a little variety plus any additional nutrients that they can glean from it.

The potential issues of thiamine deficiency, thyroid problems, and digestive upset can stem from feeding your cat too much cabbage, especially over a long period. Most cats aren’t going to want to eat that much cabbage anyway, but it’s best to keep your cat’s cabbage consumption to a minimum. Giving your cat one cabbage leaf shredded over their food every couple of weeks shouldn’t hurt. 

Since raw cabbage can be challenging for a cat to chew and presents the potential for thyroid suppression, cooking the cabbage first will make it easier and safer for your cat to eat. One cooked cabbage leaf every couple of weeks should be all your cat needs.

Stay away from seasonings, like garlic, onion, and salt, on your cat’s cabbage as these are toxic to cats. Don’t give your cat’s coleslaw complete with dressing. The dressing adds unwanted calories and may be flavored with the above seasonings that can be toxic. 

Can Cats Eat Sauerkraut?

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are packed with healthy probiotics that can boost your cat’s digestive system. They make a healthy treat for any cat, especially those who have had a recent digestive illness or are experiencing malnutrition. The issue comes from getting your cat to want to eat sauerkraut. It packs a distinctive smell and flavor that most cats aren’t going to like unless they’re accustomed to it from a young age. 

The Health Benefits of Cabbage

Considered a superfood in the human world, cabbage can be the same for your cat. Cabbage has a rather impressive nutrient profile, and it does it all with very few calories.

  1. Vitamins: Cabbage contains significant amounts of vitamins K, C, and many of the Bs. It also has trace amounts of vitamin A. These vitamins work to boost the immune system, eyesight, blood function, and many other processes in the body.
  2. Minerals: Manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are all found in cabbage, along with small amounts of iron. These minerals are essential for bone formation, immune function, and many other processes.
  3. Fiber: Cabbage is an excellent source of fiber, which is necessary for digestive health. Fiber also helps a cat feel full for longer.
  4. Antioxidants: The antioxidants found in cabbage can help reduce chronic inflammation and protect and repair cells against oxidative damage. Antioxidants may also play a role in a healthy aging process.
  5. Anthocyanins: These are plant pigments that can help protect against heart disease. Anthocyanins are highest in purple and other dark-colored cabbage.
  6. Other: Cabbage also contains protein and compounds that help reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Final Thoughts

Cabbage is an excellent superfood treat for your feline friend. However, it shouldn’t be a primary or everyday part of their diet as eating large amounts of cabbage over time can have detrimental side effects. Use cooked cabbage as an occasional treat, or use sauerkraut whenever your kitty needs a digestive boost to provide your cat with a bit of dietary variety without the risk of creating health concerns.

Can Cats Eat Eggs? Advice from A Veterinarian

A grey and white cat is lying down, with 4 decorated (brown and white) eggs between its front legs.

Eggs are protein-packed, loaded with valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and are low in calories. They offer near-perfect nutrition, so it’s no wonder that you would want to share them with your favorite feline friend. But is it safe for your cat to eat eggs? In short, yes, as long as they’re cooked and given in small amounts.

How Can I Feed My Cat Eggs?

Eggs are included in many commercial cat diets because they provide all of those wonderful nutrition bonuses. However, if you’re looking to boost your cat’s nutrition with some egg supplementation, be sure you’re doing it safely. Always consult your veterinarian first to find out if eggs are a good idea for your cat.

It’s essential to cook any eggs that you give your cat thoroughly. The best way to prepare eggs is by boiling or scrambling them without any added seasonings. If your kitty is on a low-calorie or fat diet, remove the egg yolk first. Make sure the egg reaches an internal temperature of 160℉ to kill any harmful bacteria.

How Much Egg Can a Cat Have?

When we say cats can have eggs, we mean to give it to them in moderation. Eggs aren’t something that your healthy cat should have every day. Eggs shouldn’t take up more than 10% of your cat’s diet. 

This is because, while they may be a superfood, they don’t provide all of the necessary nutrients that your cat needs. And feeding too many eggs can take the place of other healthy foods that will provide those additional nutrients.

It’s easy to get carried away when feeding your cat eggs. Calories can add up quickly in your cat’s diet, especially considering that an average 10-pound housecat only needs about 200 calories per day. That’s not a lot. 

With this in mind, most veterinarians will recommend that you remove the egg yolk to cut down on the fat and calories and only feed about 1 tablespoon of cooked egg white to your cat once or twice a week. This can be given as a snack or on top of their regular cat food. Again, speak to your veterinarian first to determine the best feeding plan for giving eggs to your cat.

The Benefits of Feeding Cats Eggs

Breaking down the nutritional components of an egg will help you see where your kitty can benefit from eating some. 

  • Protein: The white of an egg, and a little bit of the yolk, provides a high amount of protein and amino acids. This protein is important for your cat to build and maintain muscle mass and provide energy for their daily activities.
  • Fat: The egg yolk contains fatty acids that promote a shiny and soft hair coat. This healthy fat can also be used as a concentrated energy source. 
  • Vitamins: Eggs provide nearly the entire vitamin alphabet all in one food. They are high in vitamins A, D, E, and several of the Bs. These vitamins are essential for immune function, eye, skin, heart, and blood health.
  • Minerals: Your kitty can also get zinc, selenium, and iron from eating eggs. These minerals aid in immune function, skin health, and blood production and function.
  • Taurine: If you have a cat, you’ve probably heard about the importance of taurine in their diet. Taurine is an amino acid that is integral in your cat maintaining a healthy heart. Cats need to get taurine from their diet, and it is only found in animal-based proteins, such as meat and eggs.

What Don’t Eggs Have?

How about no carbohydrates? If your kitty is on a limited carb diet due to diabetes or weight loss, eggs can provide a significant boost of protein without blowing up their carb count. They’re also relatively low in fat as compared to other high protein food options.

What Are Potential Problems Associated with Feeding Cats Eggs?

Before your cat has any eggs, make sure they are thoroughly cooked. Raw eggs present a two-prone danger to cats.

  • Bacteria: Raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli. Both bacteria can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea in your cat and you.
  • Avidin: Avidin is a protein found in raw egg whites. It inhibits the absorption of biotin and other B complex vitamins. Cooking the egg white decreases the amount of avidin available in the egg. Biotin deficiency can cause weight loss and a scruffy hair coat, dry skin, and hair loss.

Other possible downsides of eggs include:

  • Fat and Cholesterol: An egg yolk contains a lot of fat and cholesterol. While some amount of fat is healthy for your kitty, it’s easy to get carried away. Kitties are small critters and don’t require a lot of fat or calories to fuel them. 
  • Eggshells: Eggshells contain a high amount of calcium, a vital mineral for bone health. While eggshells are great supplements for chickens, they’re not always the best for your kitty. If you choose to give your cat the eggshell, make sure it is finely ground to prevent GI punctures and mask the not-so-palatable taste.

Final Thoughts

Eggs pack a nutritional punch and can liven up your cat’s meal. However, eggs shouldn’t be seen as a staple in their diet or given to them raw or undercooked. Before embarking on the egg feeding journey, speak with your veterinarian about potential benefits and issues for your particular feline friend.

Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken? Is It Dangerous?

A hand can be seen holding a piece of raw chicken and feeding it to a grey and white cat who is biting on it.

With the raw diet rage comes the question, can cats eat raw chicken? The short answer is yes; the long answer is more complicated. If you’re thinking of making “raw the law” for your cats, please read on.

Is Eating Chicken Good For Cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they crave protein and need it to make up a large part of their diet. Protein from animal sources is complete, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids that a cat needs. On the other hand, plant-based proteins are incomplete and need to be paired correctly with other protein sources to provide those same amino acids.

With that in mind, chicken is an excellent protein source for cats. Not only does it provide all of the essential amino acids, but it is also low in fat compared to beef or pork. You may notice that many cat food brands use chicken as their primary protein source because of this. 

Is Raw Chicken Safe for Cats?

The many nutritional benefits of chicken have led some pet parents to believe that raw chicken is equally valued as cat food or as a treat. Raw chicken still provides the same nutritious goodness, but without the processing; therefore, raw chicken must be better, right? 

Maybe not. 

The main focus of a raw diet is on providing cats with superior nutrition through fresh, whole, non-processed foods. It does seem like a great idea. However, raw foods may also contain harmful bacteria, such as SalmonellaCampylobacterandClostridium perfringensThe process of cooking chicken kills these pathogens, making them safer to consume.

Not only are these bacteria potentially harmful to your kitty, but they also pose a risk to the person who handles the bacteria-laden food.  So avoid giving raw chicken to your cats.

Can Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

In the wild and raw feeding, bones are often a component of a cat’s diet. After all, they are packed with healthy minerals like calcium and phosphorus. 

Bone marrow is also very nutritious and can support joint and skin health and decrease inflammation. But does that mean that you should let your feline friend chomp down on a few chicken bones?

The bones of birds are hollow. They need to be to decrease body weight to support flight. That hollowness and lightweight structure also make them more prone to splintering when crunched. Chicken bones, especially the larger ones, pose a risk of gastrointestinal punctures and choke if fed to your cat.

Smaller bones may be safer from the splintering standpoint, but they still come with plenty of risk of causing your cat to choke. So, while feeding your cat chicken bones may make them feel like they’re a lion out on the savannah, they can actually be quite dangerous.

Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken?

If you’ve decided to take raw chicken off of your cat’s menu, you don’t have to remove chicken as an ingredient altogether. There are ways you can cook chicken to make a safe and nutritious snack for your kitty.

When cooking chicken for your cat, keep it simple. Plain boiled chicken is best. The boiling process removes harmful bacteria while still providing your cat with a flavor that they will love. Don’t add any seasoning, as things like garlic and onion can be dangerous for your cat to consume. 

Remove the skin. Your cat doesn’t need the extra fat, and fatty foods can lead to a potentially serious condition called pancreatitis. Avoid cooking chicken in fats or oils as well.  

What about other preparations for chicken?

Types of Cooked Chicken to Avoid

  1. Fried Chicken:  It’s best not to share this Southern dish with your kitty. Frying chicken in fats and oils increases the risk for complications like pancreatitis. Also, the seasoning that we love so much can be detrimental to your cat.
  2. Smoked Chicken: Smoked chicken offers a very pleasant alternate flavor that most of us love; however, it also adds high amounts of salt and nitrates to the meat, which can be detrimental for your cat.
  3. Canned Chicken: The canning process usually requires the addition of salt, which at high amounts can be detrimental to your cat. If you can find low sodium versions of canned chicken, feel free to share small amounts with your feline friend.

Acceptable Types of Cooked Chicken to Feed Your Cat

  1. Baked Chicken: Chicken that has been baked plain without the use of seasonings or other flavorings is safe for your cat. Make sure to remove the skin and don’t douse it in oil or butter.
  2. Grilled Chicken: Grilling is another way to serve up some chicken to your kitty. Again, avoid seasonings, skin, and oils when preparing it.

Final Thoughts

Most of us think of our cats as members of our family, and we want to “treat” them as such. A common way that we show how much we love is by sharing our food with them. If the food you choose to share is chicken, take precautions to ensure that it poses the least amount of risk possible. 

That means cooking it to remove harmful pathogens and serving it without additional seasoning, flavorings, and bones. Also, use chicken as a treat rather than an entire meal. Your cat needs a complete and balanced diet to be healthy, and chicken can’t provide all of the nutrients that they require.