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Can Cats Eat Egg Yolk? Vet-Approved Nutrition Facts

Written by: Dr. Paola Cuevas MVZ (Vet)

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat egg-yolk

Can Cats Eat Egg Yolk? Vet-Approved Nutrition Facts


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The yolk of the egg is where most of the nutrients are found. It is packed with fat, which your cat can easily handle, and egg yolk can prove a healthy and nutritious treat for your cat. The high-calorie count in egg yolk means that it should only be fed as an occasional treat, considering the additional energy it provides.

Similarly, egg whites are an excellent protein source for your cats’ diet and provide some variety. Egg whites are better served gently cooked since their proteins are more bioavailable in that face divider 2

Is Egg Yolk Safe?

Egg yolk is safe for cats to consume. Humans have long been aware of the potential risks of consuming raw eggs. Modern sterilization methods allow in-shell pasteurization of eggs, removing the risk of bacterial contamination.

If you do not have access to eggs sterilized using this method, boiled eggs are a great way to feed egg yolks to your cat. However, gently cooked egg whites provide the most nutritional benefits. In other words, in-shell pasteurized soft-boiled or poached eggs might be your best option.

abyssinian cat an liquid yolk_Vladimir Zhupanenko_sshutterstock
Image Credit: Vladimir Zhupanenko, Shutterstock

Cooked Yolk

While raw eggs are potentially dangerous, overcooking them reduces some of their nutritional benefits. If possible, buy in-shell pasteurized eggs to ensure your cat gets the maximum nutritional benefits.

There are additional ways that you can cook eggs, but scrambling or frying eggs requires butter or oil, which may be too rich for your cat. 

Are There Any Health Benefits to Feeding Egg Yolk?

Eggs are considered a natural, healthy food. Besides being a fatty energy source, egg yolks are an important source of choline. While cats can naturally produce some choline, this vitamin-like nutrient is regularly added to cat food for several reasons.

Choline plays a vital role in nerve transmission and in the cognitive and muscle function of cats. Choline is very important in maintaining a healthy liver as it is part of the liver’s detoxification pathways.

Food digestion is controlled by the intestine’s smooth muscle, which is, in turn, controlled by the enteric nervous system. Therefore, choline is critical in maintaining a healthy and functional digestive tract. The egg yolk is also a source of vitamins D, B6, and B12.

Image Credit: mattycoulton, Pixabay

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How To Prepare Egg Yolk for Your Cat

Before you give your cat egg yolks, it is crucial to keep in mind that they are energy-dense and contain quite a few calories. For example, a 7-pound adult cat with a healthy body condition score should usually consume around 200 calories a day, and one large egg yolk provides approximately 54 calories, which would be about 27% extra calories.

As a rule of thumb, your cat should not consume more than 10% of their daily calories from healthy treats like egg yolk.  So, to keep it within safe limits, you should feed no more than a quarter of an egg yolk to your cat. If you want to let your feline friend try this nutrient-rich ingredient, you can prepare it in several ways.

While cats can eat eggs in most of the same ways humans can, soft-boiled or poached eggs are the best types to get the most nutritional benefits. You can also boil the yolk, which might make it easier to divide into daily portions. Remember that any oil you use to scramble or fry eggs will add excess calories for your cat.

Avoid additives like salt and pepper and toxic ingredients like garlic. Humans might appreciate the additional taste these ingredients give, but they can harm cats.

What About Egg Whites for Cats?

Egg whites are also safe to serve, but they have a different nutritional composition than the yolk. Egg whites are less calorie-dense and are an excellent source of protein. The best way to make the most of the egg whites is to cook them gently.

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Is It Safe To Feed Cats Egg Yolk?

Cats can eat egg yolks. If you wish to feed it raw, looking for in-shell pasteurized eggs is recommended to prevent bacterial contamination. The egg yolk has nutritional benefits, but it is also packed with calories, and you should only feed a very small amount to your cat. When fed in moderation, egg yolks are an excellent healthy treat or meal topper for your beloved feline.

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