Quail eggs are expensive but delicious substitutes for chicken eggs. They contain more fat, protein and some nutrients than chicken eggs which makes them highly sought after by health-conscious consumers. As a pet owner, you may also wonder if these small eggs are good for cats. Fortunately, quail eggs are safe for cats in moderation. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of feeding quail eggs to your pet.
Where Do Quail Eggs Come From?
Quail eggs are small, speckled eggs from various species of quail which is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally placed in the order Galliformes. Commercial eggs usually come from local farms instead of hunters locating them in the wild. Quails typically start laying eggs at around 9 weeks of age, and they lay eggs daily, placing each egg in a separate nesting box. Farmers collect and clean the eggs several times daily, grade them, and package them for sale.
Risks of Feeding Quail Eggs to a Cat
Like humans, cats can have allergies. For some cats, eating a new food like quail eggs could lead to an allergic reaction. Signs that your cat might be allergic to a new food include scratching, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting, flatulence, and diarrhea. If you notice these signs after feeding quail eggs to your cat, contact your vet.
While quail eggs can provide benefits, offering too many, too often, can disrupt a cat’s balanced diet, leading to digestive tract issues like discomfort and diarrhea.
Uncooked quail eggs can contain dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, so it’s always better to cook them fully before feeding them to your cat.
It is recommended that cats are fed a well-balanced, complete commercial cat food in order to ensure that the nutrition provided is appropriate for the cat at its different life stages. If your cat is fed a good quality commercial food, the correct calcium-phosphorus ratio of that food isn’t something you need to worry about. However, if you are providing a home-cooked/raw diet, you really need to keep an eye on your cat’s calcium-phosphorus ratio and try to keep it at about 1.1:1. Quail eggs have about four times as much phosphorus as calcium, which can throw off the balance in your cat’s body if you offer them regularly or in large quantities leading to serious problems.
Benefits of Feeding Quail Eggs to a Cat
The high protein content in quail eggs could benefit cats, especially those needing an extra protein boost due to health conditions or dietary requirements. Adolescent and young adult cats especially have plenty of energy and can use the additional protein for building muscle.
Vitamin B12 is essential for a properly functioning nervous system and the production of red blood cells. It also supports energy metabolism and helps maintain healthy brain function.
Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision, promoting healthy skin and coat, and supporting the immune system.
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, bone health, and immune function. It also helps prevent bone disorders and supports immune responses.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
There is more riboflavin in quail eggs than in chicken eggs (by weight). Riboflavin is a key component of coenzymes involved with the growth of cells, energy production, and the breakdown of fats.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for many processes in your cat’s body and help reduce inflammation and promote a shiny coat.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for healthy growth, especially when your cat is still in the growing stages of development.
Preparing Quail Eggs for a Cat
Hard-Boiled Quail Eggs
- Bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Gently add the quail eggs to the boiling water using a spoon.
- Boil the eggs for 4–5 minutes, producing fully cooked hard-boiled quail eggs.
- Remove the eggs from the boiling water, and let them cool.
- Peel the eggs, and cut them into small, cat-friendly portions.
- Serve a small piece of a hard-boiled quail egg to your cat as an occasional treat.
Scrambled Quail Eggs
- Crack the quail eggs into a microwave-safe plastic container, and lightly beat them with a fork.
- Place the beaten eggs into the microwave with a loose-fitting lid to prevent splatters.
- Heat the eggs for 10–20 seconds, stirring between sessions until the eggs finish cooking.
- Allow the scrambled eggs to cool before serving them to your cat in small portions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Can I Feed Quail Eggs to My Cat?
You can feed quail eggs to your cat only as occasional treats, not as a regular part of their diet. Once or twice a week (or less) is a reasonable frequency. Consider your cat’s size and nutritional needs when determining portion sizes and frequency.
Should I Consult My Veterinarian Before Feeding Quail Eggs to My Cat?
It’s always better to consult your veterinarian before introducing any new food to your cat’s diet, including quail eggs. They can provide guidance based on your cat’s specific health needs.
Can Kittens Eat Quail Eggs?
Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats. They might also be more sensitive to allergens, so it’s better to wait until your pet is a bit older or consult a veterinarian before feeding quail eggs to your kitten.
Cats can eat quail eggs in moderation, and they can even be quite beneficial, providing protein, plenty of vitamins, and omega fats. Still, new foods can potentially disrupt your cat’s digestive system or trigger an allergic reaction. Therefore it’s a good idea to talk it over with your vet and monitor your pet for several hours after feeding them quail eggs to ensure that there are no health issues. If your cat enjoys them without problems, you can provide them as an occasional healthy treat.