Are broken egg shells digestible to cats?

Do you know if broken egg shells are digestible for cats?


Response by Michael

Broken egg shells are 95% CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). This is not going to hurt your cat in reasonable or relatively small quantities. I am sure a cat can digest small quanities without problems. I presume you are asking because your cat likes eating egg shells or eats them when eating eggs. I guess you might like eggs, by the way! Seashells are made of the same substance.

You can buy supplements for humans that contain calcium because it is good for healthy bones, muscles, nervous system, and the heart. The anatomy of the cat is similar.

Within reason (a reasonable quantity), eating egg shells won’t be a problem for your cat unless it is habitual and goes on for a long time. If this is the case, please take your cat to a vet.

It is an alkaline substance (a low pH). If your cat is eating it, I wonder if she/ he has stomach acid problems? I am really speculating, here. I may be off target because your cat might just like eggs and eats some egg shell as a consequence – i.e. she eats small quantities as a side effect of eating raw eggs.

Calcium carbonate is used in some raw cat food diets so it is essentially good in reasonable quantities.

Another possible reason is that your cat is not eating the eggshell because of the nutrients in it but the remains of the contents of the egg which are stuck to the shell. The egg white part of an egg contains nutrients to feed the chick. These nutrients may be desirable to some cats.

Another alternative is that the shell has a nice texture to crunch on. It may be like eating bone (as part of prey). The cat ends up swallowing it. It may be predation instinct coming through because wet cat food is sloppy and there is no bone in it.

I hope some regulars can make a comment to add to my response. This is an unusual question. Thanks for visiting and asking.


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31 thoughts on “Are broken egg shells digestible to cats?”

  1. My new kittens (4 months old) are going wild over eggshells. They play with it for hours, break it into small pieces, and finally eat little bits of it – crunch crunch. I make sure I boil the shells, so they won’t get salmonella or anything, before I put them in a separate ‘trash box’ for them to discover. It satisfies their hunting instinct and keeps them entertained for hours, and as far as I know it isn’t bad for them. The downside is the kitchen floor is littered with tiny eggshell bits, as they don’t eat as much as play with them, which I have to clean up when they’re tired and done.

    • This sounds great to me. I glad they are interested. It is one of the big challenges for a cat owner: to keep the cats stimulated.

  2. I have prized Persians and my queen mama loves raw egg yolk (no white), one a day. She also occasionally gets very fine crushed egg shell in her wet food. The egg yolk gives her a boost of biotin and more and makes her hair so healthy. The egg shells keep her bones healthy as she is a mother.

  3. Eggshells contain calcium carbonate, which gets rid of kidney disease. So it is good for your cat in small quantities.

  4. Outdoor and feral cats eat whatever they can find. I’m just very careful about what I feed Mitzy. Since she’s prone to constipation, bones aren’t a good choice for her. I’ve read that chicken necks are best choice for teeth cleaning bones, and I used to give her those once in awhile.

    I’ve been giving her some of my cooked salmon and mahi mahi, but carefully remove the bones, and mix it up with my finger, so I’m sure they’re out.

    I don’t want to take any chances, and do a lot of research on nutrition, since that’s the basis for health.

  5. I wouldn’t allow my cat to eat eggshells because they can be sharp, and cut the mouth. I did read recently that adding finely ground eggshells to raw food does provide calcium.

    • I didn’t know that some people might be grinding them up as a calcium supplement.

      I agree they might be sharp but bones can be sharp too and wild cats deal with them adequately.

      I remember Martin Stucki of A1 Savannahs (as he then was) feeding very young Savannah kittens defrosted raw chicken legs.


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