Categories: Cat Behavior

TikTok meme: Do cats want to protect an egg because it is fragile?

Give a cat an egg and they protect it? Screenshot

There is a current craze on the Internet which you might have noticed in which cat owners on TikTok (a social media site) give their kitties eggs to see whether they protect them because they are fragile items. This created a meme (an imitated behavior pattern). In nearly all the examples that we see, the domestic cat accepted the presence of the egg or sometimes pulled the egg into them with their paws and perhaps sniffed it.

I say “in nearly all the examples that we see” because if their cat broke the egg (as in one example on this page) I wonder whether the videomaker bothered to upload their video? The point that I am making is that there may be countless examples of domestic cats breaking an egg by pushing it over the edge of a table and breaking it rather than protecting the egg as the videomaker demands.


@marichou.ly

Omg 🥺 adorable ##categg ##fyp ##cat

♬ original sound – annafromtiktok

Please note that sometimes videos disappear on this website. This is because they are embedded from another website. Administrators on these large social media websites sometimes remove videos which causes them to disappear on my website. If that has happened I apologise.


Yes, I know that I am being ridiculously serious

I realise that this is a bit of fun but I’m trying to analyse it as a cat lover. Please bear with me. I don’t want to undermine the fun of it, I just want to see whether I can make some sense of it. Diagree? Tell me in a comment, please.

The reason why some cats appear to be protecting the egg

I think this is a bit of a misconception. Eggs may smell interesting to a domestic cat. As a food, the uncooked egg seems to be acceptable to a domestic cat. The eggshell probably smells quite interesting and the contents of an uncooked egg is also probably quite interesting to a cat. Cats can eat cooked eggs and egg shells when ground down can provide a source of calcium to cats. This is one reason why the cats look faintly interested and don’t reject the egg.

Realising that an egg is fragile

Do cats realise that an egg is a fragile object? Is this why they appear to be protecting the eggs in the videos? It’s a nice thought and it makes a good video. It makes a good story on the Internet which ultimately is all that matters. As long as people are interested the meme continues. I do not, however, subscribe to the idea that these domestic cats are protecting their eggs. Domestic cats regard uncooked eggs as just a small object like any other in the home.

You can try placing any small object next to your cat who is snoozing or resting peacefully and it is likely that they will accept it. They may sniff it to check it out, play with it and push it away but the most likely response is an acceptance, in my opinion. It is important though that they see you handling the object which confirms that it is not hostile.

Without being a wet blanket, I think what we’re looking at in these videos is probably normal cat behaviour and nothing to do with protecting a fragile egg. In some of the videos the egg is placed next to the cat’s chest when their forelegs are outstretched. This gives the impression that the cat is protecting the egg. I think this is the manufactured situation. Let’s see what would happen if you put hard-boiled egg next to a cat. This egg is not fragile. Does the cat realise this? I think not. It’s all smoke and mirrors and TikTok fun.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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