Crack the Egg Code. Can Feeding Cats Eggs Cut Down on Allergens?


Cat allergies are quite common, affecting around 10-20% of the population worldwide. The allergies are caused by proteins found in cat dander, saliva, and urine. The main allergen is a protein called Fel d 1, which is produced in cats’ sebaceous glands and spread through shedding hair and skin cells. When people with cat allergies are exposed to Fel d 1, their immune systems identify it as a threat and release histamine, causing allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and skin irritation. While completely avoiding cats can prevent allergic reactions, some cat owners are eager to find ways to reduce allergens and keep their beloved pets.

Causes of Cat Allergies

Cat allergies are caused by a protein called Fel d 1 that cats produce in their saliva and sebaceous glands
( Fel d 1 is primarily produced in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands and then transferred to their fur when grooming ( These allergens are also released from glands in cats’ skin and shed as dander ( When people are exposed to Fel d 1, it can trigger an allergic reaction.

Potential Benefits of Eggs

Research shows that eggs may contain properties that help reduce allergens in cats. Specifically, eggs contain antibodies called anti-Fel d 1 IgY that can bind to the Fel d 1 allergen in cats and neutralize it (source). Fel d 1 is the primary allergen found in cat saliva, skin and fur that causes allergic reactions in humans.

When hens are exposed to cat saliva, they produce these anti-Fel d 1 IgY antibodies naturally. The antibodies can then be isolated from eggs and incorporated into cat food. Feeding cats food containing these antibodies may reduce the amount of active Fel d 1 allergens on the cat’s fur and skin that gets transferred to the environment and causes allergic reactions in humans (source).

Research on Eggs and Allergens

There have been a few studies examining the effects of feeding cats eggs containing antibodies that can bind to the Fel d 1 allergen found in cat saliva, skin, and fur. One notable study published in 2019 in BMC Veterinary Research found that feeding cats food containing egg yolk antibodies reduced active Fel d 1 in the cats’ saliva and fur by up to 47% ( The eggs contained anti-Fel d 1 IgY antibodies extracted from the yolks of chickens that were immunized with Fel d 1 allergen. This indicates that the antibodies help neutralize the allergen while in the cat’s mouth and gastrointestinal system before being excreted.

Another study by the manufacturer Purina found a 30% average decrease in Fel d 1 allergen levels in cats’ hair and saliva after feeding food containing anti-Fel d 1 egg product ( However, the full study results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

While promising, more research is still needed to determine the optimal dosage, duration of effects after discontinuing the diet, and impacts on allergy symptoms in humans. Overall, there is evidence that eggs containing anti-Fel d 1 IgY may help reduce allergen shedding from cats, but the overall effects seem moderate so far.

Anecdotal Evidence

Some cat owners report noticed benefits after feeding their cats eggs or egg-containing foods. According to one cat owner interviewed in Chickens Might Hold the Antidote to Cat Allergies, her two children had severe cat allergies prior to her cats being fed an egg-containing diet. After switching the cats’ food, her children’s allergy symptoms were greatly reduced. She attributes this improvement to the eggs binding the Fel D1 allergen in the cats’ saliva.

Other cat owners on forums like Reddit and Quora have shared similar anecdotal experiences after feeding their cats eggs regularly. Many report noticing less allergy symptoms in family members allergic to cats. However, most caution that the dietary change did not eliminate allergy symptoms entirely.

While anecdotal reports from cat owners are promising, more scientific research is still needed to definitively prove eggs’ efficacy in reducing human allergic reactions to cats.

Risks and Considerations

While eggs can provide some nutritional benefits, there are also some risks and considerations when feeding eggs to cats. According to, feeding raw eggs increases the risk of exposing cats to harmful bacteria like salmonella. Raw eggs may also contain an enzyme called avidin that can bind to biotin and inhibit vitamin absorption.

Additionally, according to, the fatty acid composition of eggs may lead to inflammation in some cats. Eggs are also a common allergen, so cats with food allergies may react poorly. It’s recommended to feed cooked rather than raw eggs and monitor cats for any signs of an adverse reaction.

While eggs can be an occasional treat, they should not make up a substantial portion of a cat’s diet. Overfeeding eggs could lead to nutritional imbalances or food sensitivities over time. Veterinary supervision is recommended when significantly altering a cat’s diet.

Dosage and Delivery

When feeding eggs to cats to potentially reduce allergens, it’s important to use the right dosage and delivery method. According to research from Purina, the most effective allergen-reducing egg product contains a specific antibody called anti-Fel d 1 IgY. This ingredient is made by feeding hens a Fel d 1 extract, causing them to produce eggs rich in IgY antibodies.

Products like Purina Pro Plan LiveClear contain anti-Fel d 1 IgY egg ingredient and are proven to reduce Fel d 1 allergen levels by up to 47%. For these specialized allergy-reducing foods, it’s essential to feed cats the recommended daily amount on the packaging.

If feeding regular eggs, some sources suggest 1-2 tablespoons of egg yolk per day for a 10 pound cat. The yolks contain more concentrated protein and fat. It’s ideal to lightly cook the eggs to reduce any foodborne illness risk. The eggs can be mixed into the cat’s regular food or fed directly. Monitor the cat’s condition and adjust the egg amount as needed. Too much egg may lead to gastrointestinal upset or weight gain. Work closely with your veterinarian to find the right egg dosage and method for your cat.

Other Diet Options

One alternative diet that may help reduce cat allergens is a hydrolyzed protein cat food. Hydrolyzed proteins have been broken down into smaller peptides, which makes them less likely to trigger an immune response and cause allergies (source). Hydrolyzed protein cat foods have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms in some cats with food sensitivities.

However, hydrolyzed protein diets are more expensive than regular cat food and not all cats will benefit from them. They should only be used under veterinary supervision. A vet can help determine if a trial of hydrolyzed protein food makes sense for a specific cat. If the cat’s allergy symptoms improve, then continuing the hydrolyzed diet may be warranted.

Overall, hydrolyzed protein cat food is one potential dietary modification for cats with suspected food allergies or intolerances. But other options like novel protein diets or homemade cat food may also be considered under a vet’s guidance.

Other Allergy Management Tips

In addition to dietary changes, there are other ways to help manage cat allergies in the home:

Bathing cats regularly can reduce the level of allergens on their fur. Use pet-friendly shampoos and bathe at least once a week to remove dander and saliva that causes reactions. Be sure to follow safety precautions when bathing cats.

Vacuuming frequently using a HEPA filter vacuum can remove allergens like dander from surfaces. Focus on upholstered furniture, carpets, curtains, and cat beds where dander collects. Wear a face mask while vacuuming to avoid inhaling stirred up allergens.

Using HEPA air purifiers can filter out dander and other allergens circulating in the home. Place them in rooms where you spend the most time with the cat. Replace filters regularly according to manufacturer instructions.

Other tips include washing bedding regularly, dusting surfaces with microfiber cloths, and limiting fabrics which attract dander. Finding ways to reduce contact with allergens can provide symptom relief.


There is still conflicting information on the effectiveness of feeding cats eggs to reduce allergens. Some initial research shows promising results, with eggs reducing the Fel d 1 allergen by up to 90% in some cats. However, the studies were small and more rigorous, large-scale research is still needed. Anecdotal evidence from cat owners is also mixed. While some report a reduction in symptoms after feeding eggs, others see no change. Ultimately, there is not yet conclusive scientific evidence that eggs directly lower allergens in all cats.

Eggs do provide a healthy source of protein and other nutrients for cats. They are safe for most cats in moderation. But eggs should be fed cooked and cautious observation for any digestive upset is advised. Consult your veterinarian before significantly changing your cat’s diet. While the initial research is encouraging, more studies are needed to determine the ideal dosage, delivery method and impact of eggs on allergens across cat breeds and populations.

In the meantime, some other steps proven to reduce allergens include bathing and grooming your cat regularly, using HEPA air purifiers, vacuuming frequently with a HEPA filter, washing hands after contact, and limiting your cat’s access to bedrooms or other rooms. Further research may elucidate eggs as an additional tool for managing cat allergies, but these other methods can provide more immediate relief until conclusive evidence is established.

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