Cats and Cholesterol
Date: Spring 2013
What's the daily cholesterol tolerance threshold for cats? I know a human should not consume more than 200 mg of cholesterol a day, to prevent health problems. How about cats? Is it safe to feed them 4 chicken egg yolks every day?
What’s the data to support your assertion: “… a human should not consume more than 200 mg of cholesterol a day to prevent health problems.” What size person? Supply credible data from a sufficiently large population to be statistically significant, that is, to average out the metabolism of different people?
You also need to define the object of your assertion, “Cholesterol”. Cholesterol is a specific chemical compound CAS NUMBER: [57-88-5]. Its solubility is about 2 mg per liter of water. Basically it is water “insoluble”. So how does it cross any of the intestinal tissues? The short answer is, “It can’t.” More cholesterol is produced in the body, by the body, for the body than all consumed cholesterol combined. So how does the “cholesterol” convert into substances that clog arteries? Why is the body “killing itself”? The short answer is: No one knows. So maybe medical “science” has been chasing the wrong “cat”!
We don’t know that the metabolism of a cat and a human is very different!
It isn’t my intention to come down on you. You just offered me the opportunity to vent on some topics that have been promoted as science, based on little science, and the poor science that does exists.
If you want to investigate the non-science of nutrition chemistry, see: SCIENCE, Vol. 291, 30, March 2001.
The promotion of various low cholesterol diets is probably the largest data-less scams that has been promoted on the public.
I am not an animal nutritionist. I am not very familiar with feline blood chemistries, but I do know that they may vary from group to group. I have been a cat person for many years and have had cats living with me all my life. I wonder why would anyone feed 4 egg yolks/day to a cat or to anyone. Cats are not prone to cardiovascular disease as are humans. They are however prone to cardaic issues like arrhythymias which is generally not influenced by cholesterol. If we look at a cat's dentition and diet we find they are carnivores, and as such, require meat protein. Their ancestors ater other weaker animals. I suggest that you lower the egg yolks and provide more meat, fish, fowl protein. Keep the ash content low especially for make cats and provide ad lib water. Avoid dry cat food as it contains too much carbohydrate and often a lot of ash. It also is a main reason older cats gain weight. Search the web for more info on feeding cats. I am sure your cat loves you. Take good care of him or her. The cat will be with you many years if you do. Mine is on my lap as I write.
Stephen R. Dunn
Ass't Professor of Medicine (ret.)
Dept. Medicine/ Div. Nephrology
& Cancer Genomics
Kimmel Cancer Center
Thomas Jefferson Universit
Thanks for the question. I am not a veterinarian, so I would recommend you speak with your local veterinarian about the issue of feeding your cat chicken egg yolks. In addition to the cholesterol, I would be concerned about the possibility of an allergic reaction and the high fat content of the eggs also.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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Update: November 2011