Abstract The survival of cat spermatozoa at 5°C was studied in the presence of egg yolk, the low density fraction (LDF) of egg yolk, glucose, fructose and galactose each made up to the desired concentration in 325 mOsm Tes-Tris buffer at pH 7.5. Increasing the egg yolk concentration ( v/ v) from 2 to 20% significantly decreased both the percentage of motile cells and the quality of motility score, but did not significantly increase the number of cells staining with a supravital stain. In contrast, increasing concentrations of LDF neither significantly decreased the percentage of motile cells nor increased the number of cells staining with a supravital stain, and significantly increased the motility score. However, the protection provided by the higher concentration of LDF (20%) was no more effective than that provided by the lower concentration of egg yolk (2%). It is contended that the currently high levels of egg yolk (20%) used in the preservation of cat spermatozoa may have contributed to the very poor fertility reported for preserved semen. The effect of glucose, fructose and galactose was examined at concentrations of 0.5 and 1.5 mg/ml. All three sugars significantly decreased the percentage of motile spermatozoa when used at the higher concentration, although for glucose alone the quality of motility was not significantly poorer than that in either the lower concentration or the control. In all experiments, motility declined significantly, and, where it was studied, the number of cells staining with a vital stain increased significantly, as a result of cooling and storage for up to 1 week. There was also significant differences between ejaculates in all experiments.