Better Body Clinical Nutrition
Pottenger’s Cat – A study in Nutrition
Thursday, November 17, 2022 11:10 AM
Another Post by Jocelyne Gross NTP A.C.N.
Excerpt from the Book of the same name By Francis M. Pottenger Jr., M.D.
Photo by Pacto Visual on unsplash.com
The cats in the Pottenger Cat Study were kept in large outdoor pens. Each pen had an open-air enclosure 12 ‘ X 6’ and 7’ high which was screened by chicken-wire, so the cat had adequate exposure to the sun. A roofed area with bedding extended from the back of each pen provided shelter during inclement weather. A caretaker removed uneaten food and refilled the water containers. Periodically, he removed the cat’s buried excreta from the sand. All animals were subject to the same routine procedures. Each cat had its own clinical chart and notes were kept throughout its life. X-ray studies were made of some of the cats in order to study the effects of various experimental diets on their skeletal development. At the end of 10 years, 600 out of 900 cats studied had complete recorded health histories.
In classifying the experimental animals, the word diet describes the actual food intake of the individual cat. An optimum diet refers to a diet of raw food including raw meat, raw milk, and cod liver oil. A deficient diet refers to a diet including one or more cooked foods plus cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is routinely included in all experimental diets as a rich supplemental source of vitamin A.
According to the diet variables of raw, or cooked foods, the cats are grouped in three general health classifications: Normal, Deficient and Regenerating.
Normal cats are born of healthy parents and are maintained on an optimum diet or raw food and cod liver oil. They are the control cats used for comparison with the deficient and regenerating cats. The breeding males used in the various experiments are always of this normal group and are of proven fertility so that experimental results primarily reflect the condition of the health of the mother cats.
First Generations Deficient Cats: these cats are either mature cats donated to the study or mature cats born of experimental animals and raised on an optimum diet. When these adult cats are placed on deficient diets including cooked food, they are called deficient cats of the first generation.
Second Generation Deficient Cats; these cats are the kittens born to females of the first generation eating a deficient diet for various lengths of time prior to and during gestation and lactation. At the end of nursing, these kittens are maintained on a deficient diet.
Third Generation Deficient Cats; these cats are the kittens born of the second deficient generation and maintained on deficient diets all their lives.
Regenerating kittens of the first order; when a female cat of the first deficient generation is placed back on an optimum raw diet after giving birth to a deficient litter, her next kittens, benefiting from her improved diet, are called regenerating kittens of the first order.
Regenerating kittens of the second order; these kittens are born to a cat of the second deficient generation and placed on an optimum diet.
NOTE - There are never more than three generations of deficient cats because of the third generation’s inability to produce healthy, viable offspring. Consequently, there are no third or fourth orders or regenerating cats.
Those on raw meat and raw milk reproduce homogeneous litters and the usual causes of death are old age and injuries suffered in fighting. They are generally healthy animals with normal anatomic measurements and good resistance to disease. Their fur is of good quality with a notable sheen, and they show no signs of allergy.
The cats fed cooked meat or pasteurized milk as the principal item of their diet show skeletal changes, lessened reproductive efficiency and their kittens present progressive constitutional and respiratory problems as is evident in the first, second and third generation deficient cats eating cooked meat.
The cats fed evaporated milk show even more damage than their pasteurized counterparts while the most marked deficiencies occur among those fed sweetened condensed milk. The cats on sweetened condensed milk develop much heavier fat deposits and exhibit severe skeletal deformities. They show extreme irritability and pace back and forth in their pens nervously.
Observation of our young people reveals that humans are subjected to the same food deficiencies as are seen in the Cat Study. Food have been progressively depleted of nutritional substances since the roller flour mill was invented right after the Civil War. Canning, packaging, pasteurizing, and homogenizing, all contribute to hereditary breakdown.
I would like to point out that the surviving deficient cats were put back on the optimum diet and were able to restore their health.
We all know that in order to be healthy we should eat healthy (that has been interpreted in many different ways). While the quality of our food has declined, there are still some good options. You can eat more unprocessed foods, eat a lot of vegetables with some of it raw (a salad is always a good option). It is always a good idea to stay away from refined sugars and simple carbohydrates.
As part of our protocol, we do help our clients with food choices, so come get tested and let us know if we can help you with your food choices. We can always test specific items for you as well.