The Pottenger Cat Study Health

Pottenger demonstrates how animals degenerate when exposed to multiple generations of cooked foods

The Pottenger Cat Study by Francis Pottenger – Scientific Analysis of Cooked Foods on Mammals

The Pottenger Cat Study, done between 1932 and 1942 and reported in the book called Pottengers Cats by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D., is a powerful statement about the process of intergenerational degeneration. The research was done with approximately nine hundred cats. Dr. Pottenger worked in conjunction with Alvin Foord, M.D., professor of pathology at the University of Southern California and pathologist at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. This study met the most rigorous scientific standards of its time. Six hundred of the nine hundred cats had complete medical histories, and medical observations were recorded on all the cats. The cats were kept in large outdoor pens, with all groups of cats having the same controlled conditions. Cat controls or Normals were put on a raw-food diet including raw meat, raw milk, and cod liver oil. Deficient cats were those put on a deficient diet which had either cooked meat or milk, but they still received cod liver oil. Normals were born of healthy parents and kept on an optimal diet. A first-generation deficient cat was an adult cat put on the deficient diet (one that included cooked food). A second-generation deficient cat was a kitten born to a first-generation deficient female and maintained on a deficient diet after it completed nursing. Third generation deficient cats were born of second-generation deficient cats and maintained on a deficient diet all their lives. Fourth-generation cats in this line were not available because third-generation deficient cats were unable to produce viable offspring and usually died by the age of six months.

One of the major experiments in this study involved giving control cats or Normal a diet of two-thirds raw meat and one-third raw milk and cod liver oil. The Deficient cats were given a diet of two-thirds cooked meat one-third raw milk plus the same amount of cod liver oil as the normal cats. The comparison between the normal or raw-food cats and the deficient or cooked-meat cats was impressive. The normals were all uniform in size and development without any skeletal, tissue tone, or fur changes. The calcium and phosphorus content of their bones remained consistent, and internal organs showed full development. They were resistant to infections, fleas and parasites and showed no signs of allergies. Their mental states were friendly, with purring and predictable behavior patterns. They maintained a high level of nervous system coordination. The reproduced one homogenous generation after another, all in good health. The mothers had no trouble with the birth process or nursing. The average litter was five kittens, with the average weight being one hundred nineteen grams.

In contrast, cats fed the cooked-meat diet gave birth to heterogeneous offspring with many variations in skeletal structure. By the third generation, their bones became as soft as rubber. All deficient generations of cats suffered heart problems, nearsightedness and farsightedness, underactivity or inflammation of the thyroid and bladder, arthritis and inflammation of the joints, inflammation of the nervous system with paralysis and meningitis, and infections of the kidney, bones, liver, testes, and ovaries. There was also a general decrease in the health of the visceral organs. On autopsy the females had ovarian atrophy and uterine congestion, while the males showed a failure in active spermatogenesis. In the first-generation cooked-food cats, abortions ran about 25% and went up to about 70% in the second generation of deficient animals. Deliveries were difficult and many females died giving birth. Mortality rates of the kittens were high. The average cooked-food kitten weight was nineteen grams less than the raw-meat-nurtured cats. Vermin and intestinal parasites became numerous. Skin lesions and allergies were frequent and got worse with each generation of deficient cats. In the third generation, the cooked-meat cats were so physiologically deficient that none survived beyond the sixth month. In general, the calcium/phosphorous content of the bone decreased with each generation of cooked-food cats. In the first generation, the percentage of calcium in the bone was 12 to 17% and dropped to between 1 and 1.5% by the third generation of cooked-food cats. The bone phosphorous content diminished in a similar pattern. Bone structural changes among the cooked-food cats included lessening of the anterior-posterior and transverse diameters of the dental arch. There was an apparent angle of the corpus of the mandible and an apparent failure in the anterior development of the forward movement of the face. There was a lessening of the development of the frontal sinus and an increase in the angle formed by the roof of the mouth and the base of the brain. Cats on the cooked-food diet developed irregularly spaced, uneven, crowded incisors and a decrease in the size and regularity of their teeth with increased malocclusion. The long bones of the femur or hip decreased in diameter and increased in length. The internal bone osseous structure became coarser with less calcium. By the third generation, the bones actually became rubber-like.

The mental status of the deficient-diet or cooked-food cats showed considerably more irritability than the normals, with much increased biting and scratching and more unpredictable behavior patterns in the females. The males became more docile with a drop in sexual interest. A role reversal in the cats was observed, with the males becoming more docile and the females becoming more aggressive. Increased same-sex sexual activities were observed . These behaviors were not observed in the cats fed onlyb raw foods. When cats fed the cooked-meat diet were returned to a raw meat diet, it took approximately four generations to regain normal health. Improvement in resistance to disease was observed in the second generation, but allergies persisted into the third generation. Most skeletal deformities lasted until the third generation and were gone by the fourth generation. Once a female cat was subjected to twelve to eighteen months of a cooked-food diet, she was never able to give birth to normal kittens.

This same type of experiment was repeated, with the control cats receiving two-thirds raw milk and one-third raw meat plus cod liver oil, and the deficient-diet group receiving one-third raw meat and plus two thirds pasteurized milk, evaporated milk, or sweetened condensed milk. The results of this experiment were essentially the same as the raw-meat versus cooked-meat experiment. The most marked deficiencies and degeneration occurred with the sweetened condensed milk. Those fed pasteurized milk had less degeneration in each generation than either the evaporated or sweetened condensed milk-fed cats. The cats fed the sweetened condensed milk showed extreme nervous system irritability.

Because the percentage of sterility, thyroid problem, and food and environmental allergies seem to be increasing in our society, and a growing number of people are suffering from environmental sensitivity syndrome, it is worth looking at these symptoms of degeneration in more detail. Normal raw-food cats did not suffer from any problems. The cats who received the cooked meat or cooked milk in some form developed many kinds of allergies with sneezing, wheezing, and scratching. Milk allergies became common. The cooked-food cats had increased nervousness and irritability, and stopped purring. By the third generation of cooked-food cats, the incidence of allergies was almost 100%. If the second-generation deficient cats were put back on a raw-food diet, their allergy symptoms diminished, and by the fourth generation some cats had no evidence of allergies.

The normal or raw-food cats had no incidence of hypothyroidism. In the deficient cats, a low thyroid was associated with significant bone changes in the skull, jaw, and teeth. The kittens of nursing mothers on the cooked-food diet had a high incidence of hypothyroidism. My own clinical observations and those of other doctors have revealed a general increase in hypothyroidism in our human society.

There seems to be a general correlation between hypothyroidism and sterility in the overall cat study results. By the second-generation of cooked-food cats, 83% of the males were sterile on the pathology examination, with no evidence of any spermatozoa. Approximately 53% of the females in the second generation of cooked-food cats showed underdeveloped ova.

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