Pottenger's Cats

Pottenger’s cats was a scientific study done between 1932 and 1942 using 900 cats. The study was looking at the effects of dietary intake and health outcomes.

One group of cats ate a diet of 2/3 raw meat, 1/3 raw milk and cod liver oil. The other group ate a diet of 2/3 cooked meat, 1/3 raw milk and cod liver oil.

This study showed that cats that ate the raw diet throughout generations had maintained their face structure and essential cheekbone composition. Their nasal cavities, dental arches with inflammation and gum disease rarely seen. The calcium and phosphorus content of their bones remained constant. The fur on the cats was smooth and silky and with little shedding. Infection rates were low; they were resistant to flea infestations and parasites while showing little to no allergies.

The cats that ate the cooked meat diet had offspring with different skeletal patterns, with variations in facial and dental structures. The femurs (long bones) increased in length with each generation while decreasing in diameter. The construction of Osteon and trabeculae (internal bone structure) become softer with signs of osteogenesis. Thyroid, kidney, liver reproductive organs, eye and increased arthritis and inflammatory conditions of the nervous system were prominent. With each generation of the cooked meat cats, more health problems occurred. What also becomes evident is the gender reversal, with females becoming more aggressive and more challenging to handle and the males becoming more docile (nonaggressive). Skin issues and parasitic infections increased with each generation.

After the cats passed away, autopsies showed that the cooked meat females had uterine atrophy. In contrast, the male showed a failure to produce male sperm cells.

The reintroduction of raw meat was then given to the first and second generation of cooked meat cats and their subsequent offspring. It took approximately four generations to see a regeneration of health. However, some issues like reproductive and bone strength were still below normal healthy ranges.

These results gave us enormous insights into nutrition itself and, more predominately, the health issues arising in future generations from diets lacking in nutritional content. While this experiment was trialled on cats (who are dominant carnivores only being able to extract all nutrients from raw meat), it was purely based on nutrition. We can learn to improve ourselves and our future generations by simply eating foods with the correct nutritional values.

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