Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition

Date Published: 2010 from Premier Research Labs
Author: Book Report
Article Category: Health Articles

Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition

by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD

Although the studies in this book were conducted back in the 1930's, the stunning conclusions drawn from them are timeless. In fact, they are so relevant to our times today that this book should have long since become a popular a household word.


From 1932 to 1942, Dr. Francis Marion Pottenger, Jr. conducted a 10-year study on cats to determine the effects of raw vs. cooked food.

The study included 900 cats over four generations and was well documented by Dr. Pottenger. The cats were divided into five groups. All five groups were supplied the same basic diet, but the major portion of the diets were varied. Two of the groups were fed whole raw foods (mostly raw milk and raw meat). The other three groups were given cooked foods (mostly pasteurized milk and cooked meat).

All four generations of the cats in the raw food groups remained healthy throughout their normal lifespans. But the cooked food cats groups were an entirely different story!

In all three of the cooked food groups, even the first generation developed diseases and illnesses near the end of their lives. By the second generation of all three cooked food groups, all had developed diseases and illnesses by the middle of their lifespan. In the third generation of all three cooked food groups, they all developed diseases and illnesses in the beginning of their lives and many died before six months of age. For all the cooked food groups, there was no fourth generation (by then, the cats had become completely sterile)! In dramatic contrast, all four generations of the raw food groups of cats were healthy throughout their normal lifespans – even through all four generations (and able to easily reproduce).

As for applying his results to human nutrition, Dr. Pottenger said, "While no attempt will be made to correlate the changes in the animals studied with malformations found in humans, the similarity is so obvious that parallel pictures will suggest themselves."

Does this help give us an understanding of why the health of so many people is in a crisis now? And why there were no fertility clinics 30 years ago? There is no similar experiment (raw food vs. cooked food diets) in medical literature.

The findings of this study were supervised by Dr. Pottenger along with Dr. Alvin Foord, professor of pathology at the University of Southern California and pathologist at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. These studies met the most rigorous scientific standards of their day.

A Further Conclusion

In further work at the Price-Pottenger Institute, they found that even a 70%/ 30% (cooked/raw) diet was insufficient to maintain good health. They found the minimum was a 50%/50% (raw/cooked) diet in order to maintain good health.

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