Whole foods. Nutrition. Excellent health. By now we know the building blocks to good health, one of which is food rich with protein with no additives or chemicals, but what you may not be aware of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. In fact, for the past forty years this foundation has been providing information about whole foods, food preparation techniques, soil improvement, farming, pure water, disease prevention, enhancing the environment, and enabling long life and excellent health.
What you’re about to read about Pottenger’s Cats may disturb you, but at The Dog Bowl, we believe that education is key to understanding and making wise decisions in particular as it relates to proper nutrition for our cats and dogs.
Towards the middle of the twentieth century, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., conducted a study on cats as it relates to the effects of heat-processed foods. Neighbors in his clinic in California continued to donate cats for his study and he fed them cooked meat scraps. After finding a source of raw meat scraps from a local meat packing plant, he noticed in a few short months that these cats were noticeably in better health in those that ate raw meat as opposed to cooked meat scraps.
His controlled feeding experiment began in 1932 and ended ten years later; during this time over nine hundred cats were included. The Pottenger Cat Study consisted of a diet containing 1/3 raw milk, cod liver oil, and 2/3 raw meat; one group received cook food instead of raw. Well, cats receiving cooked food demonstrated facial deformities whether it was narrowed faces, frail bones, crowded jaws, and weakened ligaments. They also had an excess of parasites. Female cats became more aggressive and male cats became docile. Pregnancies were difficult; kittens born of these pregnancies frequently did not survive to adulthood; these are just some of the effects of the study. As a result, it was concluded there was a direct link between cooking of meat and malnutrition and poor health.
Since this is apparently the only experiment of its kind, there are naysayers. Criticism of the Pottenger Cat Study indicates that it was not properly controlled, were variables in the stock of the animals changed, were they meticulously controlled, cats were kept in an artificial environment unrelated to real living conditions. Some experts suggest it would be valuable to replicate The Pottenger Cat Study today within technology and the use of antibiotics. Others claim that if it was done today, cats would not have died unnecessarily; the study could have been conducted and those in poor health could have immediately been fed raw food diets.
Most of the cats on deficient diets died from kidney infections, lungs, and bones. If infections were eliminated as the cause of death by antibiotics, their true degenerative nature would have been studied further. Others recommend a follow up study to examine the vitamin and mineral supplements in a diet of cooked food fed animals.
Overall, the results of the Pottenger Cat Study remain intact: those who ate cooked meat scraps had degenerative health whereas those who ate raw meat scraps were in better health. Therefore, the conclusion is a raw food diet is the way to go for optimal health.
At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about Pottenger’s Cats and a nutrient-filled raw food diet such as BARF - click here fo shop for BARF now!