Francis M Pottenger Jr MD was best known for his 10-year study on cats. Conducted between 1932 and 1942, he did feeding trials in which he separated out the cats into those fed cooked vs. raw meats and milk. He describes the physical and emotional problems that developed in the cats on a cooked diet in his book, Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition.

The cats on the cooked food diets didn’t survive beyond the third generation. He determined that the cats needed to be fed at least 50 percent of their diets raw. A mix of 30 percent raw and 70 percent cooked fell short of optimal nutrition.

The book was first published in 1939. It can still be purchased from

In some ways, it mirrors the work of Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the world studying aboriginal cultures that had not been exposed to modern industrialized foods. He noted that wherever modern diets were introduced, the health of the people degenerated rapidly. His legacy is carried forward today by the Weston A. Price Foundation in Washington D.C., which devotes itself to promoting whole unprocessed foods.