Health and Disease in Cats

These are the basics of my thoughts on health and disease in cats.

Years ago I encountered the notion that cats sicken to death in short order. Now I disbelieve it. The signs of illness are visible for weeks, even months, before death becomes possible/likely. But people don't notice the signs until the cat is too far gone.

You can check out the cat's health each time you see it. It takes only seconds to notice goopy eyes and nose, labored breathing, rough, dry or oily coat, and general droopiness. The sooner you notice signs of illness, the sooner you can treat them. The sooner the treatment, the less likely the illness will become severe and the less likely that strong, possibly dangerous remedies will be required.


Nutrition is the basis for health! It is not a coincidence that the deterioration of the health of cats and people has happened at the same time that their diet has lost nutrition and gained synthetic substances and poisons. It is the poor quality of diet that has caused our health to fail.

Feline Nutrition & Physical Degeneration

Sixty years ago a dentist from Ohio set out to find the real causes of tooth decay and mouth deformities. He found them and more on a journey that took him around the world while he studied the health of many different indigenous and primitive peoples. His findings are relevant to the health of our cats today.

Weston A. Price, DDS, made history with the publication of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration in 1939. He found the cause of tooth decay, deformities, physical degeneration, reduced vitality and fertility as well as disorders of personality, character, and sociability to be deficient nutrition. He proved his theories by successfully treating his dental patients with diet alone.

I strongly recommend you read his book, available in paperback from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF), 800-366-3748.

Of particular importance to cat breeders is his theory of intercepted heredity. He believed that weakened, disease-prone offspring are the result of defective germ cells coming equally from each parent. The defective germ cells are a result of deficient nutrition in the parents. Thus each poorly-fed generation begets a weaker generation.

This exact situation— of successive generations weakened by deficient nutrition—was proved to be true for cats by Dr. Francis Marion Pottenger, Jr. He conducted The Pottenger Cat Study between 1932 and 1942. One of his findings was the value of raw meat, raw milk, and cod liver oil as cat food. Another, more chilling, finding was the inability of cats, after three generations fed nutritionally deficient foods, to live long enough to reproduce.

Pottenger's Cats is also available from PPNF.


Your cats deserve the finest veterinarian care available. If you already have cats, or have had them in the past, you may already know a veterinarian you feel comfortable with. Do not assume this person will treat a purebred cat as well as a moggy! Or that they understand the value of good nutrition.

In our area (Marin County, CA) most of the local vets have been brainwashed by the SPCA to believe that purebred cats are undesirable, compete unfairly with the SPCA's cat shelter, and are not worthy of first class care.

So finding a vet is an important task when you are about to acquire a Maine Coon cat. You need a vet who will give your cat the very best care available.

A holistic vet is the best choice, all other things being equal. They can be few and far between, especially in areas remote from large cities and veterinarian teaching colleges. Use the Resources page to contact organizations who have holistic vets as members.


I am a great fan of herbal remedies, flower essences, and colloidal silver. I rely on colloidal silver to treat upper respiratory infections; put a drop in each eye and nostril 2 times a day for maybe 3 days.

Powdered herbs are easily administered. Prepare a water-based herbal solution: Empty 2 capsules of powdered herbal blend into a clean 1 oz. bottle. Fill 3/4 with pure water. Shake well. Administer 1/2 dropperful 2–3 times a day for at least 2–3 weeks. Stop only a week or so after symptoms have stopped.

I rely on slippery elm and echinacea for common ailments.

There are several books listed on the Resources page that are excellent references.

Flower Remedies

Flower remedies, also known as flower essences, are truly effective remedies. They heal at the emotional, physical, and spiritual levels. I recommend two books to introduce the flower remedies and their uses for healing cats, including cats with IBS.

Revision: 6-28-2010.
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