I live in a household with five cats so when the opportunity to review this book was presented, I jumped on it. And now that I have finished the book, I am very, very impressed.
Most of us would read a book like this because a cat has undesirable behavior that we have been unable to change. Mieshelle writes, “Many unwanted behaviors can be remedied by mimicking aspects of a cat's natural environment.” (96)
She addresses all kinds of cat behavior in this book: aggressive behavior (play, human caused, predatory, redirected, territorial), unwanted spraying, unwanted scratching, out of the box eliminating, and much more. For each behavior, she has a C. A. T. plan. Cease the undesirable behavior, Attract to new behavior, and Transform the Territory.
One of our cats had been over grooming, literally pulling her hair out. We added three more feeding stations, in various parts of the house and, I am happy to say, the over grooming has ceased!
Some parts of the book were disturbing, such as what declawing really means and why it is unnecessary because unwanted scratching is an easy problem to solve.
And cats are trainable! She trained her cats to “high-five.” In an appendix, she explains how you can do it too.
“The secret to being a 'cat whisperer,' as it were, is to be a cat listener – to learn to listen to what they are telling you about their needs and desires, and to see the world through their eyes.” (237) Cats aren't like dogs. Cats are out to please themselves. Nonetheless, reading this book will help you understand how you can have a relationship with your cat that is very rewarding.
Mieshelle Nagelschneider is one of the nation's most renowned and sought after cat behaviorists. She opened The Cat Behavior Clinic in 1999 and serves clients all over the world. She has been featured in many publications and television programs. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her son, six cats, two dogs and a monitor lizard. Find out more at www.thecatbehaviorclinic.com.
Bantam, 336 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.