The New Natural Cat
A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners
With Norma Eckroate
Dutton, by Penguin Group, 1990
“The Natural Cat is also extremely practical and covers common and mundane problems in a unique way – holistically.”
Chapter 1 – Desirable Behavior in Cats and Owners – in this chapter the author gives advice on getting humans to behave around their cats and to stop blaming the cats for everything. One thing I did have trouble with was how the author suggested visualization as a technique for communicating with cats. That is one thing I don’t want – some human pinging off my brain trying to talk silently to me or trying to read my thoughts.
Chapter 2 – Diet – In this chapter the author goes over diet recommendations for felines of all ages. She recommends a mixture of raw and cooked, organic if possible as well as feeding adult cats only twice a day which is something I’m used to, living in the country. If I’m hungry and it is not dinner time yet I can always eat a bird or mouse. But for my city cousins, they eat wet food twice a day but have dry food available at all times. That is something the author discourages. I don’t know if their human will change the way she feeds them; if she does, I can see a big fight on her hands!
Chapter 3 – The Litter Box – What an interesting topic! I only use a litter box when it’s too cold and my humans won’t let me outside. But my city cousins have to use a box and I can tell you their human is doing it all wrong. She uses too much litter and doesn’t clean it often enough. I see a big change coming with the litter box! Toby and Co. will thank me for it!
Chapter 4 – The Scratching Post – Declawing is the main topic of discussion for this chapter – in short, DON’T DO IT! It is cruel and mean. The author tells how you can get a feline to use a scratching post and discusses graphically the process of declawing. My cousin’s human had one cat declawed when she was a much younger human and later when she found out what really happened she became an advocate against declawing. Really, would you want to have all ten toe tips or finger tips amputated?
Chapter 5 – The Cat and Its Human Family – The author covers introducing a new human into the family, young children, visitors, and traveling. I haven’t moved since I came to live here in the country but my city cousins have and their mom has moved them the way the author suggests and they report their multiple moves have been successful and are satisfied with how she handled it. Only, they hope not to be moved again any time in the future.
Chapter 6 – “Neuter and Spay, It’s the Kindest Way” – Thank goodness my humans had me neutered! I’ll bet you didn’t think a male cat would say something like that, right? Well, thanks to being neutered, I don’t stray far from home, don’t get into cat fights with other males, and I won’t have hundreds of kittens roaming the area that I am responsible for. Who can afford that much kitten-support? And, as a plus, I will live a longer, happier life! We felines don’t mind being neutered or spayed. Don’t project your crazy needs and emotions on to us – we are far more civilized than lower life-forms such as you humans. Neuter and Spay, it is the kindest way!
Chapter 7 – Grooming – Since the author is a professional groomer, this chapter was the longest and most detailed so far. She tells the human exactly how to hold the comb or slicker brush, how far away to hold it from the skin, how much to brush at one time, and so on and so forth. She also discusses the cutting of mats and bathing extensively. As a short-haired cat I am blessed with not having to deal with mats, however cousin Toby has had them and his human just whacks them out of his fur with a weed-whacker – LOL! – not really – she is really careful when it comes to getting anywhere near him with scissors. Anyway, good chapter if you are interested in grooming your beloved feline.
Chapter 8 –Seeking Professional Help – The author is very much into holistic health care but recognizes the need for veterinarians and hospitalization if needed. She suggests taking a pro-active position in case the feline has to stay overnight in the hospital, such as providing a brown paper bag for the cat to hide in, put a towel or sock in the bag with the owner’s scent on it to provide comfort, making sure the vet allows visitation, and providing food the cat is familiar with. These are all good tips and if I have the misfortune of going to the hospital overnight I hope my mom will take these suggestions into consideration!
Chapter 9 – Home Nursing and Health Care – This chapter is about giving dreaded medications. The author provides illustrative instructions on how to wrap a cat (like a cat tamale!) to keep the cat from scratching your eyes out while dispensing meds. She gives recipes for holistic eye and ear drops (plus how to give them without being scratched to death) as well as foot soaks! There is an extensive list of herbs to use for herbal remedies as well as recipes. And, finally, there is a list at the end of the chapter of the items cat caretakers should have for home nursing items. I wonder if my mom or my cousin’s mom has even one of these items in her home? Hmmm, something to think about!
Chapter 10 – A Guide to Common Feline Health Problems – This chapter takes up fully 1/3 the book: it is an alphabetical guide to health issues cats may experience. The author describes the illness, provides symptoms and makes recommendations for home treatment, diet, and when to involve a vet.
In short, this is a valuable book if you have a feline friend in your home. Even if you don’t follow all the recommendations, it is still good for answering basic questions. And, if the vet diagnosis a problem the book may provide more information about the problem and ways to help the cat recover.
Rating 4 paws out of 5 for very important feline-based information!
New Cover (our copy is 20+ years old – maybe it’s time for an update!)
“Primum est non nocere.” (Above all, do no harm.) – Hippocrates
“Stick as close as you can to nature and you’ll never go very far wrong.” – Paul Rowan, D.V.M.
“A symptom is the body’s logical response to an intolerable situation.” – Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M.
“Many ‘symptoms of disease’ are, in reality, symptoms of health.”– Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M.
Stress is a very powerful enemy.
No matter what the problem, there is always more than one cause.
If a problem seems too difficult, break it down into smaller parts and deal with each one separately.
Cats are, in EVERY way, much more sensitive than we humans.
Your cat’s body is made out of whatever you put in the food dish.