Cats, An Owner’s Guide
Barnes & Noble, 2003
Introduction – gives us a brief review of the history of the cat, from the highs of being worshiped in Egypt to lows of being reviled in Medieval Europe.
Cat Breeds and Types
• Long-haired breeds: Persian, Chinchilla, Himalayan, Birman, Ragdoll, Siberian Forest, Norwegian Forest, Turkish Van, Somali, Angora (Toby looks like this cat), Balinese, Javanese, Munchkin, Maine Coon, American Curl, Scottish Fold, LaPerm, Burmilla
• Short-haired breeds: British, Exotic, European and American Shorthairs, American Wirehair, Bengal, Charteux, Bombay, Singapura, Burmese, Asian, Ocicat, Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, Siamese, Havana, Oriental, Snowshoe, Russian Blue, Korat, Tonkinese, Cornish, Devon and German Rex, Sphynx, Peterbald, Japanese Bobtail, Manx
• Fur colors/types/patterns: solid, shaded and tipped, smoke, ticked, parti-color & bicolor, colorpoints, tortoiseshell, tabby
Are You Ready For Your Feline Friend?
• Human Habits that drive cats crazy
o Blaring music
o People tossing and turning in bed
o Yelling and raising your voice
o Super-stressed people (they sense this more readily than one would believe)
o Dirty litter
o Tardy feedings
o Carrier, car, clinic
o Ill-mannered children
o Adopting another cat or dog
o Forced affection
(I know Toby’s mom is known for a few of these issues! Poor guy!)
This chapter covers why a human wants to adopt, the cost of food for life, litter boxes, toys, where the human lives and if there are miniature humans or other animals running around. It also covers whether a pedigreed cat is what a human wants or a mixed breed. (I would prefer it if humans would adopt from shelters instead and forget about pedigreed cats.)
Preparations and Cat Kit
Now that the human is ready to bring a cat into their lives, how are they to prepare? Here are some of the things we will need:
• Scratching post (preferably tall enough to climb)
• Food/water dish (not plastic, in can give us acne)
• Litter tray & litter (clay or scoopable)
• Bed (although we prefer your bed)
• Grooming stuff (comb, brush, nail trimmer [yuk])
• Cat carrier, collar (with identification)
• Friendly veterinarian
Bringing Kitty Home
When a cat or kitten is first brought home, careful thought needs to be put into:
• Necessary hiding places and where to put the bed
• Put the food/water and litter boxes in different places
• Take care when introducing mini-humans and other animals to the new cat
This chapter offers all sorts of suggestions and has very instructive photographs.
Why does Kitty Do That?
This chapter discusses:
• the growth of a kitten into a cat (nice photos), showing how they transform from a deaf and blind ball of fur into a fully realized baby cat in just 8 weeks. Did you know that personality and temperament are established by the age of four months (although some cat people like Toby’s mom believes it occurs much sooner)?
• mom cats (called queens) giving birth and ultimately weaning
• caring for older cats (like Piper and Simon)
• various feline behaviors like: territorialism, curiosity, hunting, leaping, climbing, sleeping, washing, spraying, clawing furniture, and grass-eating (another Toby-thing)
• understanding body language through: eye, ear, tail and voice signals, kneading or treading (also called ‘making biscuits’), playful aggression, “don’t pet me anymore” aggression
Here are some helpful hints when a cat decides “Enough is Enough”:
• ears turning back or flicking
• cat’s head moving toward your hand
Basic Care and Grooming
• Basic care starts with diet and nutrition; here is some basic advice and what to feed and how often to feed the cat.
• Health and hygiene goes over litter boxes again
• Pet to Vet covers when and how to get the feline to the vet
• Various means to permanently ID your cat so it can be returned home if it gets lost
• Declawing – DON’T DO IT!!! That’s all I’ll say about that
• Grooming options are offered, breeding, training and traveling with your beloved feline are also covered in this chapter.
It all really boils down to these “Feline Fitnessentials:”
• Nutritious food
• Fresh water daily
• A personal bond of love and affection
• Exercise and play
• A clean, safe environment
• Regular grooming
• A predictable routine
Times When Cats Need Special Care
• Pregnancy and birth are reviewed in greater detail
• Nursing a sick cat and giving medication
• Euthanasia is reviewed and when to adopt another cat
Cat Show, Resources, and Further Information – In this chapter is an overview cat shows and competitions, contact information for major cat societies, a list of poisonous-to-cats plants a glossary of feline-related terms, a bibliography, and a place where you can keep the records of your own cat.
Liberally illustrated with absolutely beautiful photographs of cats of all types as well as the occasional boring human being.
Rating: 3 of 5 paws because although the pictures are beautiful, the information valuable, it doesn’t meet the criteria of my high standards. While as a group we like the book, we might tell our human to donate it to another human who needs basic info about fabulous felines.
I couldn’t find out any info on the author son enjoy some cat art.