This book is primarily aimed at people who are getting a cat for the first time, and is heavy on that cat being a kitten. That is not to say that veteran cat ‘servants’ would not find new approaches or even new information in the book. She likes to use clicker training,...
This book is primarily aimed at people who are getting a cat for the first time, and is heavy on that cat being a kitten. That is not to say that veteran cat ‘servants’ would not find new approaches or even new information in the book. She likes to use clicker training, and the use of treats for behavioral training of your cat. And it seems the assumption is that you have only one cat, although introductions of new cats (or dogs) into the household is done in fairly good detail. There is an extensive medical appendix in the book, as well as a check list for first aid.
Her section on getting a cat, either from a shelter or a breeder is quite well done. And she goes over the pros and cons of cats with different fur lengths. What she didn’t mention is that sometimes the cat will select you. In other words, you look at a cat, and the cat does something special that makes an association with you. Often those turn out to be the best adoptions.
Not all the chapters are equally strong, but getting your cat to use a scratching post or pad is very well covered, going over common mistakes new cat ‘servants’ can make. There is also a focus of looking at your household from the standpoint of your eyes being 10" above the ground, or in other words, at cat level. It allows one to see dangers and hazards that one may not think about.
She also emphasizes that your cat will be used to a routine, and upsetting that routine can result in behavioral issues. In other words, as the title of the book states, she wants you to think like a cat. She wants you to have a happy cat, which is rewarding for both of you.
She covers litter box issues well. Again, a lot of that involves routine, and also placement. Disrupt a cat''s routine, and it may result in a litter box issue. Place them in the wrong places, and the same result can happen. And changes can mean a medical issue.
There is a good section of food, although I do take some issue with some of her approaches. But as she makes clear, a good quality food will pay for itself many times over.
Her section on play emphasizes engaging your cat’s hunting/prey instincts. And she seems to favor treat balls, where a small treat falls out as your cat swats and chases the ball. But most importantly, use interactive play with your cat, and for that the inexpensive Cat Dancer is great, and I use that with my cats. Laser pointers can be fun, but realize that they cannot catch the red dot, so it deprives the cat of the “kill”.
While it is mentioned a lot, I wish she had been more obvious about the need for vertical separations in a multi-cat household. A little too opaque for my experience. Yes, she points out how a cat tree, not only being great for a cat, with more than one provides vertical separation. But really, if a dominant cat is in the middle of a room, and the other cat can cross the room at a different level, there will be a lot more harmony in the house.
And if your cat passes on, there is a lot of good information presented to help you with the process, be it yourself, or with other pets in the household who cannot understand why one of their friends is missing, or explaining to your children what happened. And, if one makes a decision to get another cat, it is not a replacement, so do not try and match a new cat with what your deceased cat looked like.