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Unread 09-29-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Talk to Your Cat

Find out what your cat is really saying -- and talk back!

Jean Craighead George, Newbery Medal-winning author of over 80 books about nature and animals, demonstrates in words and photos how to communicate with that ever-mysterious, ever-lovable animal -- the cat.

Customer Review: Cute for all ages
This book tells how to interact with your cat. It is a very cute story that I enjoyed along with my family.
Customer Review: Understand house-cat behavior.
"How to talk to your cat," by Jean Craighead George. Formerly published as part of a book called "How to talk to your animals." Not to be confused with: "How to talk to your cat," an earlier book by Patricia Moyes. "How to talk to your cat," by Claire Bessant. "How to talk to your cat," by Lynn Allison. It's a common title! A book about house-cat behavior, body language, and communication by vocalizations and pheromones. It is not about (nor does it mention) telepathic animal communication. The book has three chapters; the first and last are about various other kinds of animals, and the middle chapter is about house cats. It has simple black-and-white line drawings that serve as diagrams of gestures, and illustrations of anecdotes. While the illustrations are good, I would have liked to see more of them. [Note: this refers to the 1985 printing; it appears that the newest printing has more illustrations!] The author used to believe (as science used to dictate) that animals behaved unthinkingly and without emotions, as automatons, and that they should not be thought of as being like humans. However, her stance changed to the opposite. She now sees animals as being intelligently, sensitively, and as being only a little different from humans, if at all. She has a convincing collection of case studies for this argument. The chapter about cats tells of how they were domesticated. It describes and explains their social interactions with one another, including parenting, mating, fighting, hunting, and communicating with pheromones. As the title promises, it gives you advice on how to use body language and vocalizations that your cat will understand. I'm familiar with this subject, but I did learn some new things from this book. There were a few feline behaviors whose reasons were mysterious to me that this book explained. The last chapter brought up several examples of animal tool use that I hadn't heard of before. As the author has raised "173 wild and 50 domestic animals," there were some amusing personal anecdotes about ravens, coyotes, and so on. I didn't spot any mistakes or false factoids. All in all: the book was short enough to finish reading in a morning, I enjoyed reading it, and I learned some new things. Very good!


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