I will jump at any chance to pretend like I know more about my cat and what he’s thinking than I really do. So this one was high on my to-read list, and I was particularly excited about the more scientific approach it promised to take towards cat behavior.
That scientific approach is definitely the books biggest strong point. The hypotheses put forth for questions like why pet cats hunt when they have food at home, or why cats don’t without stressing them and ourselves are backed up with some impressive studies and information, sometimes from experiments the author conducted himself. (And it’s always nice to have some confirmation for all of us who continue to insist that our cats absolutely have feelings and totally love us back.)
Part of the downside of the very scientific approach is that it is dry. Very dry. There are a few anecdotes from the author’s own cats peppered throughout, but it is very focused on the science and theories behind larger trends in cat behavior. It took some work to get through the VERY detailed historical information to get to the more interesting modern cat science. This is definitely not a guide to how to understand your individual cat, but how to better understand cats as a species. The idea put forth that has stuck with me the most, probably because it is the most counter-intuitive, is the idea that universal neutering of pet cats may actually be bad for them in the long run. Trust me, it’s fascinting. This idea is
a decent representation of the book as a whole, in that it’s concerned more with the total cat population, and their future as pets, and less with individual cats. This is definitely not a training book, don’t expect Jackson Galaxy, but it will help you get a better insight into the world of a cat.