Reviews for Cat Sense : How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet

Book News Reviews
About one-third of US households have at least one cat. Bradshaw (anthropology, U of Bristol) examines the newest research on how cats think and why they do what they do. He understands that the cat is still, in essence, a wild creature, and it is his owners who must come around to being a better friend too them, at their level. He examines, and give good advice, on cats' learning how to be domestic, and how they respond to thoughts and feelings, and how they look at other cats and humans, and how they respond as individuals, and as wildlife. He closes with a very interesting chapter on cats of the future; given our human propensity for altering our companions genetically, it is all very possible. This is a worthy companion to Bradshaw's Dog Sense. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
*Starred Review* As author Bradshaw (Dog Sense, 2011) notes in his introduction, the domestic cat is the most popular pet in today's world, outnumbering dogs by as many as three to one. In this new examination of feline behavior, Bradshaw teases out a better understanding of what our cats want (and need) from their owners. Cats fill two niches that humans unintentionally provided for them--pest controller, as wild cats moved in to feast on the concentrations of rodents attracted to our stored grain; and companion animal, as people (probably women and children) adopted kittens as pets. To fully understand the pet cat, owners must appreciate and work with this dual role. Bradshaw traces the cat's evolution from a wild solitary hunter to today's house pet in the first three chapters, and then, in the next three, looks at cats' biology and how this affects their interactions with each other and with humans. The social lives of cats, both with their owners and with other animals, are then examined, and the book concludes with thoughts on the future role of the cat as a pet. Perhaps the most interesting section speculates on how to train and breed for animals that will be content to stay inside. This fascinating book will be a bible for cat owners. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 July #2
A cat-loving anthrozoologist probes "the cat's true nature." Bradshaw (Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, 2011) worries about the future of domestic cats, "the most popular pet in the world today." Until recently, their tendency to hunt small prey, such as mice and snakes, has added to their value for homeowners, overshadowing their predatory behavior toward small animals and birds. Not so today, as the decline of wild species has become an increasing concern. Historically, dogs and cats have been valued for different qualities, and their paths to domestication were also different. Dogs evolved from relatively tame wolves that lived in packs. They readily worked in tandem with humans as hunters, herders and guard dogs. Cats evolved from solitary, wild cats that defended their own territories. The author traces their domestication to the Middle East and the agrarian revolution. As grains were stored, house mice evolved to take advantage of the food supply, and cats were attracted by the opportunity to hunt the mice. They were valued as exterminators, but their kittens were adopted as pets. Bradshaw contends that although urban house cats are affectionate and can appear more independent and easier to manage, owners frequently do not pay sufficient attention to their socialization. While dogs befriend unrelated dogs, cats do not; therefore, the author suggests that, if possible, two cats from the same litter be placed together. Since their access to the outdoors is being increasingly restricted and, in urban environments, cats are no longer needed to control mice, it is important to provide them with companionship and an enriched play environment. A useful guide to help cat lovers better understand their elusive pets. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 November #1

It's only natural that British anthrozoologist Bradshaw (foundation director, Anthrozoology Inst., Univ. of Bristol, England; Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet) would pen a complementary book for cat lovers. With more than 30 years of experience studying animal behavior, he is able to convey valuable information to cat owners, regardless of their experience with the species, that will assist them in providing the stable physical environment that cats crave, as well as promoting the healthiest of relationships between cat and owner. An unusual goal of the author is also to project what the typical cat might be like 50 years from now. Within 11 enlightening chapters, Bradshaw offers the reader thorough material on a wide range of topics, including what it means for a cat to be domestic, how cats think and feel, how they act when together and when alone, and how cats relate to their owners. Comprehensive notes and further reading will give general audiences, to whom this title is geared, further resources to consult; they will also benefit from the detailed index. VERDICT This volume is not about the overall health, care, and feeding of cats; rather, it is about behavior for the average pet owner and, as such, balances out more academic works such as Bradshaw's The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat or Dennis Turner and Patrick Bateson's The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior.--Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #1

Bradshaw (Dog Sense), foundation director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol, engagingly synthesizes recent academic research about cats. Chapters covering the origins of cat domestication, feline emotions, and behavior, and the challenges cats face in the future, balance kernels of facts with thoughtful and surprisingly analyses. For example, Bradshaw recounts the evolution from wild cat to domesticated animal: the invention of storage facilities for grain attracted rodent pests, which in turn attracted wild cats, who eventually became reliant on the perpetual food source of rats and mice, and became domesticated over time. Contrary to popular belief, a cat's purr is not a sign of contentment; rather, it is a request for "someone else, whether cat or human, to do something for it," such as prolonging "the circumstances that are making" the cat contented. Bradshaw convincingly argues that cats are not--or should not be--low-maintenance, and that their reputation for being so is a barrier to their owners spending the time needed to train them. Readable, practical, and original, this is likely to become the go-to book for understanding cat behavior. Agent: Patrick Walsh, Conville & Walsh. (Sept.)

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