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Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your… (2013)

by John Bradshaw

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4552240,672 (3.51)11
"A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense is a revolutionary new account from one of the leading scientific experts on these little-understood animals. As he did in his acclaimed, best-selling Dog Sense, Bradshaw combines the most up-to-date research with fascinating case studies to paint an unprecedentedly detailed portrait of the domestic cat"--"Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. Unlike dogs, cats evolved as solitary hunters, and, while many have learned to live alongside humans and even feel affection for us, they still don't quite "get us" the way dogs do, and perhaps they never will. But cats have rich emotional lives that we need to respect and understand if they are to thrive in our company. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat's evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners-but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we're to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments - however small - sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats. A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets' lives - and ours"--… (more)
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English (21)  French (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Good book about what's known about the psychology, genetics, and socialization of the domestic cat.

What's most remarkable to me is just how little basic science has been done -- many basic things like knowing the optimal age to home kittens with their new families, the extent of genetic influence over personality traits, etc. have never been studied.

A particularly scary thing is that widespread neutering of pet cats has led to the least sociable and human adapted cats being responsible for most new kittens (unaltered female cats kept in homes, but feral tomcats rather than outdoor pet tomcats); this has apparently led to observable behavioral differences in kittens in areas where the majority of pet cats are neutered.

Pedigree cats don't seem to have been bred with personality taken into account, and the market for random-bred or non-pedigreed cats based on personality may not exist, but it seems like there should be a market for a super-premium known-parentage cat, raised in a home environment until age 8 weeks or so, combined with feline enrichment and other pet ecosystem products -- basically the "Apple" of cats. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
A must-read for every cat owner. ( )
  Carrie_Etter | Nov 28, 2020 |
A really interesting read, especially if you own a Cat. There is a lot in here that will make you think, especially about the Cat's role as a predator. There is also a chilling vision for the future of the Domestic Cat. ( )
  kantr | Aug 26, 2020 |
Wonderful book that gave me the up-to-date information I needed for understanding my new cat. The author gave me an insight into the cat's wild nature that caused me to love him even more. ( )
  dkohler52 | Apr 24, 2019 |
Great book. I am an unashamed cat lover, but after reading this it was clear I didn't actually know much about cats, their biology, ancestry or the reasons for their behaviour. Probably the most startling revelation for me is that cats are not yet fully domesticated. Although they have been hanging around with humans for millenia, until very recently they were simply tolerated because they kept pests down. The idea of cats as cute pets kept solely for company is not more than a couple of centuries old. Hence cats are struggling to reconcile their wild instincts with our demands on them as companions. I liked how the author worked in the science with his own experiences with cats, particularly Splodge, a large bad-tempered neutered tom, who appears a number of times in the book demonstrating some point or other. For myself I remembered back to cats in my family up to 30 years ago and suddenly mysterious behaviours made sense. I think the most diparaging thing I read was the advice that Bengal cats,a cross between domestic and wild leopard cats that I absolutely adore, just do not make good pets. Disappointing but good to know. I loved this book, I learned so much and it was entertaining too. Recommended for all cat-lovers and even cat-haters as well. ( )
1 vote drmaf | Oct 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dogs look up to us: cats look down on us.
- Winston Churchill

When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
- Mark Twain
Dedication
To Splodge (1988-2004) - A Real Cat
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense is a revolutionary new account from one of the leading scientific experts on these little-understood animals. As he did in his acclaimed, best-selling Dog Sense, Bradshaw combines the most up-to-date research with fascinating case studies to paint an unprecedentedly detailed portrait of the domestic cat"--"Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. Unlike dogs, cats evolved as solitary hunters, and, while many have learned to live alongside humans and even feel affection for us, they still don't quite "get us" the way dogs do, and perhaps they never will. But cats have rich emotional lives that we need to respect and understand if they are to thrive in our company. In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat's evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners-but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we're to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments - however small - sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats. A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets' lives - and ours"--

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