Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed (Hardback)
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DescriptionFrom John Bradshaw, one of the world's leading experts on animal behaviour, and the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, In Defence of Dogs, Cat Sense is a scientific portrait of the true, surprising nature of cats. Worshipped as gods, feared as demonic servants, seen as both wild opportunists and beloved companions, cats often seem as unfathomable, enigmatic and magical to us today as they did in ancient times. They have lived with humans for at least ten thousand years (far earlier than the reign of the Pharaohs), and today are the most popular pet in the world. That they now outnumber the dog, man's 'best friend', by three to one, is small wonder: at once affectionate and self-reliant, they seem to be perfectly suited to our busy 21st Century lifestyles. Yet cats still think like the wild scavengers and hunters from which they are descended - and to which they can quickly revert. Today, they face unprecedented challenges in their life with humans: from conservationists who cast them as a threat to wildlife; from other cats who they compete for territory with; and from good-intentioned owners and vets with misconceptions of what they require. Cats need not so much our sympathy, but our understanding, if they are to continue to enjoy our companionship. The recent surge in feline science - with John Bradshaw at the forefront - means we are now better equipped to understand them than ever before. Cat Sense offers us for the first time a true picture of one of humanity's closest and most enigmatic companions. Praise for In Defence of Dogs: "The most fantastic book, a revelation". (Observer). "Essential reading". (Daily Telegraph). "Nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding". (Guardian). "A case grounded in kindness and science...Authoritative, wise and rather moving". (Independent). "A wonderful, reassuring, and encouraging book". (Literary Review). "A wonderfully informative, passionate book". (Economist). John Bradshaw is a biologist who founded and directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute, based at the University of Bristol. He has been studying the behaviour of domestic cats and their owners for over 25 years, and is the author of many scientific articles, research papers and reviews. He is also the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, In Defence of Dogs.
- Published: 29 August 2013
- Format: Hardback 336 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781846145940 ISBN 10: 1846145945
- Sales rank: 12,728
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Reviews for Cat Sense
- Top review
Jack of all trades. Master of None?
I was a little hesitant to read this book after my experience with In Defense of Dogs. On the whole I found the book to be drawn out and contradictory.
Cat sense suffers from its own set of problems. The first quarter of the book focuses on the genetics behind the domesticated cats markings by tracing it's ancestry. I had enough of genetics in college so this section wasn't really anything new to me. However I think it may be too heavy for someone with just a passing interest in having cats as pet's.
On the other side it's not in depth enough for anyone looking to do some serious research on feline behaviour. It seems Bradshaw wanted this book to be a jack of all trades book but in the process it fails to really appeal to any one set of readers.
It's hard for me to put much weight in his experiments as they were designed and carried out by himself. This makes me wonder how accurate they can be.
For all it's faults this book contains some great information in the last few chapters. Bradshaw tries to encourage the reader to see world through the eyes of their domesticated cat. As a veterinary nurse I have seen first hand how anthropomorphism by owners can be damaging to cats. Bradshaw shines a light on cats forced to live their life cooped up in apartments in the company of strange cats of whom they spend a life time trying to avoid. I see many owners gush over how 2 cats are the best of friends when the exact opposite is the case.
These problems are often over looked as cats are dismissed as "untrainable" which, of course is not true. They just require the use of different methods to that of the dog.
Another plus for me was the mention of the breeding of pedigree cats. Cat breeders are often let slip through the net as much of the focus seems to be on dog breeders and puppy farms. The reality is that cat breeders are just as much at fault. They too continue to selectively breed for vanity sake which can cause huge suffering. He points out the extensive eye problems that the Siamese suffers from and the respiratory issues associated with the brachycephalic breeds.
It may be considered heavy for some in parts but if you are new to the world of cats and have started to develop a keen interest in all things feline then this book is for you.
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