Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Petby John Bradshaw
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. 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 explain the true natureand needsof our feline friends. Tracing the cat’s evolution from solitary hunter to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of social contact, qualities that often clash with the demands of our modern lifestyles. If we’re to live in harmony with cats, Bradshaw contends, we first need to understand and adapt to their ancient quirks.
A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense challenges our most basic assumptions about cats and promises to dramatically improve their livesand ours.
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
“Bradshaw's book mixes pellets of cat lore with accounts of feline evolution, anatomy, genetics and development from newborn kitten to adulthood, plus descriptions of cat-psychology experiments in the laboratory, many of which he has conducted himself.... Inveterate cat-haters, those defective humans, probably won't appreciate this book, but anyone else might. It is written in a friendly and engaging way, has helpful tips for cat owners, and is packed with excellent cat facts.”
The Guardian, paperback
“[A] thoughtful, useful and utterly absorbing book.”
“You could buy a dozen books by the many cat whisperers, cat gurus and cat therapists that exist in our feline-obsessed modern world, but their accumulated wisdom would probably not help you understand your cats where they've come from, what they want from you, and where they might be going, if we're not careful as well as Cat Sense.”
“Drawing from research, the author cracks an enigma: the feline mind. A must for owners wondering how Fluffy really feels about them.”
Cat Wisdom 101
“Cat Sense paves the way for the greatest gift we can give our cats: learning what makes them tick.... Cat Sense, a well-researched reference book (chock-full of lovely illustrations) delves into fascinating insights into the feline mind and their physical evolution to the present day.... No one book encompasses all aspects of cats but Cat Sense is a valuable resource with plenty of food for thought about cats today and their future as a species.”
Globe and Mail
“In his wide-ranging new book, Cat Sense, English anthrozoologist John Bradshaw calls on all his scientific resources to interpret our enigmatic felines for the 21st century a restrictive era far removed from the predatory instincts of these not-quite-domesticated animals.”
“With more than 30 years of experience studying animal behavior, [Bradshaw] 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.... [E]nlightening.”
“[Bradshaw] offers plenty of insights into what makes your tabby purr and how those insights can make a difference in your domestic life.... The understanding you gain should make for a happier cat-human household.”
“Cat Sense goes a long way toward educating humans about their feline companions so that we can continue to enjoy them and, perhaps more importantly, make them happier to be around us.”
Booklist, Starred Review
“This fascinating book will be a bible for cat owners.”
“[I]nsightful.... Using cutting-edge research, Bradshaw takes us into the mysterious mind of the domestic cat, explaining the cat's nature and needs, and, in doing, so deepens our understanding of our wild housemates and improves our relationships with them.”
“[A] go-to cat guide in one easy read.... For cat lovers, this book gives a vital look into the perspective of the cat.... The insight this book provides will not only help cat companions better understand their pet, it will allow them to create an ideal living situation for their cat. Keeping your cat happy and stress-free will ensure a comfortable home for everyone.”
“They're the world's most popular pet (sorry, Spot), but who knows what goes on behind those wide, inscrutable eyes? Bradshaw's bestseller will give you a clue.”
“[Bradshaw] deftly sums up the latest science that attempts to discover what's going on inside the kitty brain.... A careful read can help a cat owner understand why cats don't get along, guide efforts in training and even reveal what's behind kitty's favorite toy.”
“This is a fascinating book that reveals much new information.... Whether you share your home with a cat or just admire them from afar, this book is must reading. It is meticulously researched, crisply written, and an essential guide that offers penetrating insights about the domestic cat, many beliefs that will challenge our most basic assumptions but promise to dramatically improve not only the lives of our pets but ours as well.”
“Bradshaw is...a dedicated scientist, with much to teach us about our furry darlings.”
“[Bradshaw] engagingly synthesizes recent academic research about cats.... Readable, practical, and original, this is likely to become the go-to book for understanding cat behavior.”
“A useful guide to help cat lovers better understand their elusive pets.”
Scientific American's Dog Spies blog
“Cat Sense is the most recent book to dispel myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends.”
Scientific American's Dog Spies blog
“Like Dog Sense, but with cats! Bradshaw has pioneered reams of research on cat behavior and cognition and produced a must-read for cat lovers.”
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats
“This fascinating book is one of the finest ever written about cats. There was hardly a page where I did not learn something new, and John Bradshaw's many practical suggestions are truly excellent. Any cat lover is bound to discover in it much that is useful, interesting, and entertaining.”
“Books about animals tend to swing from how-to manuals devoid of evidence for the tactics they propose to scientific tracts with little comment on the way we actually live with our four-legged friends. Cat Sense strikes a nice balance, perhaps because Bradshaw researched it for 30 years. He synthesizes academic articles, experiments and his own observations into a lively, readable text.”
The New Statesman
“On physiology, Bradshaw goes well beyond charming did-you-knows to provide insights that could transform the average cat owner's understanding of their pet.... After reading Cat Sense, you will never look at your cat in the same way again.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers
“Using research, his background in anthrozoology and his personal experiences with cats, Bradshaw has written a scientific book that remains easily accessible to any cat owner. He admits up front there is still plenty to learn about the domestic cat, but Cat Sense is a solid starting point and a must for present owners and potential owners alike. Readers will be more aware of their companions' behaviors and what those behaviors mean in terms of the human-cat relationship, thereby creating a richer, more fulfilling connection for each.”
The Sunday Times
“[Bradshaw] starts with cat origins and works methodically and illuminatingly through the many daft anthropomorphic assumptions.... What makes Bradshaw's book so valuable is his positive thinking. How can we make the cat less anxious? How can we help?... [Cat Sense is] a mind-altering book.”
The Sunday Times, paperback
“Cat Sense is rich in scientific research and historical anecdote.... Cat owners mostly believe that their pets look after themselves fairly well, so Bradshaw might not find an audience as avid as the one he found for dogs. It is a pity. This is a more entertaining book, written in a more relaxed style.”
The Guardian Books Blog
“We're fond of cats. Our favourite cat book this year was animal behaviouralist, John Bradshaw's, Cat Sense, a truly scientific yet deeply affectionate look at the our feline companions.”
“Bradshaw does a great job of explaining to the clueless cat owner what science has discovered about their pet.... [A] fascinating bookshelf essential for anyone who's ever looked at their cat and wondered what's going on behind those big eyes.”
“Cat lovers will certainly enjoy this book, though it does not pretend to solve all the mysteries cats present us with.”
- Basic Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
John Bradshaw is Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol. Author of the New York Times bestseller Dog Sense, which won an Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal, he lives in Southampton, England.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Cat Sense is an all-encompassing book about the domestic cat. The first few chapters describe the history of cats and their domestication. John Bradshaw then discusses some of his research with the modern, domesticated cat. The final chapters discusses how cats are seen in contemporary society and some of his concerns about how cats are treated (i.e., spaying and neutering cats). Let's discuss each of these sections in turn. I really enjoyed the chapters on the history of cats. It is something that is rarely discussed in history textbooks, and I found it quite interesting. The chapters on the authors experiments and observations of cats were intriguing; however, I wish he had provided more detail on the experiments themselves. It was frustrating not to have a full picture of the experimental procedures. I am a researchers by trade, so this concern may not be a problem for others. The last few chapters, especially the final chapter were intriguing to read, because he focused his discussion on some controversial ideas. Primarily, he discussed how he dislikes spaying and neutering, because it prevents certain genes from becoming dominant in the cat populations. Specifically, he notes that well-adjusted cats that like to be around humans get spayed and neutered by angry, feral cats that never get trapped (for TNR programs) continue to procreate. His ideas are definitely intriguing. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about cats that I would not have learned elsewhere. The book is a bit dense at times, so I recommend reading it in doses. It also doesn't hurt that the book is not too long (< 400 pages). One concern I have about this book is that the author did not report all of his references. He stated that he only put some of the references in the notes section at the end of the book. I find this problematic, because the reader cannot go and check his sources. I understand that the everyday reader may not want all the references, but I think the reader should be able to fact check if interested. Hopefully, the author will list the references online at some point.
This author has his own cats but they are outside cats. He never speaks of them lovingly and he appears to think cats are lame and stupid compared to the dog. He gives them no fondness that they love their master and their home and all they want from us is food and water. He talked about the history of the cat more than anything and mostly about wild cats. I have a 5 year old male and wanted a buddy for him so I got a 3 month old male adorable friendly kitten. I did learn that only us, the owners think they want a buddy, and they are happier to be alone. Really? I wanted to read this book to help me get them to be best buddies, but it did not help at all. The book was NOT for cat lovers and there wasn't a cute moment about any cat in it. It was very wordy and more for a historian or scientist studying cat behavior than lessons on how to make you a "Better Friend to Your Pet" as the title indicated.
I found this book to be very boring, Bradshaw repeats a lot throughout it. It is educational but I thought it would also be more entertaining about what cats are like. I haven't finished the book yet and not sure if I will. It's not what I thought it would be. Someone else might enjoy it but I was disappointed sorry to say.
Sad to see someone that did not spay or neuter his own cats being hearlded as "The Kitty Whisperer". A large percentage of 'outside' cats end up dead. That is not natural selection, it's crappy cat ownership. I only refer to it as ownership because we are obligated to pay for their city/rabis license & tags.
Amazon has this book for $10.00
I am angry because I typed in "how to care for a pet bunny". It gave me things about cat and dogs. Love Mia
I haven't read the book yet but it looks good,and sounds even better! I would get it on my nook, but it is $15! But I gaurantee you I will buy it soon!!!!!
Feel sorry for this author. The 1 star rating is for B&N, not him. I really wanted to buy his book for my Nook but $27.99 (almost three times Amazon Kindle's $9.80) is an outrageous example of greed on someone's part. Looks like I chose the wrong ereader...will remember this at Christmas.