Can the world possibly need another analysis of the feline psyche? After reading this authoritative and amusing cat-on-the-couch book, the answer is a qualified yes. Neville's text is arranged ``Dear Abby''-style, incorporating his long, thoughtful responses to queries received over the years from anxious cat owners: e.g., ``Dear Mr. Neville, My cat Mugs is agoraphobic . . . and I'm sure he's missing out on life as a result.'' His solution to this particular problem is ``controlled exposure to the outdoors, perhaps using the carrying basket . . . or, better still, a large, secure pen in which the cat can safely spend some portion of his day outdoors.'' Neville, a columnist for the British Cat World magazine and consultant to the Bristol Veterinary School in Great Britain, begins his book with general information and factual tidbits (for instance, there are now 55 million cats in the U.S.), then pushes on to specific behavioral topics--feline stress and trauma, aggressive behavior and the ever-popular ``toileting'' problems. This is a useful and unsentimental work, though it's to be hoped that no single owner will have to cope with more than a few of the problems described. (Apr.)
According to Neville, a self-appointed British feline behaviorist, cats displaying behavioral problems may need cat ``shrinks.'' In this sometimes humorous account of cat problems that he has treated, Neville presents case studies with his``psychoanalysis'' and suggestions for treatment. Most of his ideas (e.g., initially separating a new kitten when introducing it into an established household and providing more stimulation for the bored cat) are sensible and useful. However, the use of many British expressions and the narrow focus of the book limits its appeal. More complete and useful advice on cat care can be found in Pam Johnson's Cat Love ( LJ 5/1/90) or Mary Pyles's Understanding Your Cat ( LJ 2/1/91). Not a necessary purchase.-- Eva Lautemann, De Kalb Coll. Lib., Clarkston, Ga.