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Have you reached the bottom of your summer reading stack? Or perhaps your picks fell short this summer, and you need new ideas. To help you rekindle reading momentum this fall, we asked veterinarians, cat experts and pet stores for their cat-related book recommendations. Here’s what they suggested:
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul, Mark Victor Hansen, et al.
In this tribute to the extraordinary feline spirit, you’ll learn about the piano-playing Devon rex. Then, there’s the loyal three-legged kitty that consoles a lonely third grader. Still not inspired? The book then takes you to another entry about a precocious tabby that saved its human family from a gas leak. A heartwarming collection of true stories, it’s “the No. 1 best-seller in the store, by far,” says Wanda Kelsey-Mendez, owner of Gatos Cat Boutique online.
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, Vicki Myron
After losing her family farm and leaving her abusive husband, small-town single mom Myron attempts to rebuild her life. But it’s not until the coldest morning of the year that life really turns around -- for her and for her small town -- when she discovers Dewey, a tiny kitten, freezing in the metal drop box. His loveable feline antics quickly enthrall the sleepy town, awakening even the senses of a disabled child. “It’s a fun read,” says Dr. Laura Sullivan, a veterinarian at Cascade Hospital for Animals in Grand Rapids, Mich. “All cat owners could relate to the highs and lows of kitty ownership.”
Catnip for the Soul, Jane O’Boyle
What do cats really think of humans? If cats could speak, O’Boyle surmises this would be their answer: “No fur, no paws, no tail. They run away from mice. They never get enough sleep. How can you help but love such an absurd animal?” With humor and plenty of imagination, O’Boyle attempts to tackle the inner workings of the feline mind. Dr. Tracy L. Adams of Plaza Veterinary Hospital in Farmington, Mich., calls it “an enjoyable, funny narration from a cat’s perspective.”
The Cat Who... series, Lilian Jackson Braun
Do-gooder duos in TV shows like “Scooby Doo” and “Inspector Rex” have done wonders to showcase dogs’ instinct and loyalty. But cats too have the skill to be great mystery-solving partners. The Cat Who… is a book series of 35 mysteries that prominently feature two cats. With the aid of keen feline instinct, their owner, a prizewinning reporter, successfully follows leads and solves crimes. “They are very entertaining [books] and a great read for cat lovers,” says Kelsey-Mendez. Start with the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, and you’ll be hooked at least until next fall.
Why Does My Cat…?, Sarah Heath
Still baffled by kitty’s erratic behavior, like its haphazard elimination on the carpet? Author and animal behavioral consultant Sarah Heath provides practical insights on bothersome cat behaviors and answers fun such fun questions as “Why does my cat walk on the paper I am reading?” along the way. It’s an informative read and a pleasant journey into the mind of your favorite feline.
The Cat Behavior Answer Book, Arden Moore
A prolific writer, pet show host and professional speaker, Arden Moore has inspired millions to love, understand and live harmoniously with their pets. Here, she demystifies cat behavior with wit and warmth. “This book does a really good job describing cat behavior and offering concrete suggestions for dealing with some of the most troublesome cat actions,” says Kelsey-Mendez. With thorough discussions presented in an easy-to-comprehend question and answer format, this book is a handy exploration of the feline brain and physiology.
The Domestic Cat, edited by Dennis C. Turner and Patrick Bateson
Ready for something more scientific? Try this collection of articles on animal behavior and veterinary science, penned mainly by academics. The book explores feline biology, covering everything from the development of young cats and the mother-kitten relationship, to social life and predatory behavior. “Unfortunately, many of the popular books still contain myths, misconceptions and made-up or unsupported explanations for cat behaviors,” confesses Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., of Animal Behavior Associates in Littleton, Colo. If you are seeking to really understand kitty from the inside out, Hetts recommends this read, which “goes beyond the popular ’easy reads’ and delves into what science can tell us about cat behavior.”
Whether you select an easier read or a scientific tome on the inner workings of cats, a cat-related book is a perfect source of informative tidbits and entertainment that will forever enhance your bond with kitty.
Natalia Macrynikola is a Group Editor at Studio One Networks, which publishes The Daily Cat.
Cats reach full skeletal development when they are this old: