Oct 22, 2007

The Cat Who Cried for Help

Attitudes, Emotions, and the Psychology of Cats
by Dr. Nicholas Dodman

The author is a professor of behavioral pharmacology at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He specializes in the behavioral problems of domestic animals. In The Cat Who Cried for Help he writes about feline patients seen through the Behavioral Clinic at the University, where he is the director. All kinds of kitty troubles are brought to the doctor: litterbox aversion, overeating, furniture shredding and attack cats are some of the more common problems. There are also cats who suck holes in wool sweaters, cats who wail through the night, cats who chew their own fur off, gnaw apart sneakers, act like they see ghosts, and one male cat who had a strong romantic attraction to socks. Dodman explains in depth many of the reasons why cats behave so strangely: territorial issues, socialization problems, boredom, frustration, anxiety, stress and phobias among them. His patience in helping clients get to the bottom of their pets' misbehavior and find ways to remedy their situations is admirable. Contrary to popular belief, Dodman shows that cats can be trained to change their behavior and annoying habits. A great book for anyone who shares a home with a cat and wants to better understand the nature of these independent creatures.

Rating: 3/5                 235 pages, 1997

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