Cat Books in Review

Books are a great source of information. As children (before the computer age) we turned to encyclopedias to do our research, most parents felt that one of their finest accomplishments in providing for their children was to purchase of a set of encyclopedias.

The advent of computers has now led to doing research with the click of a mouse.

However, there are times when having a book handy, to turn to quickly, is a great asset.

It is with this thought in mind that I decided to incorporate into my blog, information from time to time about books that are helpful for “pet parents” to have.

This first one I feel is an absolute must.

The First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats by Amy Shojai and published by Rodale, Inc. should be on your bookshelf, within easy reach.

The First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats is written in such a way that finding what you need to know in a hurry is fairly easy. The font is large, the layout of the table of contents and index makes looking for something easy.

It has a symptoms listing and injuries section that is listed alphabetically.

This book even tells you at the beginning of each section if you should call the vet at once, later in the day or only if you feel it is needed.

It is written in language that everyone can understand, there are drawings to help you use proper techniques and many of the items used for injuries or ailments are things that you have at home.

The First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats advises you in what to have in your pet’s first aid kit, it takes into consideration that most of us are not trained medical people and the instructions are simple, but explicit and easily understandable.

This book is 439 packed pages of useful, important, life-saving information written to help you and your pet in almost any emergency you will face.

This book was written in 2001 and since then many pharmaceutical manufacturers have changed some of the ingredients in their medications (like Kaopectate) so use extreme caution, when using over-the-counter meds especially with cats.

Call you vet first, the life you save may be your pet’s.

If you are a “pet parent” this book is a “must have,” it is great reading, offers an education in emergency care and is the next best thing to having your vet live at your home.

The Cat Who Cried for Help : Attitudes, Emotions and the Psychology of Cats by Dr. Nicholas Dodman is another excellent book if you are having problems understanding why your cat is doing what it does.

Dr. Dodman is a professor of behavioral pharmacology at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the director of the Behavior Clinic. He has spent many years helping pet owners understand not only their cats, but dogs also.

It is unfortunate that thousands of cats are euthanized every year because their owners cannot understand the reasons behind certain unusual behaviors.

In an effort to help pets and their owners, he has written this book. It is divided into several sections covering such topics as cat aggression, emotional behaviors (litter box problems) and compulsive behaviors such as furniture clawing, fur pulling and constant meowing.

This is a paperback book filled with actual case histories of problems that Dr. Dodman has successfully solved and some he could not solve.

It will make you laugh and sometimes cry, while offering you a better understanding of your cat and how it thinks.

Treatments involve diet changes, drug therapy, exercise and sometimes environmental changes.

Dr. Dodman shows that even some of the most difficult problems can be solved by using certain behavior modifications and possibly drug treatment.

The secret ingredient here is “understanding” your pet and Dr. Dodman can lead you down that path,

Dr. Dodman has also written a book on similar dog behavior called The Dog Who Loved Too Much, if you are having dog problems this may be the answer.

The only thing I have to say that is negative about this book, is that Dr. Dodman seems to believe in using drugs to help change behavior in both cats and dogs quite frequently.

While I can see the use of drugs in certain instances, I prefer to see working on behavior modification as the way to create changes in your pet.

Realizing, of course, that cats have minds of their own and effecting a change in a cat’s behavior, can be a hard won battle at times.

In conclusion I found these two books to be very helpful. Book #1 is a definite “add to your library” book and book #2 is a good read in helping you understand your cat a little bit better and there are many things you can do to correct things that are driving you “batty.”

For your convenience if either of these books are of interest to you I have created links to Amazon .com where you can purchase them for a very moderate price.