Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 2, 2023 by Crystal Uys


When it comes to understanding felines, few people know these lovable, but sometimes frustrating, creatures as well as Wendy Christensen. Wendy spent her entire life with cats, and has gained a deep appreciation of the many sides of feline behavior. She shares her wealth of knowledge in Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want.

This book was first published in 2004. This second, revised edition was published in March of this year, and contains updated information as well as a comprehensive resource listing for everything from cat safe cleaners to cat furniture. Just like the original, this book addresses behavioral challenges ranging from aggression to litter box problems to scratching. The new, expanded edition also includes the latest scientific information on cats, high-tech solutions to feline behavior problems, a new section on TNR (trap, neuter, release) and fostering cats, and lots of new photos and illustrations.

Wendy’s focus is on nurturing the best possible relationship between cat guardians and their cats. To Wendy, outsmarting cats means understanding the essential truth of feline nature, and looking at the world through feline eyes. By discovering what is important to your cat, and nurturing and tending to your relationship every day, you will be able to create an environment that is peaceful and fulfilling for both cat and human.

Wendy’s solid advice, delivered with compassion, wisdom and a dose of humor, will educate new cat guardians, and give hope to those with even the most challenging behavior problems.

What I loved best about this book, and what sums up Wendy’s approach to feline behavior in a nut shell, is what Wendy calls the fivefold path to human-feline fulfillment.

The fivefold path to human-feline fulfillment

  1. Ignore feline behavior you don’t like.
  2. Reward and praise feline behavior you do like.
  3. Channel your cat’s energies into acceptable directions.
  4. Don’t place undue temptation in your cat’s path.
  5. Be consistent.

This book belongs on the shelf of every cat guardian’s library – even those with the most well-behaved cats – because you never know when you might need Wendy’s advice.

Wendy Christensen is a award-winning writer and illustrator. Her books include The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Cat Care. She’s written for Cat Fancy, Kittens USA, Catnip, CatWatch, Natural Cat, and Natural Pet. She lives in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Related Reading:

Meet Wendy Christensen, Cat Artist, Cat Writer and Consummate Cat Lover

About the author

4 Comments on Review: Outsmarting Cats by Wendy Christensen

  1. Outsmarting cats???? Haha, as if there could ever be such a thing!!

    Ok, I’m being flip; however, it does sound like there is valuable advice in the book, esp. the part about understanding their nature and nurturing the relationship.

    • It is a daring title, Julia, isn’t it? However, I have to say, if anything can help “outsmart” cats, it’s Wendy’s tips!

  2. TNR means Trap Neuter Return, not Trap Neuter Release. Hopefully she has it right in the book. 🙂 The difference is, release could mean leaving the cat anywhere. The program actually returns the cat to his/her territory, keeping colonies stable, not just dumping a fixed cat in a random place.

    • I’ve seen both “return” and “release” used interchangeably in various literature, Suzanne. Even though Wendy uses the term “release,” she does mean (and explains so in the book) returning the neutered/spayed cats to their original territory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *