Last Updated on: May 4, 2013 by Ingrid King
It is heartening to me that we’re seeing more and more books on feline behavior that provide solid, actionable information for cat guardians. Far too many cats are surrendered to shelters, or worse, released into the wild to fend for themselves, because of behavior problems that often aren’t all that hard to fix. In The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do – and How to Get Them To Do What You Want, Mieshelle Nagelschneider explains cat behavior and provides easy-to-follow solutions to common behavior problems.
From the publisher:
Who says you can’t train a cat? Just when you thought you had reached the end of your ball of twine, one of America’s most popular cat behaviorists comes to the rescue of perplexed cat owners everywhere, providing practical and effective strategies for solving every feline behavior problem imaginable—from litter box issues to scratching, spraying, biting, and beyond.
Cat Whisperer Mieshelle Nagelschneider has been helping people deal with these dilemmas for two decades, achieving a near-perfect success rate. Central to her approach is a keen understanding of the unique way cats see the world—their need for safety and security, their acute territoriality, and their insatiable desire to catch and kill prey. Her proven C.A.T. cat behavior modification plan is a commonsense course of action that can be specifically tailored to your cat in the context of its behavior problems and its particular household environment. Easy-to-implement solutions help transform even the most anxiety-riddled companions into confident, gregarious, and relaxed cats who live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Nagelschneider’s approach involves what she calls her C.A.T. Plan:
- Cease the Unwanted Cat Behavior
- Attract the Cat to a Desirable Behavior, Location or Time
- Transform the Territory
According to the author, by following her plan, even the most challenging felines will respond within thirty to sixty days.
The book contains a wealth of information about how cats think, and why they do the things that often puzzle humans. Nagelschneider stresses that cats never do things out of spite or to “get back” at the people in their lives, a perception that is still far too prevalent among cat guardians. Her chapter “Mind Throwing: Inside the Being of a Cat” offers a thought provoking look at who cats really are. I particularly enjoyed the section on anthropomorphism (the attribution of human characteristics to an animal). The author explains both the joy and pitfalls of thinking that our cats are just like us, and cautions us to stick with positive anthropomorphism (appreciating the sweetness and love of our cats) and staying away from the negative (believing that they do things to annoy us.)
This book will leave you with a better understanding of your feline companions, whether they’re behaviorally challenged or whether they’re little feline angels.
Mieshelle Nagelschneider has been working with thousands of cat owners in person, by phone, and online for more than twenty years. She has consulted with vets to help them deal with the problem behaviors that their clients complain about and that they themselves have with their own cats. The Cat Behavior Clinic, which she founded, opened in 1999 and serves clients all over the world. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family and nine animals: six cats, two dogs, and one monitor lizard. For more information, and to schedule a consultation with Mieshelle, please visit TheCatBehaviorClinic.com.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.