Below are recommended cat books from my arsenal covering all manner of feline related topics. Many of these books focus on topics such as cat breeds, cat health, care, and behavior.
Many contain beautiful photographs, with some geared towards domestic felines and others on focused on wild cats.
This is my personal list of books that I've used to learn more about cats.
A number of cat books obviously cover multiple subjects, so I'll break them down for you based on what the emphasis is for each. These are must-have books for the true cat lover.
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Priscilla, shown resting behind some pillows in the photo above, highly recommends the following reading materials. These are cat books that are primarily about cat behavior, or have a substantial portion of the book devoted to that topic. If you feel you don't understand your cat very well, these books are for you.
This book, by Vicki Myron, is the story of Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat who was so much more than that to so many people.
While this book is not specifically about cat behavior, there is much we can learn from Dewey and the people who loved him. There's a lot we can learn about what cat's need in their lives, and how much they give back to us, sometimes by just falling asleep in our laps.
For almost 20 years, Dewey was the reigning King of the Beasts at the library in Spencer, Iowa.
He united the library staff, the small town they lived in, and became famous around the world.
Read my review of the book detailing Dewey's story here.
Carole C. Wilbourn is the original cat therapist, and explains, using plain language and entertaining stories, what cats want and how they think. Throughout Cat Talk she describes how emotional problems in cats can often lead to physical problems, and how emotional owners can create these issues.
This book offers some of the best insights I've seen on a variety of cat behavior problems and answers many why do cats do that questions.
For example, in my litter box problems section, readers can post problems and solutions for cat owners, like this one where a cat can't or won't use the box.
In the "toilet habits" section of Carole's book, she points out that one of her cats won't use the litter box unless it has been cleaned between sessions. This is the case even if he is the one who used it last. She goes on to say that her other cat actually likes to "coordinate 'his business'" with the people in the house.
These are interesting stories that really lay out for you how cats act and react to other cats, people, other animals, and their environment. No matter what your level of "cat sense," I'm certain you'll come away with deeper understanding of the feline.
Much of this book, as you can imagine by the name, is in a question and answer format. Like Cat Talk, it's also broken up and made more interesting through real stories about cats and their owners. It's also filled with such interesting cat facts as "a hairball is called a trichobezoar."
In an easy to read format, The Cat Behavior Answer Book covers everything from dealing with feline feeding habits and obese cats, to litter box avoidance, to cats with rare medical problems.
The author of this book, and 16 others, is Arden Moore, editor of a monthly newsletter called Catnip. All manner of domestic cat behaviors are covered in this book and I highly recommend it.
Why do cats get stuck in trees? Why do cats like to sit on the laps of people who don't like them? Why do cats blink and look away when you speak to them? All these questions and more are answered in this book.
Pictures illustrating body language, along with practical information on a variety of feline topics are throughout the book. What is My Cat Thinking covers topics including grooming, play, aggression, hunting and scenting behaviors, as well as social interaction between cats and people. A nice cat book to have.
An informative book with artistic illustrations describing many strange cat behaviors including why your cat might bring you a dead mouse, eat grass, or run around the house like a lunatic for no apparent reason.
Other topics in Why Cats Do That include kneading, crawling into paper bags, and why there is a need for a cat scratching post.
It's hard to separate behavior and health issues since one affects the other. One of the ways that we can detect cat health problems is by monitoring changes in our cat's behavior. That's why it's important to know your cat's usual routine.
Marty Becker, DVM, the pet corespondent for Good Morning America has another book out in the Ultimate series, The Ultimate Cat Lover. This book has information on the well-being of the domestic feline, including health and behavior advice. There are also photos and stories to entertain and educate.
The following cat books have extensive information on cat breeds, including coat colors and patterns, and body types.
This book, by Angela Sayer and Howard Loxton, covers a lot of ground, and has a large section with 65 different cat breeds, including description, pictures, and allowed colors for showing. It also has sections on the evolution of the cat, early domestication and a history of cats worldwide.
Encyclopedia of the Cat also includes sections on cat health, including mating behaviors, gestation and pregnancy in felines, and kittens. In addition, you'll find a number of pages on cat behavior and training, general health, and feline illnesses. Finally, there is information on basic cat care, and cat shows and the cat fancy.
All in all, this is a good overall reference with a large portion of the book devoted to breeds. It also has a large footprint and makes a great addition to the coffee table.
This book, edited by Lydia Darbyshire, is a compilation, borrowing information from other cat books such as the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds by Angela Rixson.
Cats & Kittens is about two-thirds cat breed guide, and one-third "other." The other is shared by topics such as cats in history, behavior, and cat care. There's also a bit about showing your cat after you've used the information in the book to select your perfect breed.
The breed information is good with not only coat color information (often with pictures of more than one color of the same cat breed), build, but also breed specific temperament and behavioral traits. The book has a smallish footprint, but good information.
There is more than one cat book by this name. This one is by Amy D. Shojai and Irene Gizzi, and with its large footprint, is another good one for the coffee table.
For the Love of Cats could probably go in a miscellaneous cat books category, since it has a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. In fact, it covers everything from the history of the domestic feline all the way back to the miacid, the ancestor of all modern cats. Actually, the miacid is said to be the ancestor of bears, raccoons, and among others, wolves and dogs!
The book also covers physiology and the senses, body types, coat colors and patterns, and cat behavior. There are also sections on myths about cats, cats in history, and famous cats.
So, it pretty much covers it all, but one of the things that really stands out about this book is that it is well illustrated with large pictures of the breeds, along with breed descriptions.
I've always been fascinated by big cats. Here are some great books with pictorial essays on wild felines and the big cats, accompanied by some interesting facts.
Spirit of the Wild Cat is subtitled The Definitive Visual Guide to the Kings of Beasts and it just may be that. This is a beautiful, large cat book (literally) by Mike and Peggy Briggs. Not only is this book filled with fantastic photographs of all manner of wild cats, it's also full of great information. Here's a small excerpt on the mountain lion...
Adult males (up to 40 percent bigger than females) grow to a maximum shoulder height of about 30 inches (76 cm), a head-and-body length of 8 feet (2.4 m) and a weight of 225 lb (102 kg). The thick tail -- up to 32 inches (82 cm) long in males -- is big enough, according to native american folklore, to whip up waves and storms on the Great Lakes but is actually used to aid balance, particularly when making the prodigious jumps for which this cat is renowned. It can cover almost 40 feet (12 m) in a single leap, its unusually long hind legs providing the power.
Along with that information and more, are no less than 15 fantastic photographs of mountain lions and Florida panthers in their native habitat. In addition, similar treatment is given to big cats the world over including lions and the other big cats of Africa, the jaguar of South America (including beautiful pictures of some melanistic jaguars), the Canadian lynx, and some lesser known wild cats such as the margay. It also looks great on the coffee table.
While not as many pages as Spirit of the Wild Cat, Big Cats also has numerous pictures of cats all over the world. These photographs, accompanied by facts about big cats, include young cheetahs playing, lions mating, white tigers, and a two photo sequence of a leopard hunting and killing a baboon in a tree. This is another great coffee table book and a must have for the cat lover.
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