The Inner Life of Cats

The Inner Life of Cats

The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

Book - 2017
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Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats , Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.

As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.

McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Hachette Books,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316262873
Branch Call Number: ANF 599.75 MCN
Characteristics: 278 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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Summerday18
Dec 08, 2017

It started out so promising, with lush, evocative writing. Unfortunately, the author relies heavily on a discredited "study" blaming cats rather than humans for tragic losses in North American bird populations. The most useful contributions were an interview with Eileen Karsh about her research of cat behaviour (p. 30-50), and an inside view of cat rescues in no-kill Rome, including a meeting with researcher Eugenia Natoli (p. 113). A review of Mildred Moelk's study of cat vocalization was also interesting (p. 64). Unfortunately the author leaves the impression that trap-neuter-return programs are doomed to failure, lighting on an off-hand comment in Natoli's paper that referred to the challenges of many abandoned cats, without considering the wealth of other research that describes their success in controlling populations of feral cats. Much of the book was devoted to the author's personal experience with a cat, which it seemed to me would have worked better in a separate book.

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Kl├╝gerKater
Jul 15, 2017

At first glance, you may be inclined to simply label this book as "something only a crazy cat lady would read." However, you can quickly dismiss that notion, as this is truly an academic writing, which in essence is a synthesis of the most relevant scientific research--interspersed with charming anecdotes--concering our feline friends "Felis catus". As a cat owner, I found this book not only to be extremely informative on all things cat-related, but thoroughly enjoyable. For instance, the author delves into the inner nature of the cat (as the title suggests), and actually supports their views with factual evidence--so, do not expect to find a generically written "10 Steps to a Happy Cat" mantra. I also appreciate how all those commonly-held, banal stereotypes are easily dismissed with logic and thorough scientific research (e.g., cats are loners and can take care of themselves). Instead, find out why your cat does the weird things they do, and come away with a better understanding of how you can foster a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your furry companion.

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