Animal behavior counselor Anneleen Bru explains her approach to raising felines in I Love Happy Cats. With focus on the habits and behaviors of the domestic cat’s wild ancestor, the African wild cat, it includes suggestions for taking care of cats by responding to those inherited traits.
The tips might not work for every cat person’s situation, but there are enough ideas to offer practical solutions for most. Chapters on play base their ideas on cats’ innate hunting behavior and suggest numerous ways to keep play enriching, from making sure all cats get a turn when playing with a toy to making sure to vary the types of play. It also provides a list of “don’ts,” such as giving up on a particular toy if the cat doesn’t react right away, or reliance on toys like lasers or iPad games that the cat cannot win with and will therefore find frustrating.
The book takes a similar problem-solving approach to other topics, from feeding schedules to where to place litter boxes to providing high areas for cats to climb or jump on. Its advice will prove useful in discussions about integrating new cats into a household that already has them as well. It advocates for giving cats their own spaces so they can eat and use the litterbox in privacy and can avoid one another when they want to.
The writing is straightforward, making effective use of bulleted lists and line drawings to convey information. Beautiful design elements include full-color photographs of cats at chapter breaks, appealing typography and layouts, and a built-in bookmark.
With its wide range of advice and its grounding in cats’ wild behavior, I Love Happy Cats forwards myriad solutions to common problems.
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