Elana Pisani, exclusive to Global Animal
(CATS/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR/BOOK REVIEW) John Bradshaw’s latest book Cat Sense: How The New Feline Science Can Make You A Better Friend To Your Pet delivers a go-to cat guide in one easy read.
Cat Sense is a synthesis of several fields of scientific research on cats. It covers a vast array of subjects, from the history of feline domestication to feline biology and how cats perceive the world.
Bradshaw’s book includes research from various fields and addresses some of his own research as an anthrozoologist. As the Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol and a founder of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Bradshaw has worked extensively in the study of animal science and behavior, specifically regarding cats and dogs.
For cat lovers, this book gives a vital look into the perspective of the cat. Beginning with a historical introduction of the relationship between cat and human, Bradshaw then moves seamlessly into the science of modern cats. The book goes into detail on the biology of cats as well as their senses and abilities, including why cats always land on their feet. It then continues with a discussion of the thought process and even the emotional lives of cats.
At times, the book compares the domestication of dogs versus cats. Dogs have been domesticated longer and have had a closer relationship to humans. People today make assumptions of their cats based on dog behavior, including the mistaken belief that cats need another cat as a companion. In fact, cats are territorial by nature and instead can become stressed when another cat is introduced into their home.
Bradshaw contends that humans have placed certain expectations upon cats that simply go against their nature and evolution—be it natural or through breeding. While cats have been able to adapt to living with humans by adjusting their social behaviors, they are still only a few generations from their wild nature. Even a domestic line of cats can revert to their wild origins within only a couple of generations of living in the wild.
Bradshaw ends the book with his thoughts on the future of the domestic cat. With the expectations we have placed upon them and our unintentional form of breeding by sterilizing our pets, Bradshaw wonders what the future will hold for cats. He suggests a better understanding of these issues and more research in feline science will be necessary to help the cat thrive and happily live alongside humanity.
The insight this book provides will not only help cat companions better understand their pet, it will allow them to create an ideal living situation for their cat. Keeping your cat happy and stress-free will ensure a comfortable home for everyone.
Publisher: Basic Books