WHAT IS YOUR CAT SAYING? by Michael W. & Wende Devlin Gates Fox


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The feline companion to What Is Your Dog Saying? (1977)--both, in turn, being juvenile versions of Fox's Understanding Your Dog, Understanding Your Cat, and numerous other spinoffs for adults. The vocabulary and tossed-off concepts are sometimes a little heavy for the age suggested by the format--especially in the first few pages, where readers are barraged with grownup language from ""gregarious"" to ""fleeting submissive reaction."" On the other side of the scale, there's the accessible if sometimes contrived question-and-answer structure. (""My friend Christopher's cat closes its eyes when I touch its whiskers. What are whiskers for, anyway?"") Besides being a guide to ""reading your cat's body language,"" this offers bits of interesting human-cat history, behavior-oriented advice for selecting a kitten, more commonplace rules for its care, and repeated pleas for sterilizing cats of both sexes. The major body-language items--marking behavior, dominance, offensive and defensive posture, social investigation (sniffing), vocalization (purring, meow sounds, hissing, and so on), mating behavior, stalking, play--are packed into a single chapter. Though one might question Fox's assertion that the cat has ""a well-developed emotional center and is able to experience or sense emotions as we do,"" his translations from the felinese could make it easier for kids to read their cats' expressions and behavior, and the photos through-out aptly illustrate the cat-talk messages discussed beside them.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1982
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan