With an informal yet informed tone, cat veterinarian McDonough and coauthor Lawson answer, briefly, 484 questions about cats--from choosing a kitten and caring for it (medically and emotionally) to breeding, spaying, spraying, and cat communicating. No, we're told, cats cannot see in total darkness; no, they can't catch colds from people; and no, females need not go into heat before being spayed. The health care sections supply general information on cat ailments; and tell when first aid will do, and when veterinary care is required. McDonough points out some of the lesser known health hazards--like the danger of feeding a cat only red-meat tuna, which can lead to steatitis, a vitamin E deficiency; and the fact that aspirin is toxic to cats, and can even be fatal in large doses. She also includes a concise, but complete description of the medical procedure for altering a cat. In the section on communication, the meaning of the purr is investigated; and in other sections, unusual cat quirks are analyzed--like cravings for plastic or wool. There are some useful suggestions for eliminating the problem of spraying, and other behavior mishaps, and also some more questionable bits of advice--like rubbing anti-static laundry clothes on a cat's fur to control static electricity. Though there are too many cross-references to make this a useful book for emergencies, it's a good all-around manual in other respects.