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The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know    by Tracie Hotchner order for
Cat Bible
by Tracie Hotchner
Order:  USA  Can
Gotham, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having lived with cats for decades, reveled in their antics as kittens and grieved when some died, I was intrigued to read The Cat Bible - written by Tracie Hotchner, host of Cat Chat on Martha Stewart Living Radio. I also had specific questions to do with managing some of my aging felines' less appreciated behaviors.

This comprehensive guide to living with, caring for, and bonding with felines offers chapters on: Choosing Your Cat, The Basics, A Cat-Safe Home, Stuff for Your Cat, Your Cat's Emotions, Understanding Your Cat's Behavior, The Litter Box and Spraying, Humans and Cats, Grooming, Nutrition, Cats and Dogs and Dogs and Cats: Harmony and Conflict, Medical Basics, Illnesses and Medical Conditions, and A Little of Everything Else.

There's a lot here, from feline body language to finding a lost cat. And of course some of it is controversial. Though many people - as well as breeders and shelters - now insist on keeping cats indoors for their safety, I agree with the author's comment that 'there seem to be some cats who are happy only if they have the freedom to go outside.' I have lived with outdoor cats on a busy street in the center of a large city for many years, without problems, enjoying their pleasure in roaming outside - but of course appreciate that this does not always work out so well.

Hotchner presents the issues objectively but also goes into The Emotional Needs of an Indoor Cat in some detail. The information on behavior and behavior modification is also very useful, as are tips on litter box use (and avoidance). I was especially interested in sections on encouraging cats to drink more water, on nutrition for older cats, and on diseases related to aging, but different readers will find their own gems in this excellent and highly recommended reference book.

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