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How to Talk to Your Cat [Paperback]

Jean Craighead George
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Library Binding £9.50  
Paperback £4.96  
Paperback, Dec 1986 --  

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reissue edition (Dec 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446391506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446391504
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,345,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Describes how cats communicate with people through their behavior and sounds and explains how to talk back to them using sounds, behavior, and body language. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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You are being honored if a cat is living with you. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book for cat lovers young and old 16 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book with wonderful illustrations - simple to read even for my 7 year old in parts but also very profound insights into the mind of the cat and so utterly true, Mrs CG certainly knows cats. We are all now communicating better with our feline friends thanks to this book !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort 4 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think it is only fair to warn people that I am reasonably well educated, but still found this book heavy reading, so I'm full of admiration for the seven-year-old who found it easy.

It is full of fascinating background information and reasons for things, which I enjoyed, but it is a long-winded way of learning how to interact with the average moggie.

If you are scientifically minded and don't mind words like 'anthropomorphize' in your text, then it is a recommend; it is certainly nice to read something intelligently written.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How to Talk to Your Cat is very prettily illustrated and the text is attractive and easy to read. However, I wouldn't really call it a "BOOK", but more of a "bookLET"...

I see from the inside that it is described as "Juvenile Literature", which now (having seen the book) makes perfect sense... I am quite sure a child would enjoy this but I was under the mistaken impression (after reading one of the reviews!!) that I was buying a book for adults. This really is book that should be wholly directed at children and I will, having now bought it, read it to my granddaughter to explain how to relate to our cats when she visits as it will provide her with a great and accessible insight into the feline way of communicating ~ all in all a great little book for doing just that!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book filled with inaccuracies 6 Oct 2007
By J. Phillips - Published on
My daughter and I read "How to Talk to Your Cat" and were amazed by the number of inaccuracies stated throughout the book.

The author states that cats are "completely self-sufficient and can leave you at any time and go off and make a living." It's this kind of ignorance that contributed to the explosion in the feral cat population we face today! People pick up and move and abandon their cats thinking they can fend for themselves. Hunting is learned by watching other cats, and then putting those lessons into practice until they are perfected. Offspring of non-hunting cats rarely make good hunters themselves. In other words, house cats that have never been outdoors could never just "leave at any time and go off and make a living." They'd starve to death!

She also states that "cats are loners" and they "don't like company, including other cats." Cats are not anti-social. They have intricate social interactions with their own kind. Two of my cats are very social; they love the attention of people (even those they just meet) and the camaraderie of other felines. Feral cat colonies are found in every city and town throughout the world--the perfect example of their social nature. Cats also possess the ability to form close friendships with people. I own 8 cats and I have a unique relationship with each one. They are my babies and I couldn't imagine life without them.

She recommends only having one cat. She goes on to state "cats dislike other cats and will fight." Cats are social beings; they do like other cats and the only time they fight is to establish territory or male dominance, not because they dislike one another.

The author tells us that cats are o.k. with our leaving; they will not sulk. She doesn't know my cat Amber. Once I pull out the suitcases, she knows what's about to follow. She follows my every move when I go from room to room to gather things to pack all the while whimpering. I once had to cut a vacation short when her caretaker told me she wasn't eating or using the litter box. She was so upset by my absence.

Finally, she states that "the deeper the claws dig [into furniture], the more status the cat has." Huh? Scratching is a way of marking territory. Depth of the scratch has nothing to do with status. Feline social standing is measured by the amount of land a cat can lord over it. At the top of the hierarchy are unneutered males, followed by females that haven't been spayed, spayed females and at the bottom are the neutered males.

Her book would have been better suited for the fiction, not non-fiction classification.

I find it ironic that the author doesn't even own a cat, yet somehow she feels she has the knowledge and expertise to write a book about them.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read for any age 14 May 2000
By Tracey Griffith - Published on
I really enjoyed this book. I have read many books on cats and this is just about the best one. Informative yet entertaining when reading it. You will understand you cat better and have fun doing it. Very well written on a level for both young and old and not boring anyone.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purrr-fect! 5 Jun 2000
By A Customer - Published on
I happen to own an earlier version of this book -- a paperback book with only black and white drawings. This book with charming and goofy watercolor cats contains all the useful and entertaining information as the first one but will be so much more accesible to children. It has helped us understand our inscrutable pets and to better meet their needs which is why we are here in the first place. A MUST for the cat lovers library.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Alan W. Petrucelli - Published on
Let's start simply and honestly, the same way these tomes approach their subject matter, and say these are the cat's meow! Jean Craighead George has penned two ultra-thin volumes on communicating with our best friends and felines, and each is a howling success. The Newberry Medal-winning author does what someone like Elizabeth Masrshall Thomas has tried to do in books tens of thousands words and pages longer and could not. Jean, by George, had found the winning ways to teach pet lovers how to chat with their four-footed pals. Her writing is sparse: "A lick is not a kiss. It is a statement that says you're a wonderful leader." Her advice is refreshing: "Growling is aggressive talk. Don't growl back. Dogs don't like that." As special as her words is the whimiscal use of arkwork: actual color photos of the animated author interacting with illustrations (by Sue Truesdell) of equally animated cartoon cats and dogs. (We just love the one of George on all fours, rubbing heads with a cat!) Four paws up!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but makes light of being an outdoor cat 29 May 2001
By C. Rosenthal - Published on
This entertaining and informative book touches on the history of cats and shows young people the various ways cats communicate with their human companions. Readers discover that cats can have as many as 19 different ways to say "meow" and that their tails, ears, and whiskers play an important role in their communication with people and other cats. While much of the material is a wonderful introduction on cat behavior, the author talks about cats going outside freely at night (most humane groups advocate cats remain indoors for safety) and notes that those cats will eventually get into fights. She also mentions their eventual return home with bloodied wounds, but fails to advise the reader (supposedly young children) to get the feline proper veterinary attention. This was my only disappointment with the book, however, and it should not be dismissed on this one account, as there is good information in here for little learners.
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