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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the psyche of the cat
This is a beautiful book packed full of colour photographs.It answers questions that have intrigued many a cat lover. Such as why does a cat like being stroked? Why do cats sometimes reject their food? Why do cats eat grass? Having a few cats myself, I could identify with ever aspect of this book, and I now feel I understand them a little better. A must have for every...
Published on 10 Sep 2000

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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glossy pictures outweigh content
It's quite a thin book and though the subjects it tackles are interesting to cat owners the glossy pictures outweighed the text! It's ended up as a "bathroom book" rather than a serious reference book or meaty read.
Published on 20 Jan 2003 by missiemc


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the psyche of the cat, 10 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This is a beautiful book packed full of colour photographs.It answers questions that have intrigued many a cat lover. Such as why does a cat like being stroked? Why do cats sometimes reject their food? Why do cats eat grass? Having a few cats myself, I could identify with ever aspect of this book, and I now feel I understand them a little better. A must have for every cat lover.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, 17 Dec 2003
I have read the text-only version of this book and it was great. We've always had cats in our family from when I was little to now and I love them. This books explains things I never realised and certainly helps me understand more of their behaviour. For instance, when a cat rolls over exposing his or her tummy - you reach out to give the cat a tummy rub and the cat gets annoyed and walks off in a huff! Well now I know why.
It's not massively in depth, but I think it's great for any cat owner who wants to interact better with their pet.
I have now ordered this illustrated version as a present for my mum.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The illustrations really make this book., 20 Jun 2006
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Fascinating reading, though lacking as a complete guide to cats.
I loved the illustrations, it's a beautiful coffee table book.
There are interesting sections, such as 'why do cats drink dirty water?'- bcause they are very sensitive to the chemicals in the nice clean water we give them, and 'why does the female scream during the mating act?'- because the male has spines on his penis (ouch!).
There are also many sections that cat lovers will skim because it's familiar territory.
I had hoped for something on helping cats integrate new animals into the house and teaching cats to avoid the road, but all in all I really enjoyed it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative., 4 July 2003
This review is from: Catwatching: The Essential Guide to Cat Behaviour (Paperback)
I found a remarkable description of the cats' behaviour! Although very short descriptions they were very thorough in plain english. I didn't think much of it when it arrived, but I ended up reading the entire book in 1 day. It changes the way you see your cat and cats in general so that you have a clear understanding so as to why they behave the way they do! A must read for every cat owner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, light weight, introduction to the world of cats., 13 Dec 2005
This review is from: Catwatching: The Essential Guide to Cat Behaviour (Paperback)
I found this to be a great introduction to the world of cats.

Whilst it doesn't go into fantastic detail it is nevertheless a revealing book into the behavior of mans second best friend. I felt that I gained quite a lot of information, and could referance it immediately whilst observing the behaviour of my own cat.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting some understanding of cats, but not wishing to go to deep.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best help to understand your cat, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Catwatching (Hardcover)
I never knew why my ginger tomcat was so different playing in the fields from the grown-up kitten he pretended to be at home. Somtimes I was not even sure if it was really him. He did not want to see me, his voice changed, and then, suddenly, realising it was me, he has his high babyvoice and comes to me purring. Thanks to this book I recognise more catbehaviour than I did before. A nice book. The cats agree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun to read and full of good info too, 14 Feb 2010
This review is from: Catwatching (Paperback)
what a fab little book. ive had cats all my life and have spent endless hours cat watching but even i learnt some new things from this book and hopeing it improves my relationship with my furry companion! really good read, wide areas covered a good buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All about cats, 18 July 2010
By 
Mr. Peter Durham "hungry for history" (Oxfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catwatching (Hardcover)
Desmond Morris, a real expert in the subject. I feel that he probably believes, as
I do that the cat, although not as good as man in the art? of war, or the use of computers etc., is superior in almost every other respect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why do cats present freshly caught prey to their human owners?, 19 Aug 2014
By 
Martin A (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catwatching (Hardcover)
I have read several of Desmond Morris's books, always with great enjoyment at the insight he brings to whatever he writes about. As a cat owner, always fascinated by their behaviour, I read Catwatching when it first appeared and I enjoyed its explanations of the many aspects of cat behaviour. I recommend it to anybody who wants to understand cats better.

But there was one aspect of cat behaviour where I was not convinced by Desmond Morris's explanation. Why do cats present freshly caught prey to their human owners? Desmond Morris says it is because they consider their owners hopeless hunters. I was never convinced by this explanation.

A few weeks ago, my lawn was marred by the appearance of several molehills. Then, one day, I found a large dead mole in the middle of the living room floor. My instant reaction was to think "What a good cat! How can I reward her?". Then, in a flash, it became clear to me why cats bring freshly caught prey to their owners.

Thousands of years ago, cats were domesticated by early farmers. The fact that cats efficiently catch and kill mice must have been greatly appreciated by those farmers - after all, a few hundred mice in a barn will consume huge amounts of grain in a year, as well as contaminating what is left with their droppings.

Consider this. If you were a prehistoric farmer with several female cats, which cat's kittens would you keep? The cat who eats mice immediately she catches them - so that you never see what (if anything) she has caught? Or the cat that brings you a mouse every day, meowing loudly to draw your attention to it? Obviously, you would choose to keep the kittens of the cat who has proved she is a good mouser.

Since then, I have noticed that, when my cat brings me a mouse, as soon as I have praised her and admired the mouse, she then gobbles it up without more ado. So she (or rather, her genes) get an evolutionary advantage from showing me that she catches mice but without loosing out on the nourishment from eating them.

So it's the effect of selective breeding giving an evolutionary advantage to those cats who demonstrate to their owners that they are good and persistent hunters that has resulted in cats' brains being programmed to bring prey to their owners.

[Dr Morris, if you should happen to read my comment, I would be interested to know what you think of my observation.]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book - highly recommended., 13 Feb 2009
By 
B. Jarrett "Ben J." (S. Wales) - See all my reviews
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I'm very pleased with my purchase.

I like the way the book is laid out with all the questions. It's nice to just flick through.

I've also got Roger Tabor's 'Understanding Cat Behaviour' and this filled in some of the gaps of the stuff Tabor didn't address. Whereas Tabor's intended more as a 'problem solver' this book is full of intriguing articles on stuff which Tabor didn't touch upon.

Lots of nice pictures. Not necessarily pretty pictures of cats posing and looking pretty, but ones of them with dead birds in their mouths and throwing mice about the place. But don't fear, there are some really gorgeous pictures of kittens in there too!

One cool thing I did, suggested in the book, was rub a coin over the teeth of a comb near my cat, Jemima. Like the book said she would, she started licking her lips. Apparently, sometimes they yawn and sneeze when you do this. It's said that this behaviour is like a human rubbing his/her head or a chimpanzee scratching its chin; it's a sign of indecisiveness. The cat doesn't know whether to investigate the sound or stay away, as it might be a rattlesnake or dangerous frog!

I recommend the book to anyone - a new cat owner or long-term cat-lover. Being of the latter group, I feel it has deepened my knowledge. You read something about the cat that you already know and then you discover something interesting about that behaviour which you wouldn't have thought of yourself. So, I think it was well worth it.

Thanks to Lucy for a quick transaction :D
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Catwatching: The Essential Guide to Cat Behaviour
Catwatching: The Essential Guide to Cat Behaviour by Desmond Morris (Paperback - 7 Feb 2002)
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