Cats: Care and Feeding

Cats have long captured the popular imagination. Today they feature in musicals, novels, comic strips, and social media memes, but while there is disagreement about the history of cats, evidence of cats’ presence in the Middle East and Egypt has been discovered going back at least 8,000 years. Cats were originally drawn to agricultural communities where their hunting prowess provided rodent control for farmers, but eventually they came to be accepted as pets. In Egypt cats were considered sacred, and mummified cats were placed in tombs to accompany their owners in the afterlife. Archaeological and genetic evidence suggests that the Vikings and other seafarers sailed with cats, which very likely led to their proliferation around the world.

Cats are the second most common pet in this country after fresh-water fish. Cats sometimes become restless and show some of the same behavior as big cats like lions and tigers, which can be mystifying to their owners. This minibibliography lists the titles about the care, feeding, and training of cats in the NLS collection.

Digital braille and talking book titles can be downloaded from the NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service. Contact your local cooperating library to register for BARD. Registered users may also download audio titles on iOS and Android devices using the BARD Mobile app. Braille titles may be downloaded using the app on a device linked by Bluetooth to a refreshable braille display. To find your local cooperating library, go to or call toll-free 888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323).


Care and Training

The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat
by John Bradshaw

An anthrozoologist and a cat expert share tips on what motivates cats. They believe that by understanding the way cats perceive the world, cat owners will have more success in training their pets. 2016.
Download DB86918

77 Things to Know before Getting a Cat: The Essential Guide to Preparing Your Family and Home for a Feline Companion
by Susan M. Ewing

A guide for new and experienced cat owners. Starts with advice on how to find a cat that suits your life and family before going on to give tips on common behavior issues, litterboxes, feeding, grooming, healthcare, training, and more. 2018.
Download DB94012

Cat Daddy: What The World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me about Life, Love, and Coming Clean
by Jackson Galaxy

Cat behaviorist and star of TV’s My Cat from Hell recounts working at an animal shelter and adopting injured feline Benny, who changed his life. Describes giving up drugs and overeating while honing his methods and techniques on prickly, beloved Benny for thirteen years. Strong language. 2012.
Download DB74764

Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with your Cat
by Jackson Galaxy

The star of TV’s My Cat from Hell provides a comprehensive guide to cat care. Explains how to eliminate common problems cat owners experience by understanding instinctive feline behaviors. Includes arcane facts, science, animal psychology, and illustrative anecdotes. 2017.
Download BR22176
Download DB89932

The Secret Life of Your Cat: Unlock the Mysteries of Your Pet’s Behavior
by Vicky Halls

Guide to understanding a cat’s character, anatomy, and day-to-day activity. Describes the way feral cats live and briefly outlines the history of domestication. Provides advice in many areas of feline care, including making your house cat-friendly, treating problematic pet behavior, and introducing cats to new household members. 2010.
Download DB73592

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat—Not a Sour Puss
by Pam Johnson-Bennett

A behaviorist presents a step-by-step guide, using behavior modification and play therapy, to help cat owners build an acceptable relationship with their pets. Suggests that understanding a feline’s instincts may promote positive conduct. Provides advice on grooming, traveling, and stopping aggression and destructive chewing. 2000.
Download DB51832

No Naughty Cats: The First Complete Guide to Intelligent Cat Training
by Debra Pirotin

Sensible and amusing guide to cat training explains exactly what one can and cannot train a cat to do. Emphasizes that if one is persistent, assertive, and repetitive, one can teach a pet to come when called, sit still for a bath, and fetch. 1985.
Download DB23460


Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet
by John Bradshaw

Anthrozoologist examines ongoing research on cat behavior. Recounts the history of the cat, including its domestication and transition to a companion animal. Discusses interactions between cats and their humans and explores what these relationships mean. 2013.
Download DB77595

A Cat Is Watching: A Look at the Way Cats See Us
by Roger A. Caras

Caras uses observations on his own cats’ behavior to enhance his tour of a cat’s world. He describes how cats hear and see more than humans, how they taste the air, and how their ability to sense variations in magnetic intensity helps them find their way home over extremely long distances. He also discusses their role in history and the value of human-cat bonding. 1989.
Download DB31773

Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry
by Nicholas H. Dodman

A veterinary behaviorist examines the similarities between human and animal brains, theorizing that the medicines that help us deal with stress and depression could help our pets as well. Includes stories of obsessive-compulsive horses, dogs with PTSD, cats with dementia, and more. 2016.
Download DB87368

Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals
by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson

Coauthors of Animals in Translation (DB59860) examine emotional needs of animals, from dogs and cats to livestock and zoo creatures. Provides guidelines for ensuring mental well-being by stimulating positive emotions through play and avoiding negative ones—such as fear. Discusses the impact of environment and warning signs of distress. Bestseller. 2009.
Download DB70209

Cat Watching
by Desmond Morris

A noted British zoologist applies his astute powers of observation and broad knowledge of animal behavior to the subject of pet cats. Describes their rites of courtship, mating, fighting, and territorial manners. Morris answers, among many questions, why a cat purrs, wags its tail, and hisses, and why it is reputed to have nine lives. 1986.
Download DB26194

The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture
by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Author of The Hidden Life of Dogs (BR09410) turns to the thirty-five different species of cats. She explains the evolution of cats (they come from the mongoose tribe) and discusses their behavior and their carnivorous diet (“meat-eating alone accounts for a cat’s sense of fun, of play”). Pumas, tigers, house cats, and others are observed in a variety of urban environments. Bestseller. 1994.
Download BR10257
Download DB41278

Health and Nutrition

The ASPCA Complete Guide to Pet Care
by David Carroll

Detailed information on all aspects of domestic animal maintenance, including choosing an appropriate pet, where to find it, bringing it home, housebreaking, health concerns, travel, and grieving. Covers common and uncommon house pets: cats, dogs, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and guinea pigs. 2001.
Download BR14365

Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat
by Marion Nestle and Malden C. Nesheim

Nutrition experts offer guide to selecting healthy foods for your cat or dog. Analyze pet-food products, their ingredients, and the manufacturing industry. Also provide basic principles for preparing home-cooked alternatives to commercial food. 2010.
Download DB71369

Do Cats Hear with Their Feet? Where Cats Come from, What We Know about Them, and What They Think of Us
by Jake Page

Science editor and cat owner discusses feline behavior, acute senses, and relationships with humans. Reflects on humans’ attitudes toward cats, specifically black ones. Appendixes provide owners with information about potential health problems in certain breeds and cover the cat-food debate of soft versus dry. 2008.
Download DB69204

Coping with Problems

Pet Clean-Up Made Easy
by Don Aslett

Practical guide for cleaning up the mess that cats and dogs often cause, and preventing it from happening in the first place. Aslett discusses basic tools and cleansers, then devotes separate chapters to housebreaking and accidents, including lists of health problems that cause accidents. 1988.
Download DB28504


Goodbye Dear Friend: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Pet
by Virginia Ironside

British journalist discusses relationships people often have with their pets and the very real, but often scorned, grief they suffer when a much-loved animal dies. She uses letters, anecdotes, excerpts, and poems to illustrate her analysis; also touches on euthanasia, memorials, spiritual beliefs, and long-missing pets. 1994.
Download BR12607

The Loss of a Pet
by Wallace Sife

Handbook on the effects of a pet’s death by noted psychotherapist and founder of the Association for Pet Bereavement. Discusses such topics as the human-pet bond, the grieving process, euthanasia, children and the death of pets, getting another pet, and making use of different types of counseling. 1993.
Download DB44007

Children’s Books


Pet Cats
by Julia Barnes

Provides an overview of the history of household cats. Gives reasons cats make good pets. Covers their characteristics and behaviors and lists different feline breeds. Offers tips for new cat owners. For grades 3–6. 2007.
Download BR17314

Cats vs. Dogs
by Elizabeth Carney

Presents fun facts about whether dogs or cats make better pets. Discusses the animals’ sense of smell and hearing and the ways they communicate, hunt, and clean themselves. For grades K–3. 2011.
Download BR19412

Everything Cat: What Kids Really Want to Know about Cats
by Marty Crisp

Answers to thirty frequent questions about cats, including why cats purr, play with their food, and hate going in the water as well as why their eyes glow in photographs and whether they have nine lives. Companion to Everything Dog (Download BR15833). For grades 3–6. 2003.
Download BR15834

How to Talk to your Cat
by Jean Craighead George

Cats, being independent creatures, like to initiate conversations on their own terms, the author explains, through touch, scent, sound, and body language. She also discusses appropriate responses and special ways to speak to a cat first. For grades 2–4. 2000.
Download DB50302

by Zuza Vrbova

Describes the process of selecting a kitten as a house pet and the responsibility of training, feeding, and grooming it. Explains why the training of a kitten to behave properly is time consuming but necessary. For grades 2–4. 1997.
Download DB51638


Egyptian Maus
by Domini Brown

The Egyptian Mau is a type of domestic cat with spots on its coat. Ancient art from Egypt shows kings with these cats. They are the fastest domestic cats—they can run 30 miles an hour. For grades K–3. 2016.
Download DBC06790

Choosing the Perfect Cat: A Complete and Up-to-Date Guide
by Dennis Kelsey-Wood

Discusses the process of selecting a cat or kitten and the responsibilities of ownership, including feeding it and making sure it stays healthy. Provides detailed descriptions of various breeds of cats and the differences in their coloring, size, and personality. For grades 5–8 and older readers. 1997.
Download DB52652

by Christina Leaf

Manx are cats without a tail, although there is a type with tails. They have different kinds of coats too. They also growl. For grades K–3. 2016.
Download DBC06795


by Charlotte Towner Graeber

Mustard the cat has been with Alex’s family for a very long time, since before Alex was even born. Now everyone says that he’s growing old, but to Alex he’s still as fine as ever. When Dr. Griffith, the vet, says that he must take it easy because of his heart, Alex and his family must come to terms with his increasing infirmities and eventual death. For grades 2–4. 1982.
Download DB27357

A Special Place for Charlee
by Debby Morehead

Story of a boy’s coming to terms with the death of his dog, Charlee. At first Mark is sad and depressed, so his parents help him by remembering Charlee in special ways. But it is a friend whose cat died who helps him the most. For grades 2–4. 1996.
Download DB49330


Catnip: The Newsletter for Caring Cat Owners

Resource for the latest in cat health and behavior.
ebraille (BARD)


For cat owners and lovers. Info on breeds and cat humor.
ebraille (BARD) and press braille

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