BOOKS: How to be a Cat Detective: Solving the Mystery of your Cat’s Behavior

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:

How to be a Cat Detective:
Solving the Mystery of your Cat’s Behavior.
by Vicky Halls
Penguin (375 Hudson St., NY 10014), 2006. 285 pages, paperback. $14.00.

More and more people are extending their homes to feline
companionship today. The numbers of U.S. cat-keeping homes have
doubled in 20 years, and the number of multi-cat households has
increased even faster, as people who already have a cat in residence
decide that they can offer a loving home to others less fortunate,
such as the local stray whom they have been feeding at the bottom of
the garden, or a shelter cat.
“Sadly they don’t come with a manual so, to a certain
extent, we have to make up the rules as we go along,” writes Vicky
Halls about keeping cats healthy and happy.
And make them up we do. But do we know what we are doing?
Often not.

Halls is a feline therapist who has helped many a cat and cat
guardian to overcome years of problems and find a happy modus
vivendi. Halls discusses house soiling, urine spraying,
aggression, anxiety, fear and much, much more.
I have always thought that I should get a companion for my
eight-year-old cat, to brighten up her day, give her a new lease
on life, etcetera. This book has come at the right time to make me
think deeper and recognise that the kitten would not be for my cat,
but for me. What effect would that little bundle of mischief have on
the peaceful home that we have at present? This book has helped me
to make the right decisions.
Guardians of companion animals really owe it to themselves
and their animals to be better informed about them, because as Vicky
Hall says, “The ultimate sign of love for our pets has to be a
respect for the species and a desire to accrue knowledge to make
their lives as pleasant as possible. With that in mind it’s probably
worth delving a little deeper into a social structure that is really
a world apart from our own.”
–Beverley Pervan
South Africa

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