Thursday, February 5, 2015

Eamon's cat book club: Let's review "Outwitting Cats"

cat and book
Since Liam has had the chance to help me with a book review (see his entry right here), it seems only fair that Eamon should be able to help me discuss a different book. And I have a great one to talk about: "Outwitting Cats" by Wendy Christensen.

(Please note: I'm reviewing the original version of this book. There's a new and updated version on Amazon with a different title: Outsmarting Cats: How To Persuade The Felines In Your Life To Do What You Want. I'm told it's just as great!)

I first came across this book at my local library. As I read, I found my fingers itching for the highlighter, so I hopped out and bought my own copy. That way, I could mark the thing up to my heart's content without enduring fines.

And since I have marked it up and tailored it, I've found that this book has become my go-to source when I'm dealing with common cat problems.

For example, as Eamon has grown older and a touch more frail, I've found that Maggie and Lucy have been more inclined to squabble. And in those fights, Maggie is the perennial loser.

So what's going on here?

Christensen suggests that fights like this might break out because a protector cat (in this case, Eamon) is no longer keeping a bully's acts under control. Without Eamon's protection, Maggie is more likely to get picked on.

Christensen's solution is a simple one: The bully must be separated until the behaviors improve.

In this household, that meant keeping the baby gate blocking off the lower level of the house securely closed for a short period of time. Lucy isn't able to hop over that gate with ease, but Eamon and Maggie can quickly do so. Keeping Lucy confined to that lower family room for a bit allowed her to accept kitty visitors, but if she got aggressive or too bold, all of her companions left her. Lucy really dislikes loneliness, and after a day or two of this treatment, she learned that she simply must be nicer to keep her friends with her. I've seen a dramatic decrease in bully behavior since then.

Christensen's book is full of commonsense tips like this, and all of them are remarkably easy to apply. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is either dealing with cat problems now, or who is hoping to avoid those problems in the future.

Have you read this book? Or is there another book you like better? Chat me up in the comments.


Disclosure: Some product links in this post are “affiliate links.” If you click on them and make a purchase, I'll get a commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I believe provide real value. This disclosure comes in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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