Steve Dale, arguably the best-known pet columnist in the United States, recently released his latest advice book, Good Cat!, a compendium of answers to cat questions he has received over his many years as a newspaper columnist, blogger, radio host and TV personality.
Good Cat!, published exclusively in eBook format, is divided into 14 chapters covering an array of behavior issues from kitten training to coping with the issues faced by cats as they move into their twilight years. Each chapter introduces the topic and then shares a number of questions and answers on the subject.
The chapter on litterbox behavior is far and away the longest and most detailed in the book, and with good reason: inappropriate elimination is probably the most frustrating problem cat caretakers have to deal with — and as a result, it’s the most common reason cats are surrendered to shelters or just plain kicked out of their homes. The Paws and Effect gang gets so many questions about peeing and pooping problems that we can’t possibly answer them all. (See our inappropriate elimination posts here).
If you buy this eBook for no other reason than the chapter on litterbox issues, it’ll be well worth the price!
Another particularly informative chapter covers strange habits and compulsions ranging from overgrooming to pathological shyness to feline hyperesthesia syndrome. And in the final chapter, “A Grab Bag of Offbeat Questions,” Dale even gives a reader some tips on keeping a klepto kitty under control (including some advice we didn’t even think of when we answered Toby’s question on the subject in our most recent column).
Another benefit of this book is that there’s an extensive resource section at the end, including a list of books and websites that I, too, would highly recommend to Paws and Effect readers.
As a knowledgeable and experienced cat caretaker (and chief cat slave for the wisest cats on the planet), I found much of the information in this book quite basic … which is actually a good thing. The best way to start people learning about their cats is to provide answers in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them, and that’s what Steve Dale does best.
Good Cat! gets better as it goes on. In the beginning, it seemed to me that some of the questions and answers were repetitive, but as the book progressed into meatier subjects, it seems like the author got more engaged in the topics and even started having more fun with his writing.
The bottom line: Good Cat! definitely deserves a place in your cat book collection. It’s very well written, the copy is clean and well-edited (thank goodness, because nothing makes me as crazy like reading a book with typos all over the place). It’s a great resource for people who are new cat caretakers because it gives answers that work and information about other places to get more detailed answers to their kitty behavior questions. My rating: Four paws up for new cat owners; two or three paws up for more experienced caretakers.
Full disclosure: I received a free PDF version of this eBook for review purposes, but I have not received and will not receive any further compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.