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The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do--and How to Get Them to Do What You Want

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  358 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Who says you can’t train a cat? Just when you thought you had reached the end of your ball of twine, one of America’s most popular cat behaviorists comes to the rescue of perplexed cat owners everywhere, providing practical and effective strategies for solving every feline behavior problem imaginable—from litter box issues to scratching, spraying, biting, and beyond.
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2013)
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For a reference book, this was a very engaging and interesting read filled with tips, facts, and hilarious anecdotes. As a cat owner myself, it's a great to put a term to the things my cat does. It's also nice to see what behaviors my cat does NOT exhibit because even though he's not perfect, it could always be worse.

There were a few detailed directions on several subjects from retraining to introducing multiple cats in one household to clicker training. The book is broken into sections which m
Feb 25, 2013 P.W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book for review. There was no contract other than a request that I write a review. No payment was made to me for doing this, other than the receipt of the book.

Millions of cats are needlessly euthanized every year due to behavioral issues. Some people take them to the vet; others drop them off at animal shelters where they will be put down after a short time waiting for an adoption that never comes.

This book as an attempt to help the reader understa
Feb 21, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author claims a 90% success rate, but only if you follow her methods. She has a lot of good ideas, but damn, it would take a hard core committment (not to mention money) to really follow her requirements. Take, for example, litter boxes. One litter box per cat plus one extra, can't be in the laundry room (too scented) or the bathroom (too damp), can't be tucked away in a corner or hidden, can't be the covered kind of litter box, must be at least a foot away from all walls. In my very small h ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Iola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mieshelle Nagelschneider, cat behaviour specialist, covers seven major behaviour problems (litter box issues, spraying, multiple-cat tension, aggression, yowling, destructive and otherwise unwelcome behaviours, and compulsive behaviours), and demonstrates with case studies how each can be overcome using her CAT plan – Cease, Attract and Transform. She guarantees results, but warns that it could take owners 30-60 days of consistent training to achieve a positive result, depending on the severity ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading this book, but as a cat lover I felt it was a must read. There are plenty of great tips and so much advice for us cat owners that it is difficult to pinpoint what I loved best.

I have to say I did not always agree with what the author had written on the subject, having been a cat owner all of my life I have found some techniques work brilliantly well, whereas the author definitely would never recommend them. But given her extensive researc
Apr 06, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat owners
Shelves: nonfiction, pets, 2013
I have two old cats and we've had our ups and downs over the years. They've lived through several moves over thousands of miles (each time) and different living conditions (sometimes completely indoor, sometimes almost completely outdoor and usually a mixture of both). They were our babies long before we had babies and have suffered the inidignities of being (somewhat) ignored when our girls were very little. They've put up with my fairly frequent travels and disruptions to their routine.

Now th
Jan 25, 2014 Judith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-books-read
The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider, Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), explains how to think like a cat and turn your home into “purrtopia!” Nagelschneider grew up on a farm and naturally became an observer of animal behaviors. She was not allowed a pet cat, so she socialized the barn cats, learning what they liked by observation and experimentation. Problem behaviors, from spraying to shredding the drapes yield to her “C.A.T.” method -- “Cease the behavior; Attract ...more
Hobart Frolley
Poorly written and arrogant in tone, this book does nonetheless have some decent information in it and the author does know what she is talking about. I am in the field and have been for 10 years and I found a lot of her recommendations unrealistic and disagreed with a few things she had to say such as (seemingly) taking a disproportionately level of credit for her involvement in the promotion of feline behavior modification. I do recommend this book for the behavior information, but I think tha ...more
May 09, 2013 Gloria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for anyone with a multiple cat household. Even owners of a single cat can learn a lot from the Cat Whisperer. This book was available at the right time. We have an older cat who has been the only cat for about one year. Recently we adopted a kitten....and the mayhem began. For a brief period of time I thought I was going to have to return the kitten to the shelter because the two felines could not be in the same room at the same time.

Enter Mieshelle Nagelschneider. The book
Sep 26, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I live in a household with five cats and I was really impressed with this book. We had one cat that was overgrooming. We put into place one of the author's suggestions, an additional feeding station at the other end of the house, and that cured the cat's problem. She gives several suggestions for unwanted cat behavior. Some parts of the book were disturbing, like declawing and what that means. She is definitely the kind of person who is willing to try all kinds of things to cure unwanted behavio ...more
victor harris
May 29, 2013 victor harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regardless of how much you know about cats, you will find some valuable insights into cat behavior and how to apply humane corrective measures to some of their their less desirable conduct. Lengthy treatment of how to get the new cat in the house interacting with existing cat residents. Also stresses the importance of methods in nurturing kittens in the vital early weeks of growth.
Sep 18, 2013 Therinia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful. I learned a lot about my cats, and we've been together for 16 years...,
Clare O'Beara
This is a manual on cat behavioural issues. First get the cat checked by a veterinarian, to ensure that there is no physical cause such as sore teeth or an infection. After that try thinking like a cat and seeing the world from their perspective. For instance, moving a new adult into a house can cause problems until the cats learn to consider the newcomer among Humans Who Are Not A Threat. If the new adult provides food, this will help.

A Vet Tech and animal surgery administrator, Mieshelle moved
Traxy Thornfield
Jan 29, 2013 Traxy Thornfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Not only do I love and adore cats and couldn't wait to get my hands on a book like this, it's also come in very handy considering we went from one cat to three exactly three months ago today! It came about very quickly, in fact in less than a week, and we were going away over Christmas so they weren't properly introduced to each other ... with all the associated issues.

So, here's a cat "whisperer" with oodles of experience to tell me where I went wrong and what I can do to salvage the situation
Mar 15, 2013 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"The Cat Whisperer" is a reference book on solving a variety of common cat behavioral problems. While the instructions were easy enough to understand, I was surprised by how long it took me to completely read through this 254 page book.

The first 68 pages were mostly the author's credentials (why you should believe that she knows what she's talking about), talking about what she thinks is wrong with the system, and speculation about the motives and minds of cats. She places the blame for cat beha
Aug 22, 2013 Aspasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
We used to have a cat with "issues." Rusty would chew things; this was a habit he acquired as an adult cat. He would chew shoelaces, holes in clothes (new clothes, of course), and chomp on computer mice cords and speaker wires, yet, he somehow never shocked himself. Our vet never found anything physically wrong with Rusty and I would always joke that Rusty needed a shrink... Imagine my pleasant surprise when The Cat Whisperer appeared at my local library.

I have had pet cats for my most of my li
Teena in Toronto
I love kitties ... we have a ten year old named Morgan and a two year old named Crumpet. We got Morgan along with his foster brother, Byron, when they were three months in 2002 and Crumpet when she was two months in 2011. Though our kitties are perfect (!!), I like reading books about animals so this book caught my eye.

According to the author, we punish cats when we think their problem behaviors are somehow directed at us or are done when the cats supposedly know not to. In fact, cats are motiva
If you like cats, if you’re curious about cats, if you wonder why your cat does something, you need to read this book. Nagelschneider has an easy, relaxed voice that makes it feel as if you’re sitting, chatting with a friend, while her knowledge of, her respect for, and her love of cats shine through.

When she gives advice, she explains why she’s recommending it, and also explains why she’s not advising that you do something else. For instance, she’ll discuss conventional advice and why she doesn
Vanessa Wolf
Jan 19, 2013 Vanessa Wolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A NetGalley first reads
The author of this review received an advance copy for an honest review

If I could describe this book in one word it would be "essential," You absolutely need this book. I've been a happy cat owner for seven years with three well-trained cats. As a result everyone thinks I know how to fix their cat's problem. Well I don't. This book does.
"The Cat Whisperer" goes beyond problems you might have seen in "My Cat From Hell," and into solving issues that have been going on fo
I thought I knew a lot about cat behavior, psychology, and medical conditions because my family has had cats for over 20 years. But the author, who not only had a number of animals in her life when she was growing up, and previously worked as a vet tech, also had access to apparently recent research in cats' use of scents and pheromones which I hadn't been aware of but which made sense given some aspects of cat behavior and physiology. She also gives some practical applications of that informati ...more
Kasey Giard
Jul 01, 2015 Kasey Giard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Miechelle Nagelschneider describes her journey from a girl animal lover to vet technician to cat behaviorist and relates wisdom and tips learned from her broad experience helping troubled cat owners. This book covers everything from how to resolve problem behaviors to how to interpret mood and stress signals from your cat.

I purchased this book because we are looking to adopt a cat. I've been a cat owner in the past and had very few problems with cat behavior, but as we began shopping for
Nov 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually write reviews, but being a former worker in the Veterinary field and currently working in cat rescue, I just had to post a comment on this book! In the Veterinary professions, there is little to no training in small animal behavior. If there is an issue that is not solved with a medical reolution, then often suggestions are given to a client based on the professional's own knowledge or they refer them to a behaviorist. However, there is another issue out there. There has been vas ...more
Melissa Frye
Mar 11, 2013 Melissa Frye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
As a cat owner I thought I was well-versed in the attitudes and behaviors of our feline friends. While I'm no dummy, I definitely learned a great deal reading this book.

Mieshelle Nagelschneider imparts invaluable knowledge for anyone that loves cats and wants their pets to be happy, healthy and well-adjusted. While it's a bit difficult to read straight through, The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do--and How to Get Them to Do What You Want is a must have resource. It's laid out in a fashio
Feb 10, 2013 Alison rated it really liked it
This was an impulse download from a promotional email NetGalley sent around - I'm not sure I would have grabbed it otherwise. I skimmed this and focused on the sections that were of the most interest to me. The author spends a lot of time at the start talking about her own experience with cats and other animals, as a way of laying out her expertise. The rest of the book focuses on looking at cat behavior, and I found there was a lot of good information on things like scent marking, grooming, fee ...more
Shay Williams
Mar 07, 2013 Shay Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have always had cats and have been able to work with some hard cases to turn them into happy felines with contented families. I personally love to civilize feral cats and find homes for them.

If you are having any issues with your cats at all I highly recommend picking up THE CAT WHISPERER. Rather then reading like a dry training manual, I felt as though I was sitting down with Ms. Nagelschnieder drinking a cup of tea and discussing just how to get all my cats to get along better. I picked up
Feb 10, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

This would be a great book for new cat owners or for people having problems with their cat's behavior. I have lived with cats for most of the 31 years of my life and, fortunately, my cats are wonderful pets and co-exist very happily. I was happy to see that we implement most everything that this author suggested for giving cats a happy home. My favorite thing about this book was that in the first third of the book when she was giving basic outline
May 04, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this book and read it while on vacation to try to deal with my new rescue cats issues. The majority of the topics were relevant to what we were dealing with and were really helpful. I did find I had to reread a few sections because the steps were kind of confusing, "if your cat is doing this, complete steps A,B&C but if your cat is doing this complete steps A, C, B, D, A, A, F". Still not sure if I understand the intent of those sections but fortunately they didn't apply to my c ...more
May 14, 2013 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Picked and choose what seemed relevant. In truth, Lulu's no problem cat at all but I was wondering if there was anything here insightful to our soon to be travel but I did learn somethings re cats and their preferences which I've immediately put to good use:

- cats please themselves. all thinking, actions etc from that point of view; not to please me
- cats prefer calm petting toward the head & neck
- never underestimate the power of pheromones...and get some spray version to take
Audrey Hammer
I picked this up out of curiosity. It mostly focuses on understanding cats and why they do things you don't always like and how to fix that: behaviors like fighting, clawing your furniture, peeing everywhere, and so on. There were some good ideas, though not all are practical in a small house or apartment. I did get my cats a wand toy (a dollar-something at Target) for "prey sequence play," and they sure love it. I think I've also cut back on some inter-cat hostility by adding extra food bowls.

Mar 15, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Not an especially scintillating read but full of information. This would be a good one to buy and keep on hand as a reference item.

The basic premise for much of the book is that cats who are acting out in undesirable ways are communicating something. What is happening in the home to make them behave this way? What changes can the people make to guide the cat away from the bad behavior? I am aghast at the stories of people who euthanized their pets because they scratched or peed in the wrong pla
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“No Body Parts To reduce play aggression and unwanted predatory behavior, never use your (or anyone else’s) body parts to play with your cat. I’ve seen people using their fingers, toes, and hair, or poking their faces into their cat’s face, as part of their play. Not good. Instead, maneuver string and wand toys, throw simple toys, and let automated toys do their thing without any participation from you.” 0 likes
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