Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Talk to Your Cat” as Want to Read:
How to Talk to Your Cat
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Talk to Your Cat

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  130 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
There's more to cat talk than "meow" and "purr" Let animal lover and Newbery Medal winner Jean Craighead George show you how to interpret your cat's often intricate body language, discover feline facial expressions, decode and demystify cat behavior -- and best of all, teach you how to better communicate with your pet for a deeper and more loving relationship.
Paperback, 116 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Warner Books (NY) (first published December 1st 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Talk to Your Cat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Talk to Your Cat

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 248)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kristin Crockett
Title: How to Talk to Your Cat
Author: Jean Craighead
Illustrator: Paul Meisel
Genre: How-to Book
Theme(s): Communication
Opening line/sentence:
You are being honored if a cat is living with you.
Brief Book Summary:
This book talks about the many ways cats communicate with humans. It tells you what the different actions cats do mean- what is means when they rub your leg, what the different types of meows are telling you, what the different facial expressions are saying, how to read whiskers and tails,
Sep 13, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter and her cat, Frankie, short for Frank Sinatra, moved in awhile ago and my husband and I have been trying to get to know him. He is very vocal and has started to allow us to be his buddies, but the way he looks and interacts with my daughter is so sweet! He just adores her. All the signs of affection listed in the book, he shows her and maybe more. He truly has decided that she is his property. Very interesting book and hopefully will help me develop a better relationship with this fe ...more
Cindy Minnich
Jul 12, 2014 Cindy Minnich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that would make most cat owners smile. Cats do choose us. They own us - hardly the other way around. There's plenty to learn here about cat communication, but it's not written in scientific expert language. This is light-hearted and I could see using it to show students that voice doesn't be to be sacrificed in order to be informative.
Aug 12, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: cats
I came across this book at a church rummage sale and thought it would be worth a try. My cat has become more vocal recently and I was hoping to get a clue as to whether she wants something and what it might be. I did learn quite a lot about the behavior and language of cats, as well as some things about other animal behaviors, but alas, it was not a cat dictionary. I did discover why she has to climb over me to get to certain things (I am in the way of her normal path) and had it confirmed as to ...more
I remember reading this about 20 times with a little second grader I was mentoring a few years back. She wanted me to write down passages of it for her to keep, so I eventually gave her a copy.
Jul 03, 2015 MaryAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a clever way to teach all ages how to understand and deal with cats. I know some experienced cat owners who could glean a thing or two from this story also.
Megan Mccormick
Dec 04, 2014 Megan Mccormick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edrd-314
i think this book is so cute and i love it. i would read this to my kids and its so cute and made me laugh.
Lay Criss
Jul 03, 2014 Lay Criss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned to talk to my cat haha. Actually enjoyed the book, and it gives tips on cats if you want to know!
Jan 25, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilarious. I'm not sure if it is meant to be hilarious, but it is.
I showed this to my five year-old daughter (whose reading skills have really been advancing quickly in her new IB/AP program) before reading it myself and only thought to when she came up to me with a big innocent look in her eye and asked "Mommy, what does 'thrust' mean?" I cannot believe the porn-like way in which the animals mating is described. I was vividly reminded of my honeymoon, in addition to my all-time favorite "50 Shades of Gray." What in heaven is this book and why does the author ...more
Laura Z
Nov 07, 2009 Laura Z rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic-and-bio, cats
While the photos and illustrations are cute, I did not agree with some of the advice. She speaks of allowing a house cat complete access to the outdoors, even for the entire night, speaking of the cat fights cats get into as a matter of course. As I understand it, a cat allowed access to the outdoors lives, on average, a life 1/3 the length of one kept inside for their lifetime, something that should be mentioned in the book as well. This is a book that should be read for fun, but I, personally, ...more
Habboba Musa
Jun 14, 2015 Habboba Musa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 09, 2008 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a children's book my daughter picked out at the library. We had lots of fun reading it together.
The illustrations by Paul Meisel are a hilarious mixture: photography of a white-haired woman interacting with colorful, painted cats.
The text very acurately describes the way cats interact with people. It was useful and informative. Even taught me, a lifelong cat owner, a few things.
My daughter is very into nonfiction books about animals, so I've read several. This is the best so far.
Mar 15, 2016 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A very helpful book. A very easy read so that anybody can learn how to their cat. I now know what my cat is saying when she head buts me. She's saying "hello"! And best of all, it is written by one of my favorite authors, Jean Craighead George!
Nov 06, 2015 Mckinley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture, non-fiction, cat
Body language of cats.
Dec 31, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful book with step-by-step instructions for how to understand what your cat is trying to communicate by the sounds he makes and his body language. It also offers good techniques for you to communicate back to him. It's a fun book, with lots of good information, but not too much. We still read this over the course of several days so our girls didn't get overwhelmed with the amount of info provided.
Julie H.
Sep 13, 2008 Julie H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Since they can't speak to us in language we readily understand, why not improve ourselves by learning to understand what they are trying to tell us. This is also a wonderful primer for kids in learning how to "read" the cat, how and when to approach (or not), and just a good way to learn why it is that that little ball of fur insists on head-butting you. The illustrations are charming, too.
Nicole Bergen
Dec 03, 2014 Nicole Bergen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edrd-314
Had to ask myself if this book was better than the Wikipedia page and I have to report that it is not, I was not very impressed by this book.
Mar 27, 2011 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is all about how to talk to your cat. It also shows the way your cat can talk to you. It shows the motions it moves to show how it's feeling. For example: if it rubs its head against your leg it show it is happy to see you. There is a lot of information in this book.
Aug 09, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I was saddened when I saw that Jean Craighead George died earlier this year.. I loved this cute nonfiction book that explained basics of cat behavior and how to recognize different facial and body cues in your cat, and even sometimes how you can 'talk' back to your cat.
Apr 18, 2016 Molly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is a pretty cute book for kids about the language of cats. I do wish the author had mentioned that outdoor cats tend to live shorter lives as she seems to promote letting cats outdoors. The illustrations are also fun.
May 31, 2008 Dorothy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I love to learn more about my crazy cat or maybe i'm the one that's crazy. i live with this wild creature and it's good to know why she seems to always want her butt in my face.
Sep 14, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't judge me.

Evidently, this isn't the work of genius I thought it was at age 10, but I still think it's a valuable resource. She also has one about dogs.
Set up like a children's book with cute illustrations, but really a pretty informative pocket guide to feline facial, tail, and body communication. :)
Susan Adkins
May 22, 2012 Susan Adkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very intersting children's book about what your cat is trying to tell you. If you have cats and can't figure them out, you should read it.
Kristine Hansen
Nov 07, 2013 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, animals

This might take some practice. But I love some instruction on how to try to communicate with my cats. :)
Sep 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We checked this book out from the library for our 5 year old son, and found it to be both humorous and informative.
Sam Bloom
Love the visuals - a creative mix of Paul Meisel illustrations with photos of Jean Craighead George.
Dec 11, 2013 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
It should've had a different title. It was about all kinds of animals.
Oct 13, 2011 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute, kid-friendly guide to cat behavior and body language.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
two version - same author and title 1 1 Jul 30, 2015 03:30PM  
  • The Boys' War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War
  • Posy
  • The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest
  • Dinosaurs
  • Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats
  • How to Live with a Neurotic Cat
  • Airport
  • Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
  • Horse (Eyewitness Books)
  • Nothing
  • The Cat Who Walked Across France
  • Spiders
  • George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides
  • You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together
  • The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons
  • A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose
  • Ruby Lu, Star of the Show
  • Chameleon Chameleon
Jean Craighead George wrote over eighty popular books for young adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the Newbery Honor book My Side of the Mountain. Most of her books deal with topics related to the environment and the natural world. While she mostly wrote children's fiction, she also wrote at least two guides to cooking with wild foods, and an autobiography, Journey ...more
More about Jean Craighead George...

Share This Book