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The Unadulterated Cat

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  6,361 ratings  ·  321 reviews
The Unadulterated Cat is becoming an endangered species as more and more of us settle for those boring mass-produced cats the ad-men sell us - the pussies that purr into their gold-plated food bowls on the telly. But the Campaign for Real Cats sets out to change all that by helping us to recognise a true, unadulterated cat when we see one.

For example: real cats have ears t
Hardcover, 157 pages
Published 2004 by Gollancz (first published 1989)
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Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
Great Cat Books
1,449 books — 869 voters
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Joy Luck Club by Amy TanThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Best Books of 1989
358 books — 198 voters

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  6,361 ratings  ·  321 reviews

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Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It is a commonly known fact among those that travel to the Disc that Death likes cats.

Honestly, the quickest way to get Death angry is to be mean to a cat.

Somehow this doesn't make losing a beloved cat any eaiser, but reading this book sure did make me laugh (and made me feel a little better. Pratchett is very good at that).

Pratchett, aided by some wonderful cartoons by Gray Jolliffe, presents a case for real cats. Not frou-frou cats, but real cats. You know, smelly ones, ugly ones, ones that wo
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
This one is for cat lovers, in particular lovers of Real Cats aka moggies and not pampered pedigreed cats. Pratchett is a well known lover of cats. His most famous cat Discworld Greebo, Nanny Ogg's familiar is very definitely a Real Cat. And of course all readers of Discworld knows that DEATH loves cats and is always kind to them.

In this little book Pratchett explains the features of Real Cats and his theory that most cats are Schrodinger Cats. Gently humorous, without being side splitting it w
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cats, laugh-out-loud
Like Douglas Adams or Monty Python, Terry Pratchett is, alas, a representative of the kind of British humor I just don’t get. But I rather enjoyed this small novelty book (bought for my husband for Christmas) all the same. For Pratchett, a “Real” cat is a non-pampered, tough outdoor creature that hunts and generally does its own thing but also knows how to wrap its human servants around its paws. I like his idea of “cat chess” as a neighborhood-wide feline game of strategy, moving between carefu ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is for cat lovers. And, actually, also for people who aren't.
This book makes hilarious fun of the way we let cats treat us but also makes the important distinction between REAL cats and those whiny-ass pretty things that people groom for TV ads.

I am a cat lover. My family has had several cats and although I like animals in general, nothing will take cats' place (except for owls, my number ones, but please don't tell the furballs or they'll lynch me). Currently, the only cat in the fam
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1980s, humour
I felt a reread was in order since we have some cats on a timeshare. Not sure where they live but pretty sure at least 3 different families are feeding them :lol .

Anyway not as good as i remember, its a bit dated in places. Its description of Cat Chess is still a favourite bit which the 6 or 7 cats in my vicinity tend to play a lot :) .
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Very short, very fast read, but I wouldn't recommend reading it all in one sitting as it gets a bit samey. Cat owners and cat lovers will recognise the beast. A friend of mine once wondered aloud why there are so many sizes and shapes of dog, and yet there is only one basic make of cat, whatever it's covered with in terms of fur length, colour or indeed presence. My response was the same as Pratchett's: why try to breed a working animal out of an animal that already knows how to delegate any wor ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2016, comedy
Ideal toilet reading material in which Terry Practchett takes a look at cats. Not your pampered, silky lap cat but notch-eared, smelly, food thieving real cats.

I personally have two cats but don't think they really fit either category. One weirdo likes to cry at lampshades and do parkour off our walls, while the other is a greedy stealer of children's toys who loves nothing more than games of fetch and jumping at light switches at 4 in the morning. They are clearly not real cats,
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cats
Ok - I put my hands up and admit it.. I'm one of those crazy cat people..given the opportunity I will speak at some length about my cats (probably more so than about my children!) - their quirks and funny ways, how silky their paws are yet still smell strangely of feet..I could go on.
My ambition in fact is to eventually grow into an old cat lady who rarely leaves her cat crammed abode (but I would never throw them at people)
Therefore I loved The Unadulterated Cat, a fairly short but humorous bo
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: terry-pratchett
I'm more a dog-person than a cat-person, and I never had a cat in my life. My husband grew up among cats though, and with his stories in mind I read this short book. It was funny, wonderful and catly! ...more
Kressel Housman
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, animals
Pure fun for cat lovers and one goat joke to boot!
Hum! I admit that I enjoy very much Terry Pratchett's Discworld books as well as "Good Omens" but this "Unadulterated Cat" is somewhat a minor work.

As some of you already said, I also have a cat and it is somewhat funny to see some "truths" here and there in the text.

Honestly, I was expecting a funnier book. Ok, it's a short book, it has some funny excerpts (I enjoy very much the beginning of the book as weel as "the Schrödinger Cats", "the Cat in History" and "Hygiene" chapters) but that's it.
Kaethe Douglas
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Unadulterated Cat - Terry Pratchett,Gray Jolliffe As a birthday present to myself I purchased a number of books. I only bought funny ones, because I'm rarely in the mood to go back and read a grim one. This has been on my list for quite a while, and now I have it. And I love it because it is silly, and you can read it in about fifteen minutes, and the pictures are funny, and the default conversational topic in our house is the cats: there are four, so at any given moment someone is doing som ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you want a quick and hilarious read to pass a few pleasant hours, and just happen to be a crazy cat lady or gentleman with a shelf full of cat care books, then this parody by Pratchett, with the well-matched Jolliffe illustrations, should do the trick. I'm not sure if it was meant as a parody of those What You Need to Know about Your Cat books, or a parody of cats--probably both. ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Although I didn't find this book to be laugh-out-loud funny, I chuckled to myself quite a few times and smiled knowingly because so much about cats was absolutely right in this book. I don't think people who've never owned or been around cats before would really enjoy this one. ...more
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Real cats do eat quiche.
And giblets.
And butter.
And anything else left on the table.
They can hear a fridge door opening two rooms away.

Having had read Terry Pratchett’s Maurice and His Educated Rodents, I stupidly half-expected the book will tell somewhat a fantastic story of Maurice. It turns out the book tells the story about cats. Not just cats in general, but Real Cats.
As I recalled it was the year 2004 that I had my last attempt to keep a real cat and had since stuck to rodents’ cousin, the
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing
This funny little book has been a welcome respite from the string of somber hefty tome's I've had to read recently, so I did enjoy reading it. I was smiling to myself at many instances.

But...I feel that overall the book is not as good as it could be. There are two places in particular where Pratchett's writing comes off as unpolished.
"The Locked Gerbil Mystery" could very well be just a draft version, with shorthand/clipped sentences that make the segment read like a telegram.
And "The cats we
Mar 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cat lovers
Recommended to Jane by: Mom
Shelves: comedy
Well, I'm happy to say I'm a proud pinky blob owner of a Real Cat. I exist only to feed and clean up after her, which is just fine on both parts.

I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett, and really the only thing that would have made this short read better was if I had "gotten" all the British humor in it. Alas, I'm from New Jersey, so some was lost on me. Still recommended for any cat lover though.
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
It's a very very cute and funny book on cats and interaction with their human slaves. I put this book on my mental list of gift ideas for cat people. It is just perfect, not too long, light reading, amusing and I am sure that every cat owner will recognize a lot of the situations or behaviour patterns described by Pratchett. ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wanna know what a REAL cat is made of?
This book does a perfect job explaining what a cat owner experiences in his/her daily life. Terry Pratchett is hilarious!
It is a quick fun read, this book cheered me up through the cold and dark winter. Every proud cat owner will enjoy it.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I liked it, it was a quick fun distraction...not the Pratchett wit I’ve come to expect necessarily, but definitely fun for a cat owner.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, the fun of reading about Real cats (which is basically cats all over the world). There are tiny chapters on everything related to cats, from food, how to get one, the games they play, transportation, even including Schrödinger cats, and my theory is that all cats have a little Shcrodinger in them seeing how mine tends to disappear for hours on end sometimes. I loved this tiny book, if you have a cat, or have spent time with one, you'll recognise many of their behaviours and craziness and wil ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Hmmm not as funny as I had expected, I did chuckle a few times but was rather hard to get through. First book by Terry Pratchett I've read, but I am not giving up yet 😉 ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I do like a good Discworld book so was interested to see what a non discworld book was like and as an owner of three cats thought this might hit the spot.

I have to say this did have me smiling to myself as I read it. All of our cats started out with one name each and have ended up with several such as Wellyoushouldn'tofbinstandingthere. I also liked the type of cats - farm cats, neighbours cats, cartoon cats and sort of tabby cats, with a bit of ginger, but sometimes in the right light you could
Joey Woolfardis
Kind of an odd book until you really think about it. Terry Pratchett is a master of humour but this book lacks it, somewhat. Maybe not actual humour itself, but the amount of it you find elsewhere.

I dislike cats though not enough to do anything about it but even I can see their wonderful attributes as described here. I think you'd need to love cats or Terry Pratchett to really understand this book. It is all founded on truth which means it's all a pack of lies, though funny.

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Hannah Polley
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: terry-pratchett
I am not really a cat fan so this book didn't hold a huge amount of interest for me. However, having lived with a very Real Cat for years, I could still appreciate the book. It has absolutely described cats perfectly and I am sure every cat lover would appreciate this book. Definitely a good stocking filler for a cat fan. ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
Funny one-afternoon reading. Terry Pratchett on his most favourite topic: Cats. As it's said in another book of this author: "“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it. “CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”"
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sir Terry pours his experience with Real Cats into this silly book in his usual whimsical style, illustrated by Gray Joyliffe in a fitting fuzzy manner. Now we know where Death’s love for cats come from...
Rachel (Sfogs)
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
As a cat person I found this very funny!
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I laughed so hard while reading this, and I don't even have a cat (I've got plenty of friends who are owned by their cats, though.) ...more
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TwitBookClub: August 2015 - 'The Unadulterated Cat' by Terry Pratchett 2 2 Aug 14, 2015 09:19PM  

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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

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