This well organised handbook covers everything a young cat owner needs to know about how to care for and train their pet. The contents page shows the book’s comprehensive coverage and there is a useful index. What stands out for me is this author’s deep knowledge about the topic and her ability to convey important information in a conversational style. The first section helps a family check that they can meet a cat’s needs before going ahead with the purchase. While keeping a cat is not normally as expensive as caring for some pets, it is made clear that there will be costs. Food, a litter tray, grooming kit, and a cat bed are the basics but vaccinations cost money and if the cat should become ill there would be vet’s fees to find.
There are 80 different breeds of pedigree cat and the author gives some information to help with the choice. I did not realise that the Ragdoll cat is so called because it tends to go floppy when picked up! As well as sections advising on feeding, health and training there is welcome recognition in ‘Playtime’ that cats can become bored and even beyond kittenhood ‘he will still want to play sometimes’; it is kind to provide cotton reels, soft toys and even balls of scrumpled up newspaper. The section on ‘Cat Talk’ shows how a cat’s body language can indicate mood and needs.
Information books have to be attractive to compete with on screen texts. This book has great aesthetic appeal and much thought has been given to the design. The pages are uncluttered and the black and white drawings of the cats add greatly to the reader’s enjoyment.