These 6 Best Cat Behavior Books Will Help You Better Understand Your Feline

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on June 27, 2023
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Learn what’s up with your cat with one of the best cat behavior books out there. Our list of books includes favorites from some of the top feline experts in the cat care field, so you know you’re getting relevant and truthful information. With any of these reads, you’ll find the answers to your most difficult cat behavior questions!

In addition to giving you a list of the best nonfiction books about cats, you’ll find some fun answers as to why cats like to mess with your books or try to read them with you!

Buyer’s Guide: What To Consider When Choosing Cat Behavior Books

When choosing cat behavior books, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure you select a reliable and informative resource. Here are some key factors to consider:

Author’s Qualifications and Expertise

Look for books written by authors who have experience and expertise in the field of cat behavior. Consider authors who are veterinarians, certified cat behaviorists, or have a strong background in animal behavior.

Scientific Basis

Check if the book is based on scientific research and principles of animal behavior. Look for references to studies, scientific evidence, or the author’s use of proven methods and techniques.

Clear and Practical Information

Ensure your selections provide practical guidance and actionable advice. Look for books that offer step-by-step instructions, training techniques, and solutions to common cat behavior problems.

Positive Reinforcement Approach

Choose books that emphasize positive reinforcement techniques rather than punishment-based methods. Positive reinforcement focuses on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing unwanted behaviors, leading to a healthier and more effective training approach.

Comprehensive Coverage

Consider books that cover a wide range of cat behavior topics, including socialization, litter box training, scratching behavior, aggression, and more. A comprehensive book will address various aspects of cat behavior, helping you understand your cat better.

Reader Reviews and Recommendations

Read reviews from other cat owners or consult reputable sources for recommendations. Hearing about others’ experiences and opinions can give you valuable insights into the book’s quality and effectiveness.

Readability and Clarity

Evaluate whether the book is well-written and easy to understand. Look for clear explanations, well-structured content, and a writing style that suits your preferences.

Up-to-Date Information

Check the publication date to ensure the book is relatively recent. Cat behavior research and understanding continue to evolve, so newer publications are more likely to reflect the latest knowledge and insights.

Personal Goals and Cat’s Needs

Consider your specific needs and goals regarding your cat’s behavior. If you’re dealing with specific issues or seeking training advice for a particular age group (kittens, adult cats, or senior cats), look for books that address those aspects specifically.

Compatibility with Your Beliefs

Take into account your own beliefs and philosophies regarding cat behavior and training methods. Ensure the book aligns with your values and approach to caring for your cat.

By considering these factors, you’ll be better equipped to choose a cat behavior book that suits your needs and provides reliable information to enhance your understanding and relationship with your feline companion.

The 6 Best Cat Behavior Books

1 – Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–Not a Sour Puss

by Pam Johnson-Bennett

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
  • Insightful exploration of cat psychology
  • Practical advice for creating a cat-friendly environment
  • Effective solutions to common behavioral issues
  • Author's extensive experience as a cat behaviorist
  • Available in Kindle & Paperback formats

Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett is an invaluable guide to understanding feline behavior. If Johnson-Bennett says something about cats, you can trust it’s true! Her book expertly melds theory with practical advice, translating complex cat psychology into straightforward techniques. Johnson-Bennett uses her extensive experience to explain the ‘whys’ behind cat behavior, offering readers an insightful look into their feline friend’s world. Her suggestions for creating a cat-friendly environment and solving behavioral issues are highly effective and easily implemented. An engaging and informative read, it’s a must-have for every cat parent who wishes to nurture a happier, well-adjusted cat.

2 – Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat

by Jackson Galaxy

Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat
  • Revolutionary concept of 'cat mojo'
  • Comprehensive guidance on feline care
  • Practical, step-by-step solutions to behavioral issues
  • Fun, accessible writing style
  • Emphasis on nurturing instinctual cat behavior for well-being
  • Available in Kindle & Paperback format

Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat by Jackson Galaxy is a comprehensive, engaging resource for all cat parents. Galaxy’s profound understanding of feline behavior is presented with warmth and enthusiasm. His concept of ‘cat mojo’ – the confidence and zest cats derive from their instincts – is revolutionary, offering a fresh perspective on feline welfare. From environmental enrichment to addressing behavioral issues, the book provides practical, step-by-step guidance. Galaxy’s style is relatable and fun, making complex topics accessible. A must-read for anyone seeking a fulfilling, harmonious relationship with their feline companion.

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

by Mieshelle Nagelschneider

The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do--and How to Get Them to Do What You Want
  • In-depth exploration of the feline mind
  • Innovative 'CAT-egorical' approach to behavior
  • Effective, science-backed solutions
  • Engaging & understandable style
  • Empowers parents to build harmonious relationships with their cats
  • Available in Kindle format
  • Paper/hardbacks available but at high cost

The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider is a remarkable resource for understanding and managing feline behavior. Nagelschneider offers an in-depth exploration of the feline mind, explaining their actions in relation to their wild instincts. Her innovative ‘CAT-egorical’ approach helps identify root causes of behaviors, and her scientifically-backed solutions are both effective and practical. Nagelschneider’s engaging style makes even complex behavioral issues easily understandable. This book is a treasure trove of insights cat parents will find empowering, paving the way for a harmonious relationship with their felines.

4 – Decoding Your Cat: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Cat Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones

by The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Decoding Your Cat
  • Authored by leading veterinary behaviorists
  • Science-based insights into cat behavior
  • Comprehensive coverage of various behavioral issues
  • Effective strategies for managing undesirable behaviors
  • Encourages understanding for better care & relationship-building
  • Available in Kindle, paperback, & hardback formats

Decoding Your Cat by The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is a masterclass in feline behavior. Authored by leading experts, the book offers science-based insights into why cats act as they do and presents effective ways to manage undesirable behavior. The guide is comprehensive, tackling a wide array of issues from basic training to managing stress-related behaviors. The book’s blend of theory and practice provides a deep understanding of cats, thereby facilitating better care and relationship-building. The authoritative and approachable tone makes this a must-have for every cat owner.

5 – ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems In Your Multi-Cat Household

by Amy Shojai

ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems In Your Multi-Cat Household
  • Expert insights into multi-cat household dynamics
  • Practical solutions for common issues such as territorial disputes and jealousy
  • Effective strategies for introducing new cats & resolving conflicts
  • Focus on fostering positive relationships among cats
  • Easy-to-implement & effective advice
  • Available in Kindle, paperback, & hardback formats

ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems In Your Multi-Cat Household by Amy Shojai is an essential guide for multi-cat households. Shojai skillfully addresses the unique challenges that arise when cats share space, providing effective solutions to ensure harmony. Her expertise shines through in her explanations of territorial disputes, aggression, and jealousy among cats. Shojai’s step-by-step strategies for introducing new cats, resolving conflicts, and fostering positive relationships are easy to implement and highly effective. The book is practical, informative, and filled with empathy for both cats and their parents.

6 – The Book of Cats

The Book of Cats
  • Includes popular breeds, training tips & tricks, & cat care info
  • More than 300 articles, facts, poems, & short stories
  • 632 pages devoted to all things feline
  • Great gift for cat lovers
  • Available in padded hardcover only

Publications International Ltd.’s series of BIG books brings you the The Book of Cats. While not a book on behaviors per se, this choice is so stuffed with info on cats who knows what you’ll learn about your feline friend! Enjoy a copy for yourself and give one to your favorite cat person.

best cat behvior books

FAQs About Cats and Books

Why does my cat mess with my books?

Cats love books too, but maybe not for the same reasons we do:

  1. Curiosity: Cats are naturally curious creatures, and the movement, texture, and scent of a book’s pages can be intriguing.
  2. Playfulness: Cats have a strong play instinct, and books can provide opportunities for interactive play. They may paw at or chase the pages, considering them as moving objects or potential prey. That paper crinkles and rips so nicely!
  3. Scent Marking: Cats have scent glands in their paws and cheeks and may rub or scratch the pages of books to leave their scent behind. This behavior can be a way for cats to mark their territory or communicate with other cats in the household.
  4. Attention-seeking: Cats are intelligent animals and often seek interaction and attention from their parents. If they notice their actions with books result in a response, such as being scolded or receiving attention, they may repeat the behavior to gain attention.
  5. Cozy Napping: Cats may find books to be cozy resting spots due to the warmth they absorb or the shape they provide. The scent of the paper or the softness of the pages can be appealing to some cats seeking a comfortable spot for relaxation.

To redirect your cat’s behavior away from books, you can provide alternative forms of enrichment and play, such as interactive toys, scratching posts, and designated play areas. Additionally, storing books on closed shelves or using book covers can help protect them from cat-related mischief.

Do cats like being read to?

Cats generally don’t have the same interest in being read to as humans. While some cats may tolerate or even enjoy the presence of their parents while they read aloud, it’s more likely due to the companionship and attention they receive rather than a genuine interest in the content of the reading material.

That said, there are a few factors that may influence a cat’s response to being read to:

  1. Familiarity and Bonding: Cats form strong bonds with their people, and being in their presence can provide comfort and a sense of security. So, if you read to your cat in a calm and soothing voice, it can create a relaxing environment that they may enjoy.
  2. Vocal Stimulation: Cats are sensitive to sounds and vocal tones. The rhythmic and melodic patterns of human speech can have a soothing effect on some cats, especially if accompanied by gentle petting or cuddling.
  3. Individual Preferences: Each cat has its own unique personality and preferences. While some cats may find comfort in the presence of their owners reading aloud, others may not show much interest and may prefer alternative forms of interaction or stimulation.

If you want to read aloud to your cat, try observing their response. If they seem relaxed and content, it can be a pleasant way to spend time together. Remember, though, cats have varying preferences and also enjoy different activities, such as interactive play, grooming sessions, or simply being in your company.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, selecting the right cat behavior book can be a valuable investment in understanding and nurturing your feline companion. By considering factors such as the author’s expertise, scientific basis, positive reinforcement approach, comprehensiveness, and reader reviews, you can find a book that provides practical guidance and insightful knowledge. Remember, every cat is unique, and while books offer a wealth of information, it’s important to tailor your approach to your cat’s needs and personality. With the right cat behavior book in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the fascinating world of feline behavior and strengthen the bond with your beloved cat. Happy reading and happy cat parenting!

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