Local News

New book offers insights into cat behavior

By From page A3 | March 05, 2013

your ideal catW

Davis authors and professors Benjamin and Lynette Hart will be at Avid Reader Active, 605 Second St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday to discuss their new book, “Your Ideal Cat: Insights Into Breed and Gender Differences in Cat Behavior.”

For a happy relationship with your cat, go beyond the looks and make your pick based on demonstrated breed behavior, the Harts advise. “Your Ideal Cat” is a new book that takes the process of selecting a cat to the next level by offering data-based behavioral profiles of a wide range of cat breeds.

Developed over a lifetime of research and through extensive interviews with 80 veterinary experts, the profiles are presented in easy-to-use graphical form. A history of the development of different breeds is presented, and then breed-specific differences across a range of variables are discussed. These include 12 behavioral traits, in areas such as affection, sociality, activity level and litter box use.

After giving guidance about choosing a cat, the authors present some strategies for avoiding problem behaviors and resolving those that emerge. They also share fascinating theories about the origins of various common cat behaviors, including purring, yawning, eating grass, “flipping out” on catnip and staking out territory.

While the focus is on purebred cats, there is also lots of good information for owners of blends. The book ends with helpful guidance on further reading.

“Based on the latest science, this is a great book for anyone interested in the fundamental building blocks of feline behavior, and an invaluable handbook for cat owners,” a news release said.

Benjamin L. Hart is distinguished professor emeritus of behavior and physiology in the department of anatomy, physiology and cell biology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Lynette A. Hart is his colleague at the Vet School, as a professor in the department of population health and reproduction.

Enterprise staff

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