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250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You Paperback – May 15, 1998

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

How serious are your patrons about making their felines happy cats? Serious enough to change litter daily? To choose household products based on how cat friendly they are, not on their cost? To search out specialty foods and holistic remedies, such as clematis and chicory? Readers concerned about their responsibilities as cat companions will get lots of good advice from Newkirk, cofounder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and author of a number of other animal-care books. 250 Things discusses around-the-house improvements and dangers, ways to keep house cats' minds and bodies active, common physical problems, multiple cats in one house, how to "read" cat communications, and what cats eat (from healthy food to potential poisons). Although not essential, Newkirk's guide is likely to circulate where interest in feline friends is high. Mary Carroll

About the Author

Ingrid Newkirk, cofounder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), is the acclaimed author of Save the Animals! 101 Things You Can Do, Kids Can Save the Animals, and The Compassionate Cook. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (May 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684836483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836485
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ingrid E. Newkirk, 56, author of the book Making Kind Choices (St. Martin's, January 2005), is founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest animal rights organization in the world.

Her campaigns to promote cruelty-free living have made the front pages of The Washington Post and other national newspapers. She was named a top business people of the year in Forbes magazine, and has been profiled in The New Yorker and twice in People Magazine. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King, Politically Incorrect, Crossfire, Nightline, 60 Minutes and 20/20 among others and enjoys a lively debate and the opportunity to show how easy it is to make animal-friendly choices.

Newkirk has spoken internationally on animal protection issues, from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, where she spent her childhood. She is the author of numerous opinion pieces and articles on the social implications of our treatment of animals and helped to pass the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She is currently campaigning to end the live flaying of lambs for Australian Merino wool.

Ms. Newkirk served as a deputy sheriff; as a Maryland state law enforcement officer for 32 years; she has been director of cruelty investigations for the second oldest humane society in the U.S.; and serves in an advisory capacity on numerous animal protection boards. In 1980, she was named Washingtonian of the Year, and has since received many other accolades and awards, including a 1995 Courage of Conscience Award, a 2001 Animal Protection Hall of Fame Award, 2002 Living Legacy Award and 2004 Activist of the Year Awards.

Ingrid Newkirk achieved the passage of legislation to create a spay/neuter clinic in Washington, D.C., coordinated the first arrest in U.S. history of a scientist on cruelty to animals charges and helped pass into law the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She spearheaded the closure of Department of Defense underground 'wound laboratory,' and has initiated many other campaigns against animal abuse, including ending General Motors' crash tests on animals.

She is the author of several other books, including 'You Can Save the Animals!', 'PETA's Celebrity Cookbook' and '250 Ways to Make Your Cat Adore You.'

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Navigator on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a career microbiologist with a fair grounding in biochemistry, I might be qualified to say a few words about the feline vegetarianism advocated in this book.

While I'm certainly no apologist for the mass-market pet food industry, I can't let the author's advice on feline nutritional needs go unchallenged.

Basically, Cats ARE obligate carnivores. Why? Unlike humans, cats cannot synthesize the organic compound taurine, which is essential for their survival. THE TAURINE CONTENT OF GRAINS, VEGETABLES AND FRUITS IS NEGLIGIBLE; IN MOST CASES SO LOW AS TO BE UNDETECTABLE. Cats CAN live on a modified (VERY carefully modified) diet consisting mostly of well-balanced vegetable protein PROVIDED they are given some form of supplementation for the nutrients that cats normally obtain from eating meat. Synthetic taurine is available, although I was under the impression (perhaps erroneous) that "synthetic chemicals" were anathema to most serious vegetarians. "Natural" taurine is easy to come by, with the caveat that there's only ONE "natural" source of taurine: meat. Perhaps my logic is flawed, but I don't see much of an ethical distinction between feeding your cat meat as opposed to a meat derivative.

If you know of someone who claims to have a cat who has thrived on a vegetarian diet for years without some form of taurine supplementation, they're either lying about the supplements or about the cat's health. A person who tries to "convert" their cat to vegetarianism without a thorough knowledge of the modifications that need to be made in order to make up for the essential missing nutrients in the cat's diet is condemning their pet to a life of sickness, blindness and eventually, premature death.
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77 of 92 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
While this book does offer some good advice, it also has some very unrealistic advice. It says to clean out the litter box every day-dumping the old litter, cleaning the pan, everything. I mean, who really would do that? Cat litter costs about two dollars for a bag big enough to fill one litterbox. That means you would spend over $$$$ a year on cat litter! Plus, she reccomends a vegetarian diet for cats. I know vegetarian diets are healthy for humans-I've been a vegetarian since I was 11-but I know cats should be fed meat. My cat ate meat cat food, but then, when I decided to have him be a vegetarian, too, he started vomiting and having diarrea and he was so skinny that he looked rather unhealthy. I started feeding him meat cat food again. The vomiting and diarrhea stopped, he became plump and healthy, and his coat started glowing. I think Ingrid Newkirk is so caught up in farm animal rights that she forgot the cats'. I think the things she said about meat cat food being unhealthy and unsuitable for cats is speculation-if there was any proof that meat cat food is unhealthy for them, than surely someone besides PETA and the vegetarian pet food companies would know? She says cats are healthier on a vegetarian diet-even though we know cats are carnivores.
I do not reccomend the book. I reccomend the Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Cat Care. It is also available here on While it takes animal welfare/rights seriously, it is realistic and remembers the most important fact needed to feeding cats properly:cats are CARNIVORES!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By MonaLS on March 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the things that worries me most about this book is the information about making your cat a vegetarian. Cats are the strictest type of carnivore, obligate carnivores. From Wikipedia: "Obligate carnivores depend solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh for their survival. While they may consume small amounts of plant material, they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter and, in fact, some carnivorous mammals eat vegetation specifically as an emetic. The domestic cat is a prime example of an obligate carnivore, as are all of the other felids." So even if you could supply all the required nutrients for your cat in a vegetarian diet, your cat is not designed to digest a vegetarian diet.

The other thing I can't get out of my head is the recommendation that it is better to kill a cat (take it to your vet to be euthanized) than to allow it to live in the author's definition of a less than perfect home. Less than perfect to the author home might just be the perfect home for a particular cat.

Other notes:
"cats had no natural enemies" Wrong. Cats are prey for canids, larger felids, and birds of prey.
Catnip described as an artificial stimulant. - It's not.
Litter box needs washing every day with vinegar and soap." - Weekly washing is sufficient with modern litter and boxes.
Clumping litter kills cats. - Only if the cat ingests it. If cat litter is sticking to your cat and the cat is ingesting it when cleaning, get a different cat litter.
Leaves of catnip look like marijuana. - Not even close. The leaves are completely different shapes, sizes and textures.
You can use human toothpaste to brush your cat's teeth. - Not a good idea.
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