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Kittens For Dummies [Paperback]

by Dusty Rainbolt
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 19, 2003
Who can resist the charm of a kitten, those energetic, curious creatures whose cuteness factors fall somewhere between adorable and irresistible? But as animal shelters across the country can attest, those enchanting balls of fluff quickly mature into full-grown cats with their own requirements for healthy, happy lives.

Kittens For Dummies is your source for understanding what you can expect if you decide to welcome a high energy and high maintenance four-legged friend into your home. You'll not only figure out if you're ready to fit a kitty into your lifestyle, but also how to go about

  • Adopting or buying the right kitten for you
  • Making sure your home is kitten-proof
  • Introducing your new pet to children and other pets
  • Preventing and treating feline illnesses
  • Dealing with behavioral issues
  • Rescuing an orphaned kitten

Books abound about kitten care. Unlike many of them – those that seem to require a veterinary medicine degree to figure out – Kittens For Dummies explains everything in plain, everyday English. And like the subject itself, this handy reference is full of fun. In entertaining, informative language, the friendly guide gives you the real deal on

  • Doling out plenty of love, attention, and patience
  • Deciding whether kitty will be allowed to explore the outdoors
  • Making your kitten comfy with the right supplies and accessories
  • Knowing how often to ring the dinner bell
  • Recognizing emergencies that call for quick trips to the veterinarian
  • Locating qualified caretakers when you travel
  • Nurturing kitty into adulthood

 Before you take the giant leap into kitten ownership – a wonderful and sometimes chaotic world – check out the expert advice in a resource that's bound to become as constant a companion as your purr-fect pet.

Frequently Bought Together

Kittens For Dummies + Cats for Dummies + Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
Price for all three: $41.17

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Editorial Reviews


"A huge amount of information."  (Birmingham Post, Monday 19th November 2007)

From the Back Cover

Get the scoop on kitten health and behavior

Your friendly guide to bringing up a frisky feline

Kittens are undeniably cute and they have an unlimited amount of energy. From finding a kitten and visiting the vet to choosing the right food, litter boxes, and toys, this handy reference gets you through the toughest and most delightful era in your cat?s life.

Praise for Kittens For Dummies

"Few authors can boast the wisdom and experience of the Queen of Kitten Care, Dusty Rainbolt."
—Steve Dale, host of "Animal Planet Radio" and columnist for "My Pet World," Tribune Media Services

"Kittens For Dummies delivers sound, savvy advice on adopting a kitten and ensuring that it enjoys a long, playful, and healthy life. I give Dusty?s book two paws up!"
—Arden Moore, pet columnist for Prevention and editor of Catnip

Discover how to:

  • Adopt or buy the right kitten for you
  • Kitten-proof your home
  • Introduce kitty to children and other pets
  • Prevent and treat feline illnesses
  • Deal with behavioral issues
  • Rescue an orphaned kitten

Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (December 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764541501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764541506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dusty Rainbolt, ACCBC, is an award-winning cat writer according to her answering machine. She recently stopped writing on her cats because they move around too much and they smeared ink all over the furniture. She's worked as a professional free-lance journalist since the late 1980s, and began specializing in pet journalism in 1995. Today, she's the editor-in-chief of, a shop-to-donate website that benefits animal charities.

In 1986, a chance event changed her forever and set her life on a new course. A family moved from their apartment, abandoning their pregnant tabby cat in the snow. Accidental midwife, Dusty received a real life lesson in the plight of unwanted pets. After she found homes for Mom and her kittens, Dusty jumped head-first into cat and kitten rescue. Over the years, she has successfully bottle fed over 800 orphan kittens, and rescued and rehomed more than 700 adults and weaned kittens. She's an associate certified cat behavior consultant and member of International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Some people describe Dusty as a Renaissance woman, or maybe they really mean she's ahead of her time. Six years before the premiere of Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunter show (and the TV ghost-hunting craze that followed) Dusty got her kicks hanging out in creepy locations wielding EMF meters and video cameras. Her experiences later provided her with fodder for her latest paranormal mystery, DEATH UNDER THE CRESCENT MOON (Yard Dog Press.) (You can watch Dusty's Crescent Hotel ghost voice video that inspired her novel at

Readers who love both ghosts and cats might also enjoy her award-winning nonfiction book, GHOST CATS: HUMAN ENCOUNTERS WITH FELINE SPIRITS (The Lyons Press), and her latest science fiction/fantasy anthology, THE MYSTICAL CAT (SkyWarrior Books.)

Her scifi fans know Dusty for her comedy, including the humorous science adventure, ALL THE MARBLES (Yard Dog Press.) Along with three other redheaded writers, Dusty co-authored the outrageous fantasy series THE FOUR REDHEADS, including: THE FOUR REDHEADS OF THE APOCALYPSE, APOCALYPSE NOW! and REDHEADS IN LOVE.

Cat lovers know Dusty best for her cat care/behavior books KITTENS FOR DUMMIES (John Wiley & Sons) and CAT WRANGING MADE EASY: MAINTAINING PEACE & SANITY IN YOUR MULTICAT HOME (The Lyons Press.) She is responsible for all story content for Her award-winning column "Ask Einstein" appears every month on AdoptAShelter's website.

You can read Dusty's articles in Cat Fancy and on,, and She frequently guest blogs. Dusty serves as vice president of the international journalism organization, Cat Writers' Association ( Since joining CWA in 1995, Dusty's books, columns, reviews and articles have been honored with more than 50 writing awards. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Friskies Writer of the Year Award.

Find out about her fiction and paranormal work at Read Dusty's blog, "Confessions of a Cat Writer" at her cat care/behavior website, Follow her at or checkout her feline heartworm awareness Facebook page

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kittens for Dummies March 16, 2005
I volunteered to foster a couple of kittens for a local rescue group last year and ended up taking care of a total of 13 over about 6 months. It was challenging but very rewarding and as a thank you gift, the rescue group coordinator gave me a copy of "Kittens for Dummies" for Christmas...boy do I wish I had known about the book earlier. It answered all the questions I agonized about during that 6 months... and I had lived on farm and been around lots of baby animals for a good part of my life! Kittens for Dummies is easy to read, the information is current, useful and well-organized, and as with all the Dummies books, it uses lots of humor! I HIGHLY recommend the book even if you have had a cat for years and think you know all about cat care... you will learn something new from this book. If you are like me, innocently agreeing to help out in a worthwhile cause (kitten rescue) without a clue about many of the problems that can arrive with those cute motherless kittens... you really NEED this book. It will answer questions you haven't even asked yourself until it is 3 o'clock in the a.m. and you have a tiny kitten showing symptoms of something scary. I wish I had the resources to send a copy of it with every cat and kitten that is adopted to a new loving home!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book October 10, 2004
I am a cat owner and experienced kitten carer - caring for orphaned, abandoned, feral and premature kittens. I am always looking to expand my knowledge and learn more about caring for these little ones, as well as kittens in general. Once 'Kittens for Dummies' arrived at my home, I read it from cover to cover and was very impressed. This book is informative, easy to read and peppered in parts with a little humour, something I found quite refreshing.

Whether you're caring for an orphaned or abandoned kitten or older kitten, Kitten for Dummies will guide you through all the aspects of having a kitten. Why does he climb my curtains? Why does he wake me up at 5am by batting at my eyes? How does a kitten purr? How do I know if my kitten is ill? You'll find answers to these and many more questions you may have about your kitten in Kittens for Dummies.

If you have a kitten or kittens in your life, this book is a must. If kittens came with an instruction manual, Kittens for Dummies would be it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saving Grace in Orphan Kitten care January 19, 2004
If you have ever found an orphaned kitten and experienced that instance of uncertainty, where you stomach lurches and your brain scrambles for the answer to "What do I do now?" Then, this book was written just for you.
An expert in the field of orphaned kitten care, Dusty Rainbolt offers her substantial field of knowledge directly to you. Written in an easy to understand style and surrounded by stunning photographs by her husband Weems, this book covers all apects of the care of orphans. A remarkable navigational tool that will carry you safely through the job of rearing a healthy kitten, or caring for an orphaned litter, this is the type of book to enhance any cat lover's library.
Even veterans in cat rescue are likely to find that Dusty Rainbolt's presentation and knowledge will assist them and this book will become a powerful resource tool for them. My suggestion is buy this now before Kitten Season strikes, because once it does, this puppy will be sold out!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kittens for Dummies Is Not So Dumb May 21, 2006
Having lost my beloved feline companion of 17 years, I was determined to seek out another kitty with similar genetic and personality traits. Not having had the experience of raising a kitten for so many years, I went shopping for a book that would get me up to speed on all the latest in happy-kitty raising. I selected Kittens for Dummies as appearing to be the best of the books available to me at first hand.

I wasn't disappointed. The book is easy to use (great if you have a screaming 7-week-old at your feet and you want an answer fast), clearly organized and charmingly written. I gobbled it down in short order and took it with me when I went kitten shopping and at every step of the shopping-for-kitty experience.

Kittens for Dummies seems to me to contain more useful information between its covers than most of the other books I researched. It wastes no time on empty fluff; its pages are packed with tips and practical advice. It should satisfy the needs of first-time kitten owners and old hands looking to brush up alike. I especially liked the brand-name items that Ms. Rainbolt suggests. They take the guesswork out of hunting for safe, high quality items for your kitten.

The only chapter I had disagreements with was the chapter on diet, as I am a firm believer in the raw food diet for cats, but that's another book review!

Overall, if you can only afford one book on kitten care, Kittens for Dummies would be an excellent choice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast and easy read August 20, 2006
One thing I like about the "for Dummies" format is their layout which makes information easy to find and quick to digest. In "Kittens for Dummies," the author, whose name I recognized from numerous cat articles in magazines like "Cat Fancy", writes from twenty years of experience in rescuing orphaned kittens. She gives a fair, two-sided argument (pros and cons both) about buying pedigreed kittens and dealing with reputable breeders. In particular, the sections on behavior problems and health issues were useful and up to date. Like other "for Dummies" books, the author filtered in plenty of humor. As a teacher, I've always found that humor helps make information easier to learn and remember. While the book doesn't contain information regarding obscure illnesses--by being obscure the disease isn't a likely event. That's what veterinarians are for besides. <g> Overal, I found the book to be a useful, enjoyable, and easy to read guide. A definite must for first time kitten owners.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Super useful
I recently purchased this book for a friend, the cat he took in off the streets turned out to be pregnant and he had never raised kittens from birth before. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Marlowe Primack
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a new cat mommy or daddy!
I am a dog person and knew nothing at all about cats, when someone gave me a 9 week old kitten.
I had no idea what to do with her, so of course I went to Amazon, and found the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Oceanfront
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book was very helpful. I had very young kittens and did not know what to expect. The book was recommended by a friend and I am glad I bought it.
Published 5 months ago by Irina
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful!
Took the authors advise about how to acclimate a cat to a family with kids and dogs!! Worked beautifully, very informative book!
Published 5 months ago by K. Norman
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!
I am very happy with this book,I have found out so much that I did not know!! It has help me a lot with my kitten.
Published 9 months ago by Dorothy Schmick
5.0 out of 5 stars A staple for any kitten owner!
I wish I had purchased this book when I first brought my kitten home because it would have saved me so much time looking up answers on the web. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Karina Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book--buy it!
This book is chock full of information for kitty lovers like me. Now I know why kitty turns around, raises his tail and shows me where he goes poop all the time. Geesh, kitty... Read more
Published 10 months ago by A. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
This book is great and tells you everything you need to know about
owning a kitten. I highly recommend it.
Published 12 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good!!
The book is complete an easy to follow. It covers every concern I had and in a fun way! It has been long time since I last had a kitten (my 17 year old cat passed away recently)... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Fatima
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful info to take care of your new kitty-gato
So my Kitty Kat and I adopted a black long-hair kitten with blue eyes. I thought I'd give the kitten book a try and it's a good thing I did so. Read more
Published 13 months ago by tortillas_with_frijoles
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