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The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do--and How to Get Them to Do What You Want Hardcover – March 5, 2013

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The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do--and How to Get Them to Do What You Want + Cat Vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat + Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As one of the nation’s leading cat behaviorists, Nagelschneider provides excellent information on feline behavior and the effects of changes in the feline environment. She wrote the book that she felt cat owners need, as well as the one she always wanted to read. Starting with the basic tenet of “no punishment, no reprimand,” the author then defines her C.A.T. plan: Cease the unwanted behavior (make the behavior or its location less attractive); Attract the cat to a desirable behavior, location, or time (redirecting the behavior); and Transform the territory (change specific physical properties). One of her main pieces of advice for any training or retraining of cats is to go very slowly, at the cat’s preferred pace. Using the author’s methods, readers learn how to successfully introduce (or reintroduce) cats, curb feline aggression, retrain cats who eliminate outside their litter boxes, reduce excessive meowing, stop destructive behaviors (like scratching furniture), and curb compulsive behaviors. Full of “think like a cat” advice, Nagelschneider’s work will make for happier human-feline households. --Nancy Bent


Praise for The Cat Whisperer
“I wish I had read The Cat Whisperer before I started filming Must Love Cats. The cats would have liked me a lot more.”—John Fulton, host of Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats
“Mieshelle Nagelschneider is a wizard at demystifying cat behavior and providing easy-to-follow steps for solving vexing problems. I dog-eared (or should I say cat-eared) so many pages for later reference that my book doesn’t want to close. Living with six demanding cats in a small house, I wish I’d had this excellent guide years ago.”—Bob Tarte, author of Kitty Cornered, Enslaved by Ducks, and Foul Weather
“The reason people are so mesmerized by house cats is because they are truly miniature versions of lions, tigers, and leopards. In her book The Cat Whisperer, Mieshelle Nagelschneider explains the behavior of the house cat in an unprecedented and most accessible way, offering unique insight into the often misunderstood companion animal that is as wild as we have become civilized.”—Jordan Carlton Schaul, Ph.D., contributing editor, National Geographic, and curator, Orange County Zoo
“Pet owners despairing of getting their cats to behave will find new hope in this comprehensive guide. . . . This book more than meets Nagelschneider’s goal of guiding owners to the strategies for behavioral and environmental change needed to address issues such as urination outside the litter box and aggressiveness.”Publishers Weekly
“Nagelschneider provides excellent information. . . . Full of ‘think like a cat’ advice, Nagelschneider’s work will make for happier human-feline households.”Booklist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553807854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807851
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mieshelle Nagelschneider, ACCBC, is a cat behaviorist and author of the science-based and scholarly cited cat behavior book, The Cat Whisperer (hardcover, Random House Publishing along with co-writer, Cameron Powell). Her passion and curiosity about cats along with her study in animal behavior, continues to put her at the forefront of cat behavior knowledge. Studying cat behavior for over two decades with her most recent study of animal behavior at Harvard University, has enabled her to offer cat owners what they haven't been able to find -- behavior advice that isn't obsolete, cookie cutter, or reinvents the wheel.

Mieshelle has guest starred as The Cat Whisperer on Animal Planet and recently finished filming a cat behavior documentary for National Geographic. She was the International Cat Behavior Expert for Whiskas traveling the globe with the mission to elevate the status of the cat along with the Animal Welfare League.

Nationally and internationally, Mieshelle is a frequent contributor and guest on T.V., radio, and publications, including Animal Planet, Fox, USA Today, The Circle, The Sunrise Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Zoo Peeps, This Wildlife, New York Post, Cat Fancy Magazine,, New Republic, Feline Wellness,, Cat Channel, The Daily Cat, and Pets Magazine.

In addition to her important platforms like anti-declawing and elevating the status of the black cat, Mieshelle believes that saving millions of cats from euthanasia each year begins with cat owners understanding and respecting the natural instincts of their domestic cat and sound behavior advice in solving behavior issues.

Mieshelle opened the doors to The Cat Behavior Clinic, LLC, in 1999 where she and licensed veterinarian Dr. James Shultz conduct behavior consultations worldwide. Visit the clinic website at:

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 196 people found the following review helpful By Douglas B. Moran on February 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This review is based on a pre-publication copy: some illustrations are missing, incomplete "Endnotes" (footnotes + references), Index in progress, ... Page numbers may change.

This is an uneven book. If based on just the first part, I wouldn't recommend it, maybe even recommend against it. However, starting around page 130, the book becomes more and more worth reading, and by page 200 the density of useful advice is such that I would definitely recommend if your problem falls within the focus of this book (details follow).

Litter box and spraying issues dominate the book. This is not surprising because this is what is most likely to be serious enough to drive people to hire a professional behaviorist.* What is surprising is the paucity of useful anecdotes I would have expected the author to have acquired during such consultations. The result is prescriptive advice on these topics that doesn't go much beyond what one is likely to have encountered in run-of-the-mill books on cat care. And that advice is repetitive. It isn't until late in the book that I encountered non-trivial treatments of other issues.

The book's coverage is also heavily oriented to the interactions of cats within a household.** The author lives in a household with six cats and three people and many of her accounts seem to be of households with more cats than people. My experience is that the quality and intensity of interactions between cats and their people is very different in households with no more than one cat per cat-person (my situation and bias), although what is cause and what is effect is debatable. Although the book's title and description imply a close connection between the author and cats, what is actually written felt very detached, almost clinical.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jeannette Belliveau on May 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Here's the negative about this book:

* Too much time establishing the author's bona fides as a purported "cat whisperer" based on hours of observation of semi-feral cats
* Disorganized editing, the flabbiness in terms of time spent at the beginning rambling around on the author's credentials continues throughout the book
* A lack of staged responses to problems, such that for example, the advice given to address the introduction of a new cat to an existing cat household is mindblowingly complex.

Here's the positive about this book:

* I think if you really are about to give up on a problem cat due to elimination issues or fighting with other cats, you will find the level of detail here (if you skip right to the middle or back of the book) to address your issues.
* The author makes clear the need for daily playtime with your cats and that you need not always respond to their meows with food -- which I have been guity of. More and more, I now brush the cats or play with them instead of feed them when they interact, even if it's in their feeding area.
* Given her emphasis on toys and play time with cats, I went out and bought some new toys for my cats and try to spend more time with them each day playing with a shoelace that they like. She says they like to plan an attack out based on watching their prey, so it's best not to dangle a lace or wand toy in front of them but move away as a real prey object would.

This is useful detail! I just wish (disclosure: I'm a real-life editor) a tough editor had gone through this book as well as a graphic designer to give it more of an information "pop" than is currently present.

Bottom line: Four stars for information presented that certainly is useful -- if you can find it. One star deducted because this is *not* a book you will want to read cover to cover to learn all the basics of cat behavior and problem solving.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By feemeister VINE VOICE on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I would say this book is a must have for cat lovers and owners. There is so much GREAT information in this book! There are lots of things in here that will help you in ways you didn't expect; things you will start to understand that you didn't before.

Her main goal in this book is to help owners not to have to give away or euthanize their cats. It concentrates on things the owner can do to change the cat behavior. Actually, it's pretty much behavior modification for cats, through owner actions!

Some of the cures in here are involved and time consuming. Some are impractical for me, as I live in a singlewide mobile home (and have multiple cats), and don't have room to do some of the things she talks about (and thank goodness I don't need to). But people in doublewides or houses and in many apartments, shouldn't have such a problem. Additionally, owners of one or two cats won't be so challenged.

She is very able to explain the behaviors to you, so you can see them from the cats angle. An example is cats who won't use their litter boxes, when it is not a physical reason. I had no IDEA there could be so many different causes, and so many remedies to try. And she really walks you thru everything step by step, and does not leave you hanging, or forget to finish explaining something, as I have seen some authors do. She really does a superb job on explaining the causes as well and the solutions.

There is also very involved information on cats that don't get along (a form of them being reintroduced gradually and nonthreateningly) which is extremely well set out. However, it is not a quick thing; it takes time and effort. But in the end all in the family should be very happy with each other and get along well.
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