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Starting from Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat Paperback – November 27, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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  • Starting from Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"She's the queen of cat behavior!"
- Steve Dale, author of My Pet World syndicated newspaper column

"She can, in fact, work miracles with problem cats."
-Pet Life Magazine

About the Author

Pam Johnson-Bennett hosted the Animal Planet UK series "Psycho Kitty." She is best-selling author of 7 books on cat behavior. With a career that began in 1982, Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. 

Pam was vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the founder and longtime chair of the IAABC cat division. She served on the American Humane Association's Advisory Board on Animal Behavior and Training and the American Humane Association Cat Health and Welfare Forum. She is also on the Advisory Board for Tree House Humane Society. She lectures worldwide at veterinary conferences and animal welfare organizations.

Pam is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Winn Feline Foundation Media Award and the IAABC cat division award.

In addition to her work with cats, Pam is the co-author of Cookies for Dinner. This book chronicles the funny and often embarrassing side of motherhood. The sequel to Cookies for Dinner is set for release in late 2015/early2016. 

Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, LLC. Website catbehaviorassociates.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anti Icky Poo! Starter Kit, Feliway (75mL) Spray and This Book started me and my cat- a 2 year old scottish fold- on the road to recovery after I found she'd been peeing out of the box for some time. She's extremely timid.
I consider myself pretty hands-on & knowledgeable about all things cats- I've never had a 'pee-er- but this book had not 1, not 2, but SEVERAL important points and things to try I hadn't known or thought of.
The importance of interactive playtime and bonding is stressed and I
have seen a change already. I would highly recommend this
book before you spend tons of money on flower remedys, and please, please always remember it's NOT the cat so do not ever punish, grumble, or emit any sort of negativity your cat will feel.
If you only get one book I'd get this one- I got 3 others- twisted whiskers, psycho-kitty, and cat behavior book- none compared to this book, even for considerate and knowledgeable 'cat-people' it's full of revelations. And Rmember-SPAY, NEUTER, and DON'T DECLAW!
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I had picked up one of the author's older books a while ago and was pretty impressed, but it was mostly a collection of stories. So, while interesting, it was no where near complete.

This book, on the other hand, is practically an encyclopedia of feline behavior. VERY cool. She starts with body language, her recommendations for setting up their environment and building confidence, and then goes onto common problems and how to solve them.

The only real blank is that she seems to assume that your cat is used to and at least somewhat trusts YOU. The section on a shy cat assumes that the cat is afraid of visitors.

I just skimmed it, so perhaps it's in one of the introductory sections that I missed (like the play therapy section, which she covered a bit in her other book so I didn't read it in this one). I'll reread it more in depth later and update.

I really like her approach, though, because she does not recommend discipline that the cat will associate with the person - like water bottles, noise makers, yelling, and stuff like that. Instead of negative approaches (like locking the cat out of the bedroom) she suggests positive approaches (like creating an interesting environment in another room). Definitely more work, but I think more successful in the long run.
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If you are looking for a quick and easy fix to feline behavior problems, then this book is not for you. And frankly, you need to rethink your strategy and look at long term. There are no easy fixes to hard problems.

I have a formerly feral young cat with some behavior problems--mix that with a foster cat who chases her and you get some big ugly. I have read almost half this book over the past few days, have started some of the techniques she recommends, and I have already seen a difference.

We still have a way to go, but this evening has been more peaceful than the last two weeks combined. The cats are even napping in the same room, although of course not together. I can easily distract and redirect the aggressive cat's (the foster) stalking behavior, and my cat is already more relaxed and showing much less fear aggression.

I have been a cat person my whole life and consider myself pretty fluent in cat. There is still so much this book has taught me. The main thing being that you have to throw out your personal conception of what YOU believe is going on and really listen to and look at the cat and let her tell you. (the book helps you interpret cues) I never thought my cat would be fear aggressive as she appears (to me) to be fearless. But I now clearly see a lot of her problems come from anxiety and being uncertain, which = fear to a cat.

I have also identified behaviors which are affectionate and indicate deep trust on the part of my cat, and it's very touching to know she DOES trust me and loves me.

I have gone from being committed to hanging in there until things change to being extremely confident not just that they WILL change, but confident on HOW they will change and what I can do to get there. I have a plan, and now all I need is time and consistency.

I cannot say how highly I recommend this book, even to a life long cat person.
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I have lived with cats my whole life, and even worked in a veterinarian's office as my first job out of high school, so I thought I knew plenty about cats. Boy did I have a lot to learn!

I originally checked this book out from the library in hopes of finding a few pointers on how to train a cat to stay off of the kitchen counters. As I started reading it, however, I realized it had MUCH more to offer. It truly is an encyclopedic reference for anyone sharing life with a cat (or several). This book is NOT just about behavior problems.

Everything from setting up the environment, to how to use play, to grooming, to common health issues is covered. I only wish I could go back in time and use Johnson-Bennet's insights with my previous cats.

There is quite a bit of overlap between this book and the author's previous work, Think Like a Cat. If you are getting a young kitten, Think Like a Cat has some useful pointers on selection and preparation. Other than that, everything from this earlier book is covered in Starting From Scratch--plus a whole lot more.

Highly recommended!
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