978-0-670-03093-4 / 9780670030934

The Character of Cats: The Origins, Intelligence, Behavior and Stratagems of Felissilvestris catus


Publisher:Viking Adult



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About the book:

There are no seeing-eye cats, guard cats, or sled cats-and for very good reason. Cats-as cat "owners" know-are intractably independent, defying all rules about how and why animals become domesticated. Now, in The Character of Cats, acclaimed author and scientist Stephen Budiansky combines breakthrough scientific research, fascinating lore, and his own infectious fondness for all things feline to elucidate the mysteries of these amazing creatures.

Simultaneously adaptive and perverse, affectionate and suspicious, dependent and aloof, cats are the least tamed and yet the most successful domestic species. Drawing on new research into cat genetics, brain chemistry, evolution, social behavior, and interaction with humans and fellow felines, Budiansky has written the first scientifically based popular book to explore exactly how and why cats are unique. Wide ranging, lively, and engaging, The Character of Cats also covers the full spectrum of feline fact and lore, from history to superstition, from hunting patterns to religious imagery, and from sexual behavior to preferred colors.

Cats are not pets but fellow travelers, one foot in the parlor, one in the wild, and we impose our fantasies and expectations on them at our peril. This smart, wonderfully readable book finally gives cats their due.

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