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The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behaviour

Builds on the success of the second edition, with updates highlighting startling discoveries made over the last ten years
Features contributions from experts in a range of fields, providing insight into the behaviour of cats and how they interact with people
Describes the history of human-cat relations, covering behaviour at home and in the wild and providing a definitive tool for any specialist or general reader who loves or is simply intrigued by these fascinating animals

By: Dennis C Turner (Editor), Patrick Bateson (Editor)

279 pages, 36 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 14 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 2013 | Edition: 3 | #206505 | ISBN-13: 9781107025028
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £27.99 $34/€31 approx

About this book

The most commonly kept domestic animal in the developed world, the cat has been a part of human life for thousands of years. Cats have been both worshipped and persecuted over this long period – either loved or hated for their enigmatic self-reliance and the subject of numerous myths and fables. Highlighting startling discoveries made over the last ten years, this new edition features contributions from experts in a wide range of fields, providing authoritative accounts of the behaviour of cats and how they interact with people. Thoroughly revised and updated to include information on the basic features of cat development and social life, the history of their relations with humans, health and welfare problems, and the breeding of cats for sale and for show. It is intended for all those, whether specialist or general reader, who love or are simply intrigued by these fascinating animals.

"The long-awaited third edition of this authoritative book on cat behaviour provides the reader with an up-to-date scientific knowledge on behaviour and welfare of domestic cats. The coverage is considerably broader than in previous editions, including more chapters relevant to cat welfare, cat breeding, behavioural problems, and how to handle overpopulation of stray cats. Some intriguing new research results, [such as] on human and cat personalities, are presented in detail; part of this is previously unpublished. The editors have successfully [cast] an impressive list of experts on the various topics. This book is very valuable and highly recommended to students and professionals of ethology, veterinary medicine, biology and others interested in this exciting animal species, which is now the most widely kept companion animal in most countries."
– Bjarne O. Braastad, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

"In The Domestic Cat, Turner and Bateson provide the ultimate compendium of all things cat. This book will be of benefit to scientists, practitioners, and perhaps most importantly to cat owners by unraveling the enigma that is the cat, dispelling myths, and answering questions which may be vital to optimizing cats' and their humans' lives together."
– Rebecca A. Johnson, International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO)

"This updated and expanded new edition of The Domestic Cat edited by Dennis Turner and Pat Bateson gives a comprehensive and authoritative account of the behaviour of one of our most popular companion animals. It makes fascinating reading both for the behavioural biologist and for the cat lover."
– Felicity A. Huntingford, University of Glasgow

"[...] meticulously researched, thorough and well-written."
– GrrlScientist, The Guardian

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The Domestic Cat

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List of contributors

Part I. Introduction
1. Why the cat? Dennis C. Turner and Patrick Bateson

Part II. From Kitten to Adulthood
2. Behavioural development in the cat Patrick Bateson
3. Normal and problematic reproductive behaviour in the domestic cat Benjamin L. Hart and Lynette A. Hart
4. Communication in the domestic cat: within- and between-species Sarah L. Brown and John W. S. Bradshaw

Part III. Social Life and Ecology
5. Social organization and behavioural ecology of free-ranging domestic cats Dennis C. Turner
6. Social behaviour of domestic cats in the human home Penny L. Bernstein and Erika Friedmann

Part IV. Cats and People
7. Domestication and history of the cat James A. Serpell
8. Cultural differences in human-cat relations Dennis C. Turner, Eva Waiblinger and Barbara Fehlbaum
9. Human and cat personalities: building the bond from both sides Kurt Kotrschal, Jon Day, Sandra McCune and Manuela Wedl

Part V. Cat Breeding and Cat Welfare
10. Feline welfare issues Irene Rochlitz
11. Breed and gender behaviour differences: relation to the ancient history and origin of the domestic cat Benjamin L. Hart, Lynette A. Hart and Leslie A. Lyons
12. Showing cats Anne Gregory, Steve Crow and Hilary Dean
13. Individual and environmental effects on health and welfare J. L. Stella and C. A. T. Buffington
14. Feline behavioural problems and solutions Benjamin L. Hart and Lynette A. Hart

Part VI. The Future
15. Cat population management Elly Hiby, Harry Eckman and Ian MacFarlaine
16. Postscript: questions and some answers Patrick Bateson and Dennis C. Turner


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Dennis C. Turner is Director of the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology, Switzerland, a private faculty member of the University of Zurich (Vetsuisse Faculty) and Invited Professor at the Educational Research Center for Anthrozoology (ERCAZ), Azabu University, Japan. He has published extensively on domestic cats and is well known for his activities in international organizations concerning human-animal relationships, animal-assisted therapy and animal welfare.

Patrick Bateson FRS is Emeritus Professor of Ethology at the University of Cambridge. He is President of the Zoological Society of London and former Vice-President of the Royal Society. He is also co-author of Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation, Plasticity, Robustness, Development and Evolution, and Measuring Behaviour.

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