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The Cat: A Natural History

The Cat: A Natural History

Publisher The Ivy Press
Year 10/03/2020
Pages 224
Version hardback
Readership level General/trade
ISBN 9781782408574
Categories Animal behaviour, Cats as pets, Gift books
$28.00 (with VAT)
106.00 PLN / €23.28 / £20.11
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Book description

The Cat; A Natural History takes an absorbing, in-depth look at the biology, behaviour and diversity of this popular animal. Provides a comprehensive, richly illustrated introduction to the natural and cultural history of the cat Offers an in-depth discussion of behaviour, including social organization, communication, courtship, and learning Covers anatomy and physiology, including mobility, predation skills, and the genetics of coat colors Features clear and accessible text plus infographics, diagrams, and 250 stunning color photographs Includes a beautiful photographic directory of more than forty breeds Tracking the evolution of the cat from its first ancestor, the Pseudaelurus, to the emergence of the modern domestic cat, Sarah Brown looks at how different lineages of the species developed and how the domestic cat Felis came into contact with humans. Clear accounts of how the cat's body functions help explain its extraordinary ability to balance, assess its hunting abilities, and understand its health and dietary needs. Details about the range of coat types and colours and their genetics give a comprehensive overview of the many breeds and nonbreeds we see today. Descriptions of the function of whiskers, the cat's reliance on their sense of smell, and the sensory importance of the tongue all contribute to our understanding of the cat's physiology. Cat communication by different means is covered, including vocalization and non-vocal communication. Whether living in the wild, on the streets or in a domestic setting, learning how to relate to other cats is a central element to cats' socialization, and this is discussed as part of an in-depth look at cat behaviour. The cat's notorious independent spirit and how it affects the cat-human relationship is assessed, and we take a look at attitudes to cats over the centuries and show how cats have featured in culture. The author offers advice on how to promote feline harmony in a multi-cat household, and how to enhance your pet's physical and mental well-being. A directory of breeds features gorgeous photographs of more than 40 popular breeds, alongside details of their characteristics, genetic background and care requirements. Modern breeding and associated issues are raised, and a comprehensive glossary of medical terms covers health issues that owners need to know. Anyone with an interest in or love for cats, and all those who have owned a cat will find much to learn and enjoy in The Cat; A Natural History.

The Cat: A Natural History

Table of contents

Introducing the cat 6-11

Chapter 1 Evolution & Development
Ancestry of the cat 14-15
The global spread of cats 16-19
The domestication of the cat 20-23
Revered, feared then treasured companion 24-7
A coat of many colors: variations around the world 28-31

Chapter 2 Anatomy & Biology
The cat as a mammal 32-3
Life cycle of the cat 34-5
How cats breed 36-9
The feline skeleton 40-43
Alpha predator: the teeth & jaw 44-7
Eating & the digestive system 48-9
How cats smell 50-53
How cats hear 54-5
A cat's coat, and its variations 56-7
The cat genome: recent studies 58-61
How cats think 62-5

Chapter 3 Society & Behavior
Eating & sleeping 66-9
Courtship & mating 70-73
Birth & parenting 74-5
Growing up: kitten development 76-7
Lions in the house: the hierarchy of cats 78-81
How cats communicate 82-5
Cat cognition, recent studies 86-9
The feline memory 90-91
Domestication and genes 92-5

Chapter 4 Cats & People
The cat-human relationship 96-106
'Personality' in cats 107-117
Communication between cats & people 118-128
The growth in popularity of cats 129-139
Challenges facing modern day cats: how we can help 140-149

Chapter 5 Cat Breeds
Historic and extinct breeds 150-53
New cat breeds 154-7
A directory of cats 158-215
The future of breeding 216-17

Useful Resources
Author biographies 218
Bibliography 219-220
Index 221-23
Acknowledgments 224

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