Simultaneously affectionate and suspicious, adaptive and intractable, dependent and aloof, cats are the least tamed and yet the most successful domestic species Drawing upon new research into cat genetics, brain chemistry, evolution, social behavior, and interaction with humans and fellow felines, acclaimed author and scientist Stephen Budiansky explores the mysteries ofSimultaneously affectionate and suspicious, adaptive and intractable, dependent and aloof, cats are the least tamed and yet the most successful domestic species Drawing upon new research into cat genetics, brain chemistry, evolution, social behavior, and interaction with humans and fellow felines, acclaimed author and scientist Stephen Budiansky explores the mysteries of these amazing creatures Wide ranging, lively, and engaging, The Character of Cats also covers the full spectrum of feline fact and lore, from history, superstition, and religious imagery to hunting patterns, sexual behavior, and preferred colors This smart, wonderfully readable book finally gives cats their due.
The Character of Cats The Origins Intelligence Behavior and Stratagems of Felis Silvestris Catus Simultaneously affectionate and suspicious adaptive and intractable dependent and aloof cats are the least tamed and yet the most successful domestic species Drawing upon new research into cat gene
I love reading about cats. The title of this book made me think it would be really interesting and enlightening, but it was misleading. From the author's note and the book itself, I cannot tell whether the author is an animal researcher himself, an animal lover, or merely someone who combines other people's research to talk about something he himself is not that interested in. For someone who has read other cat books, this provided hardly any new information. I did find the discussion on the evo [...]
This is such a good book to read and written clearly, though dealing with a difficult, scientific orientated subject. It traces the cat's history, from the first domestication right through to modern day, and discusses who its evolution has effected its behaviour and learning. The author's love of all things animal comes through the writing so well and everything is presented is a way that helps you understand what he is trying to say. I love all the line drawings throughout the book as well. We [...]
Okay, seriously? If you love cats, or even if you're just mildly interested in them, this is THE book to read. I devoured it and learned so much about the feline species while doing so that I went out and bought a second copy just so I could keep one. It's that good, honest (this from a woman who has to pass on every book she owns because she's out of space!). But yeah, this book rocks. One of the best I've read in years.
Cats have a long history, starting in Egypt in 1275 B.C. Cats were found on a wall painting during the reign of Ramses II.During the middle ages, cats were associated with witchcraft; not a good life for the cat.During the Revolutionary War period, cats were brought over her from England.The color traits of cats were in different parts of the world. ExampleOrange colored cats were mostly from Northern Scandinavian countries.The book notes cat expressions form relaxed to fearful.Purring goes back [...]
Interesting information but clunky reading. Full review here.
When I first read this book it was a just published volume and I was pretty new to living with cats. It was a delight to learn about their history, genetic entanglements, habits and foibles. I came away grateful that the few annoying behaviors of our cats were quite minor and I learned a few ways to manage them.Jumping ahead 14 years and evaluating the volume after observing feline behavior during that time, Stephen Budianshy's effort seems even more engaging. Stuffed with studies, anecdotes, fa [...]
Im not one for reviews. So this is going to be short, and perhaps poorly worded. The book reads easily and quickly. The book seems empty some how. Like there's no substance to what hes saying or the way hes saying it. Mostly filler. By filler, I mean, rambling opinion that sometime touches on the subject of the chapter. Hmmmm almost feels like he just saw a couple of documentaries on cats and googled some statistics and bam! Book. Good if you know nothing about cats. If you're in the fifth grade [...]
This book is an interesting take on why cats do what they do. Written with a dry sense of humor and a scientist's perspective, it provides a number of facts about our favorite felines' behaviors, genetics, and psychology. It's a pretty easy read, and is broken into concise chapters so you can take it one chunk at a time. The 3 star rating is because in spite of this, I probably won't read it again. IT was picked up on a whime, and while interesting it didn't change my life or anything.
Un libro interesante. Tiene mucha informacion cientifica que por momentos es demasiada. Aun asi, es una lectura recomendada para todos aquellos que convivan con gatos.
This book took a very scientific approach to describing cat behavior. This might indicate how geeky I am, but I loved learning about cats' behavior this way. The author starts by talking a little about how cats evolved and how interesting it is that (unlike dogs, horses, and many other domesticated animals) cats can still breed with their wild counterpart. It is also true that wild cats can survive without us, much better than wolves or the nearly extinct ancestors of today's horses. You can rea [...]
This falls somewhere between fluff and technical so it's just the right speed for someone that has a curiosity about the domestication of cats and their behavior. I use it as a go to book when ours asks a question that we don't know the answer to. The chapter on feline genetics is interesting but there may just not be enough material there to better appreciate the technical aspects. Chapters dealing with specific behavior and its sources i.e. inherited, ecological, or learned provides convincing [...]
Stephen Budiansky, author of The Truth About Dogs, takes a look at the scientific data as to why cats behave the way they do. Budiansky explains that cats are the domesticated animals that are most closely related to their wild ancestors. Budiansky argues that the cat is actually not domesticated, but in-stead an “exploited captive.” Physically, cats do not differ from their wild counter-parts. Unlike domesticated cows, dogs, and chickens that have changed physically to be dependent on human [...]
The most interesting thing I learned from this book is that house cats are not considered truly domesticated, rather they share with "domesticated" camels and elephants the classification of "exploited captive." One reason for this is that unlike most domesticated animals like dogs, sheep cattle, etc, the cat's wild counterpart is still alive and well (the wildcat of Asia, Europe and Africa) and differs very little from the house cat genetically.This is not a cutesy cat book, but a user-friendly [...]
It's been a while, but I ran across this book at work today, and thought I'd include it, because it really was a great book on cats and cat behaviour. Stephen Budiansky writes well on the feline, incorporating scientific explanation along with personal experience on cats. Definite must for anyone who loves cats.
This was a great book! I learned a lot about cat behavior, evolution, history, and a ton of other things. Some parts of it bothered me (like references to studies where electrodes were put into cat's brains), but overall I feel like I understand my cat much better! Definitely an entertaining read
A great guide to understand your cat as a cat rather than through anthropomorphy. Drawing on a range of behavioural and physical studies of cats, and written with a good deal of biting humour, Budiansky's book offers insight and even some practical tips for dealing with our furry and very independent friends.
Although the author owns cats, he does not over sentimentalize the character of cats. He refers to experiments carried out on cats without reference to any cruelty actual or perceived. A much more objective book than Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's "The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats", which should have been subtitled The Emotional Life of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
A great book combining my interest in brain science and behavior & my love of cats. My favorite line, "Cats do, then, form a mental map of their environment, but in an interesting sort of way, one with the cat in the middle".
2.5 - the beginning was much more I tweeting than the ending of this book. Some of the writer's personal experiences made me laugh out loud. And learning about why cats are the way they are is intriguing.
I was hoping for a cat counterpart to Alexandra Horowitz's Inside of a Dog, but this one felt more like a cat book for people who don't know much about cats. It was a quick read and the historical sections were quite interesting.
Really enjoyed this book, explained do much about cat behavior and people/culture's perception of them. Enjoyed it more than the author's book about dogs cause he wasn't 't so preachy. If you love cats, you should DEFINITELY read this book!!
I picked this up to use as a reference book for a character I am writing about. I found the information I wanted and lots more.
Really enjoyed this.
The book was full of information, but it felt really dry, so only parts of it were enjoyable to read. Tim and I enjoyed discussing the more interesting parts.
Still plenty of mystery left.
An enjoyable account of the biology of the domestic cat, focusing on its behavior
Hooray for kitties. A very readable summary of cat scholarship for the general audience.
Worthwhile reading if you want to know what makes cats tick.