Cover image for The domestic cat : the biology of its behaviour
The domestic cat : the biology of its behaviour
Turner, Dennis C., 1948-
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
244 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF446.5 .D65 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Humans have lived with cats for thousands of years, and there are now more cats kept in western households than any other animal. Cherished as companions, valued as rodent catchers, their enigmatic behaviour has intrigued and bewildered us for generations. Whilst accepting the comforts of human homes, cats do seem to 'walk by themselves'. Although loved for their independence and self-reliance, myths and fables surround them, leaving them open to persecution and misunderstanding. Covering all types of cats from pampered pets to feral hunters, this completely revised new edition of The Domestic Cat shows how cats live and behave in a variety of circumstances and surroundings. With new chapters on welfare issues, and cat-cat communication, this volume penetrates the enigma that is Felis catus, sorting fact from fiction, and helping both the general reader and the specialist in animal behaviour or veterinary science to understand what cats really are.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

As most pet owners know, cats and dogs are as behaviorally different as night and day. Cats are often regarded as being aloof and unemotional, with willpower and resolve that are difficult to bend to owners' whims. In trying to make sense of the cat "personality," chapter contributors consider various aspects of cat behavior, social organization, and communication. Interactions between and among cats as well as between cats and humans are discussed in detail and are informed by published scientific accounts. The book covers indoor versus outdoor cats and owned cats versus feral (domesticated) ones. Where appropriate, comparisons are also made between domestic and wild (non-domesticated) cats. The contributors relate discussions to the cat's natural history, its long evolutionary development as a solitary hunter, and its more recent history of domestication. Some topics, though interesting and well presented, are only tangentially related to behavior; others (including cat showing, shelters, and population management) have virtually nothing to do with behavior. This updated new edition (2nd ed., 2000; 1st ed., CH, Oct'89, 27-0946) contains four new chapters and is 30 pages longer. It is well written and largely accessible to general readers and others interested in broadening their knowledge about this often-misunderstood animal. Summing Up: Recommended. All undergraduate students and general readers. --Danny A. Brass, independent scholar

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Preface and acknowledgements
Part I Introduction
1 Why the cat?Dennis C. Turner and Patrick Bateson
Part II Development of Young Cats
2 Behavioural development in the catPatrick Bateson
3 Factors influencing the mother-kitten relationshipJohn M. Deag and Aubrey Manning and Candace E. Lawrence
4 Individuality in the domestic cat: origins, development and stabilityMichael Mendl and Robert Harcourt
Part III Social Life
5 The signalling repertoire of the domestic cat and its undomesticated relativesJohn Bradshaw and Charlotte Cameron-Beaumont
6 Group-living in the domestic cat: its sociobiology and epidemiologyDavid W. Macdonald and Nobuyuki Yamaguchi and Gillian Kerby
7 Density, spatial organisation and reproductive tactics in the domestic cat and other felidsOlof Liberg and Mikael Sandell and Dominique Pontier and Eugenia Natoli
Part IV Predatory Behaviour
8 Hunting behaviour of domestic cats and their impact on prey populationsB. Mike Fitzgerald and Dennis C. Turner
Part V Cats and People
9 Domestication and history of the catJames A. Serpell
10 The human-cat relationshipDennis C. Turner
11 Feline welfare issuesIrene Rochlitz
Part VI Postscript
12 Questions about catsPatrick Bateson and Dennis C. Turner