Cover image for The cat : its behavior, nutrition & health
The cat : its behavior, nutrition & health
Case, Linda P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ames, Iowa : Iowa State Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 392 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF442 .C37 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Today, approximately 27% of households in the United States own at least one cat. This comprises a total of almost 60 million total pet cats. An 8 billion dollar pet food industry and the more than 7 billion dollars that pet owners spend on veterinary care each year provide tangible evidence of the increasing importance that companion animals have in our society. Additionally, the bond that owners have with their cats and the many health benefits that are afforded by this bond have been the topic of numerous research studies in the past 25 years. The cat as a cherished companion is here to stay, and many owners, students and pet professionals are eager to learn more about man?s OTHER best friend, Felis catus.

The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health , the textbook of the cat, is written as a companion book to The Dog: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health . This book provides pet owners, undergraduate students and pet professionals with a complete guide to four topical areas that are of interest. These are: The history of the human-cat relationship; behavior of the domestic cat; feline nutrition; and feline health and disease.

The Cat will fill the need for an academic textbook for undergraduate animal science courses, veterinary technician programs, and cat care or breeding classes. It will also serve as an important resource for pet professionals such as breeders, exhibitors, groomers, and veterinary practitioners.

Author Notes

Linda P. Case coordinates the undergraduate companion animal program and teaches companion animal science in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Part 1 Knowing the Cat within the Companion
Chapter 1 Felis silvestris to Felis catus: Domesticationp. 3
Phylogeny (Evolutionary History)p. 3
Taxonomy (Present-Day Classification)p. 4
Domesticationp. 6
In the Beginning: Ancient Egyptians Meet the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris)p. 7
From Wildcat to Pussycat: Changes due to Domesticationp. 9
Conclusionsp. 10
Cited Referencesp. 11
Chapter 2 Selective Breeding: Cat Breeds from the Everyday to the Unusualp. 13
Natural Selection: The Cat on Its Ownp. 13
Selective Breeding: The Emergence of Unusual Coat Types and Colorsp. 14
Purebreds and the Origins of Organized Showsp. 15
Associationsp. 17
Shorthair Breedsp. 18
Longhair Breedsp. 23
Rex Catsp. 26
Spotted Catsp. 27
Unusual Breedsp. 29
Conclusionsp. 32
Cited Referencesp. 33
Chapter 3 The Cat's Perception of the World: Structure, Movement, and Special Sensesp. 35
Structurep. 35
Movement and Balancep. 39
Special Sensesp. 41
Recognizing the Normal Catp. 48
Conclusionsp. 52
Cited Referencesp. 52
Chapter 4 Reproduction and Breeding Managementp. 53
Reproductive Anatomy of the Queenp. 53
Reproductive Anatomy of the Malep. 54
Estrous Cyclep. 56
Breeding Managementp. 59
Gestationp. 60
Care of Newbornsp. 62
Caring for Orphansp. 65
Conclusionsp. 65
Cited Referencesp. 66
Chapter 5 Genetics: Why All Cats Are Tabbiesp. 67
Basic Genetic Principlesp. 67
Inheritance of Coat Color and Type in the Domestic Catp. 75
Selection of Breeding Animalsp. 83
Types of Breeding Systemsp. 87
Genetically Influenced Disordersp. 90
Conclusionsp. 92
Cited Referencesp. 92
Chapter 6 The Human-Cat Relationship: Benefits and Responsibilitiesp. 93
The Diversity of Human-Cat Relationshipsp. 93
The Human Side of the Bondp. 96
The Cat Side of the Bondp. 99
Benefits of Living with Catsp. 103
Bonds That Fail: Stray Cats, Feral Cats, and Cats in Sheltersp. 105
Cited Referencesp. 108
References and Recommended Readingp. 111
Part 2 Behavior: Understanding the Domestic Cat
Chapter 7 Developmental Behavior: From Kitten to Adultp. 117
Neonatal Behaviorp. 117
Sensitive Period of Socialization in Kittensp. 119
The Mother-Kitten Relationshipp. 121
Play Behavior in Kittensp. 124
Development of Predatory Behavior in Kittensp. 128
Conclusionsp. 128
Cited Referencesp. 128
Chapter 8 Social Life: Communication Patterns, Social Relationships, and Territorialityp. 131
Communication in the Domestic Catp. 131
Social Behaviorp. 143
Territorial Naturep. 144
Predationp. 145
Breed Differences in Behaviorp. 148
Conclusionsp. 149
Cited Referencesp. 149
Chapter 9 How Cats Learn (or Learning to Train a Cat!)p. 151
Habituation and Sensitizationp. 151
Classical Conditioningp. 152
Operant Conditioning (Instrumental Learning)p. 154
Observational (Social) Learningp. 158
Behavior Modification Techniquesp. 159
Influences on Learningp. 161
Conclusionsp. 163
Cited Referencesp. 163
Chapter 10 The Misbehaving Cat: Behavior Problems and Solutionsp. 165
Identification and Diagnosis: Obtaining a Behavioral Historyp. 165
Elimination Problemsp. 166
Problem Aggressionp. 173
Miscellaneous Behavior Problemsp. 178
Pharmacotherapy for Behavior Problemsp. 181
Conclusionsp. 181
Cited Referencesp. 181
References and Recommended Readingp. 183
Part 3 Health and Disease: Keeping Cats Healthy and Happy
Chapter 11 Viral Diseasesp. 191
Virusesp. 191
Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (Viral Causes)p. 191
Panleukopeniap. 194
Feline Leukemia Virusp. 198
Feline Coronavirusp. 203
Feline Immunodeficiency Virusp. 207
Rabiesp. 210
Conclusionsp. 211
Cited Referencesp. 212
Chapter 12 Bacterial, Fungal, and Protozoan Diseasesp. 215
Bacteria, Chlamydia, and Rickettsiap. 215
Fungal Infectionsp. 219
Protozoan Diseasesp. 221
Conclusionp. 225
Cited Referencesp. 226
Chapter 13 Vaccination Guidelinesp. 227
Types of Immunityp. 227
Vaccine Selection and Administrationp. 228
Adverse Reactions to Vaccinationp. 233
Vaccination Schedules and Guidelinesp. 236
Conclusionsp. 237
Cited Referencesp. 237
Chapter 14 Internal Parasitesp. 239
Roundworms (Ascarids)p. 239
Hookwormsp. 243
Tapeworms (Cestodes)p. 244
Liver Flukesp. 246
Lungwormsp. 246
Heartwormsp. 247
Conclusionsp. 248
Cited Referencesp. 249
Chapter 15 External Parasitesp. 251
Fleasp. 251
Ear Mites: Otodectes cynotisp. 259
Mange Mites, Walking Dandruff (Cheyletiellosis), and Licep. 260
Conclusionsp. 261
Cited Referencesp. 262
Chapter 16 First-Aid Proceduresp. 265
Preparing a First-Aid Kitp. 265
Immediate Procedures and Restraintp. 265
Cardiac and Respiratory Arrestp. 267
Shockp. 268
Bleedingp. 269
High-Rise Syndromep. 270
Chokingp. 271
Heatstrokep. 271
Burnsp. 272
Insect Stings and Spider Bitesp. 273
Poisoningp. 274
Conclusionsp. 276
Cited Referencesp. 277
References and Recommended Readingp. 279
Part 4 Nutrition: Feeding Cats for Health and Longevity
Chapter 17 The Cat as an Obligate Carnivore: Nutrient Requirementsp. 289
Nutritional Uniquenessp. 289
Essential and Nonessential Nutrientsp. 291
Energyp. 291
Waterp. 295
Carbohydratesp. 297
Fatp. 300
Proteinp. 302
Vitaminsp. 308
Mineralsp. 308
Digestion and Absorptionp. 311
Conclusionsp. 314
Cited Referencesp. 314
Chapter 18 Providing a Healthy Diet: Cat Food Selection and Evaluationp. 317
Types of Commercial Cat Foodp. 317
Characteristics of an Optimal Dietp. 321
Evaluation and Selection of an Appropriate Cat Foodp. 321
Conclusionsp. 326
Cited Referencesp. 326
Chapter 19 Feeding Management throughout the Life Cyclep. 329
Feeding Behaviorp. 329
Feeding Regimensp. 330
What to Feed (Overview)p. 331
How Much to Feedp. 331
Feeding during Growthp. 333
Feeding for Adult Maintenancep. 334
Feeding during Gestation and Lactationp. 335
Weaning Kittensp. 336
Feeding Geriatric Catsp. 337
General Feeding Guidelinesp. 339
Conclusionsp. 340
Cited Referencesp. 341
Chapter 20 Nutritionally Responsive Diseasesp. 343
Obesityp. 343
Diabetes Mellitusp. 349
Chronic Kidney Diseasep. 352
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseasep. 355
Food Hypersensitivity (Allergy)p. 358
Hepatic Lipidosisp. 361
Conclusionsp. 362
Cited Referencesp. 363
References and Recommended Readingp. 367
Glossaryp. 375
Indexp. 381