Cover image for How to talk to your cat
How to talk to your cat
George, Jean Craighead, 1919-2012.
Warner Books edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Warner Books, 1986.

Physical Description:
101 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Reprinted from: How to talk to your animals. 1st ed. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1985.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL776 .G454 1985 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A guide for cat owners that shows there's more to cat talk than meow and purr, detailing a cat's intricate body language and expressions. Illustrated.

Author Notes

Jean Craighead George was born on July 2, 1919 in Washington, D.C. She received degrees in English and science from Pennsylvania State University. She began her career as a reporter for the International News Service. In the 1940s she was a member of the White House press corps for The Washington Post.

During her lifetime, she wrote over 100 novels including My Side of the Mountain, which was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, which won the Newbery Medal, Julie, and Julie's Wolf Pack. She also wrote two guides to cooking with wild foods and an autobiography entitled Journey Inward. In 1991, she became the first winner of the School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association's Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature. She died on May 15, 2012 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. George, who has mostly written about wild animals, turns to domesticated ones in these lively offerings. She wants readers to know that cats and dogs communicate with their owners through touch, smell, and body language, and that kids who know what their pets are "saying" can communicate right back. Each book begins with a short history of the animal and how it became domesticated. Then George goes on to discuss how to recognize the different signs and sounds that make pets endearing or annoying. The design is part of the fun: cut-out color photos of George show her mingling with cartoon cats and dogs. She's patting a head or down on her knees nuzzling a nose. The typeface mimics handwriting, giving the book a friendly look. Some of the information will be easy for kids to process--what the look of an animal's tail signifies, for example; other facts are less well explained--it's hard to differentiate meows in print. But overall, these books are full of intriguing information that kids can use to make friends of their pets. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Focused on the ways in which dogs and cats communicate their needs and moods, "these approachable and informative volumes belong on the shelf of anyone who lives (or is contemplating living) with a dog or cat," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 6-9. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Beginning with a sentence whose truth will be recognized by any cat owner, "You are being honored if a cat is living with you," the author provides a kind of Berlitz-type quick guide to cat language. She begins with enough history and psychology to make the brief discussion of behaviors understandable. Postures, actions, the angle at which the whiskers are held, and all the various and varied sounds made by cats are explained, as are the many meanings expressed by the tail and the ears. Some of this information will help children understand that certain postures mean that they had better back off and leave the animal to its own pursuits. Other information may actually help readers communicate with their pet-or have fun trying. The writing style is breezy, conversational, and amusing, and is helped along by the many color illustrations. The photographs of the author are cleverly combined with humorous cartoon drawings of cats that display a great deal of intelligence and comedic personality, so that they appear to be interacting in ways that are often very funny. A useful and readable addition to any pet collection.-Marian Drabkin, Richmond Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.