The seven chapters cover issues related to (cat) adoption, food, indoor/outdoor cats, litter boxes, health care, misbehavior, and playtime or special occasions. Chapter subheadings are sensible (as opposed to cute or confusing), and marginal notes called “Feline Fact” add tidbits beyond the text. Once per chapter there is a section called “Distinctive Feline” that tells a special tale in more depth than the other tales in the book, which are quite brief, provided in support of the how-to advice.
Here’s a bit of advice I had to learn the hard way myself, and it really affects how much you like your cat after the kitten has grown up. “[Teach] kittens that fingers, toes, and other body parts are not playthings . . . [It’s] best not to play games in which you move your hand under a blanket, pretending to be prey, or to encourage cats to pounce on or swat you. This might be cute when they’re kittens, but it’s not fun when they’re adult cats and can draw blood.”
Related to that advice is the following, equally important step: “If your kitten or adult cat starts biting you, immediately stop petting him and ignore him for a few seconds. Never hit your cat, because he will not associate the punishment with his inappropriate behavior. Instead, redirect kitty’s attention to a toy. Reward him for playing with his toys with praise or treats, and he’ll soon learn that hands are for petting and toys are for playing.”
This book is a perfect gift for anyone just beginning cat care, even as young as nine if a good reader, and also for anyone who thinks they know enough to be a cat sitter. Because the latter audience is part of the universe the authors probably hope to reach, Adlon emphasizes that responsibility is the key factor in providing a good cat-sitting service. “[Y]ou need to be available to work seven days a week, and your busiest times are weekends and holidays. You will be working when other people are away on vacation or enjoying the holidays with friends and family . . . To build and keep a loyal clientele, you must be available 24/7.” Imagine the love and commitment behind such a job.