Anyone who has cats will understand the allure of this title – The Secret Language of Cats by Susanne Schötz was sent to me by TLC Book Tours at no charge for my honest review.
About The Secret Language of Cats:
Hardcover: 288 Pages
Publisher: Hanover Square Press; Original edition (November 1, 2018)
Have you ever wondered what your cat is saying?
Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.
Susanne Schötz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets, and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.
In The Secret Language of Cats, Schötz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.
I was expecting a lighthearted book when I opened the cover and started to read. What I found was so much more. The author is a professor of phonetics and she takes that training and applies it to the various sounds that her cats make and uses it to try and decipher what a cat is trying to tell you. But don’t despair – it’s written in an approachable way, no gobbledygook.
I must admit that I did find the science behind both human language and the cat sounds to be very interesting. The author includes many appendices and provides links to youtube videos with the sounds of her own cats so you can go and listen so as to compare to what the science indicates.
This is not going to be a book for everyone for just the reasons I’ve written about above. Some people are going to buy this book and expect a simplistic, almost comic book like approach to the subject and be disappointed by the serious tone. As I noted, that is what I thought it was going to be from the title. BUT I am a very eclectic reader and I found myself quite drawn into the science. The author also cleverly weaves tales of her cats throughout the book so that the reader does not get overwhelmed by all of the phonetics.
An interesting read for anyone looking to further their relationship with their furry family member.
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