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“Playtime for Cats” by Dbaly and Sigl (book review)

I borrowed a neato book from the library not too long ago called Playtime for cats : activities and games for felines by Helena Dbaly (a cat breeder) and Stefanie Sigl (a “cat and dog psychologist”).

Take a look at this book if you would like ideas about how to encourage your cat to play and are interested in activities that are not the same old activities that books and articles usually suggest. The book includes loads of photos so readers don’t have rely on descriptions alone.

The authors’ point of view is unique and, I think, refreshing. It makes the reader think like a cat. I don’t mean in that anthropomorphizing way that most books do, but based on what science knows about what cats respond to. It’s clear that the ideas for activities are rooted in the science of feline behavior and also on years of observation and practical knowledge about what cats enjoy and respond to. For example, some activities mimic prey encounters to take advantage of feline curiosity, instincts, and natural pace of play (short spurts of intense activity several times a day).

Fuji giving me 5

There’s also a cool chapter that introduces clicker training and how it can be used effectively with cats, especially those who get bored easily.

If you’re interested in making your own interactive toys, the authors provide instructions on building your own toys using things most people toss into their recycling bins. (The photos are especially useful if you decide to try making these contraptions.)

Another pro: There is more science in this book than most mainstream books about playing with cats.

A couple of cons: It doesn’t include as much of the “why” info (the science behind why cats respond the way they do to the things they suggest). No bibliography! (That’s a real bummer for me, cuz I’d love to read some of the scientific material that their book is based on.)

Timberland Regional Library doesn’t own a copy, so if you’re interested in looking at the book, ask them to borrow it (at no cost to you) through Interlibrary Loan. (Or just buy a copy from Powells or Amazon.)

(Interested in viewing lists of books about cats or books about animals that I own or have read?)


(Note: I do not accept payment for mentions or reviews of products and services that I write about on this site.)


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