The Secret Language of Petsby Susanne Schotz on November 1, 2018
Genres: Cats, Nonfiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 Schštz 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, Schštz 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.
On the spectrum of dog people or cat people, I’ve always been a cat person. Growing up with a fiesty Calico named Dresden that lived until the ripe old age of twenty-three and kept my mother company long after I’d moved out and gotten married to another cat person. There was no question about someday getting cats of our own when my husband and I were settled in a our own newly purchased home. But those years of my co-existing with a single indoor/sometimes outdoor cat and my husband’s many outdoor farm cats had prepared us for the two gorgeous cats that we adopted from the veterinarians office when we’d only gone with my mother to bring an ailing Dresden in for a check up towards the end of her long life. The newly dubbed Slick and Daphne did not get along right from the start, or even months later so it would seem, but thirteen years later they have a new target for their ire in their older age–a one year old rambunctious Calico kitten named Chloe that didn’t get along with my sister’s older cat. And so our cat family seems to be complete, but if you ask my husband there’s never enough cats.
In my long history of owning cats I’ve learned that they have many different ways of communicating with each other and with us humans, and Susan Schotz breaks down their vocalizations in scientific detail with real-world examples using her own lively and unique five cats. A trained phonetician, she’s turned her eye toward studying the way cats vocalize and the different sounds they make. Do cats make the same sounds for the same things, or is their a unique language between each cat and their owners?
Using some of the same scientific methods of recording cats’ vocalizations as they do when studying human language, Susan Schotz has studied her five cats’ sounds and behaviors as well as many more. What I really enjoyed were how she wove the stories of her five cats throughout the book, and how they came to be with her and her husband Lars–especially the challenges of trying to integrate five cats in one home. There were several great methods that she used to alleviate stress and help the cats get along better that I will be using at home in an attempt to get my older cats and the kitten to improve their relationship.
I give The Secret Language of Cats a four out of five. Not only did Susan Schotz present the science behind studying cat sounds, she also presented the behavior behind these vocalizations so you can infer some of the same patterns in your cats. These easy, fun anecdotes broke up some of the science sections, so the book was entertaining and informative. I really enjoyed the links to YouTube videos with examples of the varying cat sounds. I’m a scientist by trade and these things interest me even when I’m not working, but The Secret Language of Cats is written in an accessible manner to the lay person who wants to understand what their cat is trying to convey to them daily. For the science minded, there are tables and charts explaining the phonetics of cat language as the author understands it so far.
Find THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF CATS
About Susanne Schotz
Susanne Schötz researches and teaches in Lund, Sweden, where she is a professor of phonetics. She lives with her husband and five cats.
Susanne Schotz’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF CATS:
Instagram Tour Stops
Monday, November 5th: @_ebl_inc_
Tuesday, November 6th: @brokenteepee
Wednesday, November 7th: @read.write.coffee
Thursday, November 8th: @shereadswithcats
Thursday, November 8th: @hotcocoareads
Friday, November 9th: @love.books.and.coffee
Friday, November 9th: @bookncatsncoffee
Saturday, November 10th: @dropandgivemenerdy
Tuesday, November 13th: @booksbeforebedtime
Thursday, November 15th: @sarahs_reads
Friday, November 16th: @artbookscoffee
Saturday, November 17th: @girlsinbooks #caturday
Review Tour Stops
Monday, November 5th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, November 6th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, November 7th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Thursday, November 8th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Friday, November 9th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 12th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, November 13th: Books Before Bedtime
Wednesday, November 14th: @sarahandherbookshelves
Thursday, November 15th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Friday, November 16th: What is That Book About – excerpt
Monday, November 19th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, November 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, November 21st: Blooming with Books
Monday, November 26th: Splashes of Joy
Tuesday, November 27th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Wednesday, November 28th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, November 29th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Friday, November 30th: View from the Birdhouse