Monday, February 9, 2015

Arden Moore's New Book *Fit Cat: Tips and Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.*

One of the best things about being a veterinarian and writer is that I often get to cross paths with very cool people.  And there is probably no one cooler than my friend and colleague Arden Moore.  The supremely talented Ms. Moore takes multitasking to an entirely new level.  She is a radio show host, podcaster, dog and cat behavior consultant, editor, speaker, entertainer, educator, and pet first-aid instructor.   Let’s not forget author extraordinaire.  She has written many many books, including The Cat Behavior Answer Book; Happy Cat, Happy You; The Kitten Owner’s Manual; Planet Cat: A CAT-alog; 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Cat; and Understanding Your Cat: Practical Answers to All Your Behavior Questions.  That’s just some of the cat stuff.  She’s written just as many dog books.

Today I was the lucky recipient of an advance copy of Arden’s newest cat book, “Fit Cat: Tips and Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life." First of all, it’s an attractive looking book, with some really cute cats and kittens on the cover.  Somehow, Arden manages, in just 200 pages, to thoroughly cover nearly everything you’d need (and want) to know about keeping your cat physically and mentally healthy and happy.  Check out the scope of these 14 chapters:

· How Healthy is Your Cat? – discusses how to recognize health issues in your cat and what might be the best medical treatment.  She talks about the importance of working with your veterinarian as a team, which makes me happy, of course.
· Knowing Your Cat – here Arden shifts to a cat’s emotional and instinctive needs, delving into the cat’s ancestry, to get a better appreciation of what cats are really all about.
· Grooming and Hygiene – a clean, nicely groomed cat is a happy cat, and this chapter explains how to brush their coats, trim their nails, brush their teeth (very important, but certainly underrated), and how to give the dreaded bath.
· Food and Nutrition – a hot topic in veterinary medicine these days.  In this chapter, Arden covers what to feed cats, and how to feed it to them.  You’ll learn how to read a pet food label, the do’s and don’ts of feeing treats, the dangers of obesity, and how to cook food for your cat as an occasional special treat.
· Tackling Behavior Problems – to me, this is where Arden really shines.  She really understands the feline mind, and she explains the motivation behind many of the cat’s weird behaviors, and the solutions when they get out of hand.
· Basic and Advanced Tricks – here’s where the fun begins.  In this chapter, you’ll learn that dogs aren’t the only companion animals that like to ham it up.  Cats can learn tricks, but you have to use a little kitty psychology to get them to do it.  Arden explains exactly how to manipulate their little minds.
· The Indoor Life – as a veterinarian, I was pleased to see Arden devote a chapter to this topic.  The latest research has shown that the boredom and monotony of indoor life is a stressor that can have medical implications.  For example, it is now widely accepted that urinary tract inflammation is more likely to develop in indoor cats that experience little mental stimulation.  This chapter clearly explains how to make an indoor cat’s environment interesting and exciting.
· Litter Training – peeing and pooping outside the litterbox is probably the most common behavioral issue that I have to deal with in my veterinary practice.  It’s also a common (and heartbreaking) reason for people to relinquish their cat to a shelter.  This chapter talks about all aspects of the litterbox experience: type of box, size of box, hood vs. no hood, types of litter… you name it, she covers it.
· Traveling with your cat – cats are homebodies and are not thrilled with the prospect of traveling.  In this section, Arden gives practical tips on how to make travel, whether by land, sea, or air as safe and stress-free as possible.
· Pet First Aid – this is Arden’s true area of expertise.  She’s traveled around the globe, training thousands of pet owners in the vital task of handling your cat’s medical emergency until veterinary care becomes available.  The information in this chapter can truly save your cat’s life.
· Socializing – a happy cat is one that is healthy both physically and mentally.  Understanding how cats interact with other cats, dogs, and humans helps cats become socially well-adjusted, and become better pets for it.
· Budgeting – I’m impressed that Arden has addressed this issue.  Food, litter, toys, and veterinary care have increased in price over the years, making owning a cat a potentially expensive proposition.  This chapter provides suggestions how to keep the costs of cat ownership under control, and reminds readers of the potential benefits of having pet insurance.
· The Early Years – nothing brings more joy to a household than fluffy little kitten.   Starting life on the right paw is crucial.  This chapter addresses all of the issues:  behavior training, kitten-proofing your home, the importance of veterinary care at a young age, and the all-important spaying and neutering.
· The Senior Years – cats are living longer than ever before.  Senior cats are a major part of my veterinary practice, and this pleases me greatly.  I love elderly cats, and I am constantly amazed at how gracefully they age.  The final chapter of this book addresses how to recognize the signs of aging, the importance of twice-yearly veterinary exams, the subtle signs of senility, and the joys of adopting a senior cat.

I loved this book and I know that all cat owners will find it an enjoyable and informative read.
The book is just about 200 pages long, the perfect length to cover the important topics for a cat’s health and welfare. The book is lavishly illustrated with beautiful photos of kitties.
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