Scholarly yet passionate… nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends… fascinating
– Chris Cox, Guardian on DOG SENSE
From John Bradshaw, one of the world’s leading experts on animal behaviour, and the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, In Defence of Dogs, Cat Sense is a scientific portrait of the true, surprising nature of cats
Worshipped as gods, feared as demonic servants, seen as both wild opportunists and beloved companions, cats often seem as unfathomable, enigmatic and magical to us today as they did in ancient times. They have lived with humans for at least ten thousand years (far earlier than the reign of the Pharaohs), and today are the most popular pet in the world. That they now outnumber the dog, man’s ‘best friend’, by three to one, is small wonder: at once affectionate and self-reliant, they seem to be perfectly suited to our busy 21st Century lifestyles. Yet cats still think like the wild scavengers and hunters from which they are descended - and to which they can quickly revert. Today, they face unprecedented challenges in their life with humans: from conservationists who cast them as a threat to wildlife; from other cats who they compete for territory with; and from good-intentioned owners and vets with misconceptions of what they require.
Cats need not so much our sympathy, but our understanding, if they are to continue to enjoy our companionship. The recent surge in feline science - with John Bradshaw at the forefront - means we are now better equipped to understand them than ever before. Cat Sense offers us for the first time a true picture of one of humanity’s closest and most enigmatic companions.
John Bradshaw is a biologist who founded and directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute, based at the University of Bristol. He has been studying the behaviour of domestic dogs and their owners for over 25 years, and is the author of many scientific articles, research papers and reviews, which have not only shed new light on the dog’s abilities and needs, but have also changed the way that dogs are understood and cared for all over the world. Intent on understanding every aspect of the relationship between man and his “best friend”, the domestic dog, his research has ranged from studies of why guide dogs are less well accepted in Japan than they are in the West, to how gundogs learn how to track their quarry. John firmly believes that the future of the dog lies not simply in the blunt instruments of legislation and regulation, but with better public understanding of what dogs actually are, their needs and wants.