In the introduction of the book Mieshelle discusses what the definition of a cat is. She states cats are confident and relaxed, sociable and secure. A cat is his/her own being. They are not valued as much as dogs, because of a misunderstanding on why cats do what they do. This includes when cats act out with inappropriate behaviors. The sad truth as a result of this lack of understanding, cats end up in shelters, abandoned or euthanized. However, according to Mieshelle, there is behavioral help for cats where medications is for the most part NOT necessary (there are exceptions though, which are discussed in later chapters of the book). When you change the environment, you change the cat’s behavior. The bottom-line is “you can’t make a cat do what you want, but you can change your own behavior slightly to get a result that will make both of you happy” (p.8).
Throughout the introduction, Mieshelle discussed how she would observe and interact with feral felines starting at a young age. She gained much experience trying to get to know these feral felines. During one such experience, she learned the art and meaning of slow-blinking. As a result for her love for cats, Mieshelle became a vet assistant which led to cat-sitting. While cat-sitting, she discovered that cat owners were in need of solutions to cat behavioral problems, this led to her current love of being a cat behaviorist.
The lesson she learned throughout her experiences with thousands of cats and clients throughout the world, in helping them solve the behaviors of their cats was “that the unwanted behavior is often a result of something the owner has done or is still doing”(p.22). The owners need to take full responsibility for their cat, the environment and the solution to the behaviors.
When I first read the introduction chapter, it was quite a pill to swallow. I had to reread the part on p. 22 about the owner is responsible for the cats behaving as they are. I absolutely LOVE my cats. They are my children and I believed I was doing the best for them. The reason I have turned to this book is for the following: As I stated earlier, I have four cats. Zippy is currently on a Nuturecalm collar for over-grooming issues and anxieties. Wolverine can only have home visits from the vet due to aggressive behaviors. Snoopy also has issues where she stays in the bedroom. Biskers is a cat that enjoys hanging out in the man cave (my normal one). To aid in the solving of the behavioral issues displayed by Zippy and Wolverine I have decided to delve into this book and put aside my pride and try these solutions.
Summary: Introduction of The Cat Whisperer