Book title: 277 Secrets Your Cat Wants You to Know: A cat-alog of unusual and useful information
Author/s: Paulette Cooper & Paul Noble
Published: Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California, 1997
ISBN: 0-89815-952-0

"277 Secrets..." is a 238 page book absolutely packed full of everything you have ever wondered, never pondered or haven't cared about pertaining to cats. Sectioned into 33 purrfect chapters (sorry, couldn't resist), the book answers some of the following questions:

  • Is marijuana bad for your cat?
    "The marijuana plant is related to catnip, so, in theory, it shouldn't be damaging for your cat. But in fact, it can make them hallucinate, possibly have seizures- and even die." (p2)
  • Okay, so we know you shouldn't get your cat stoned, but just say you do and it gets the munchies: what should you feed it?
    "Moist food is the tastiest, but the highest in fat and cost..."
    "Semi-moist isn't as smelly as moist food, but is also high in fat and is expensive..."
    "Dry food is least tasty for your cat, but the best for his gums and teeth and is the cheapest... A mixture of the foods is the best." (p88)
  • How can I get my cat to jump through a hoop?
    "Put your cat on a chair next to a chair with your cat's favourite food on it. Your cat will jump across to the food. Over a few days, move the chairs farther and farther apart, and she'll still jump across. Introduce a hoop, holding it steady between the chairs, and your cat will jump through it!" Yes, good luck there.
  • Are cat bites more dangerous than dog bites?
    "Cat's bites have a tendency to become infected as cats have fine, needle-like teeth. Almost 50% of cat bites get infected as the bacteria is injected under the skin, unlike dog bites which bleed more, washing out the germs more easily".

Along with the witty puns (the word "cat-alog" in the title is indicative of the high standard), this fun and educational book is an excellent read for cat owners or those contemplating buying a new furry pal. It looks at cleaning, toilet-training, travelling, behaviour, relationships, dangers, hobbies, games... everything cat-related. Everything: Each page could be a whole new node (but I'm not about to do that!).

Some cat trivia from the book:

  • The average commercial cat meal is the equivalent of five mice, nutritionally
  • Cats can donate blood to other cats
  • Cats scratch not to sharpen their claws but to shed the sheath of the old claws, like sharpening a pencil, which keeps the claws healthy
  • There are 62 million cats in America; up to 25 million may be homeless
  • 99.99% of calico cats are female
  • Cats have a similar number of bones to humans: most are in their tails
  • Outdoor cats commonly live 5 to 10 years, feral cats live around 1 to 2 years, and indoor cats reach 16 or 17. The oldest cat recorded lived to 36.

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