As experts in writing about the subject of fabulous felines, the members of the Cat Writers’ Association have definite opinions when it comes to what makes a good book about cats. We asked some of CWA’s award-winning published authors and writers to name some of their all time favorite cat book classics, as well as what it takes to make a “”great”” book about cats. Here’s what they had to say:
According to Kim Thornton, “”I like cat care books that contain anecdotes from many other cat owners or that include a number of veterinarians as sources or writers. Because cats are so individual, I think it is important to have input from a large number of experienced cat people to get a really well-rounded view of the subject.””
Thornton says that her lists of all time favorite books includes The Cornell Book of Cats, by Mordecai Siegal, The ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats, by James R. Richards, DVM, and The Cats of Thistle Hill, by Roger Caras. “”I like the first two books for their depth and breadth of information and the last for its beautiful writing,”” she said.
Karen Commings, author of The Dog Lover’s and The Cat Lover’s Survival Guides (Barron’s, 2001) also lists the Siegal’s The Cornell Book of the Cat, among her favorite cat books because; “”It’s a ready reference for cat care information from some of the most knowledgeable people in the country.””
Wendy Christensen, co-author of the HSUS Complete Guide to Cat Care, says, “”My favorite cat books are those that offer a distinctive voice and a deep understanding of the feline nature along with their practical advice.”” Her list of favorites include The Body Language and Emotions of Cats and CatSmart, by Myrna Milani, DVM, The Tiger in the House, by Carl Van Vechten, The Fireside Sphinx, by Agnes Repplier, (both which she lists as “”classics””) and The Tribe of the Tiger, by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
Susan Easterly, winner of the 2001 CWA President’s Award and author of Guide to Handraising Kittens, says she considers the “”bible”” of cat information Siegal’s, The Cornell Book of Cats. More of Easterly’s favorites include The Body Language and Emotion of Cats, by Myrna M. Milani, DVM, Maverick Cats, by Ellen Perry Berkley, Pet Care in the New Century, by Amy Shojai, Shelter Cats, by Karen Cummings, and The Cat Who Came for Christmas, by Cleveland Amory.
CWA was founded in 1991 and is dedicated to providing news, information, and education on all aspects of cat care and welfare, as well as improving the quality of writing about cats. CWA provides members with networking opportunities and encourages professionalism and communication among cat writers, photographers, artists and broadcasters.