Patrick Scrivenor

Cataholics & Catophobes

The Trainable Cat: How to Make Life Happier for You and Your Cat


Allen Lane 325pp £20 order from our bookshop

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer


Princeton University Press 212pp £18.95 order from our bookshop

These two books appear at a time when Larry (the Number 10 cat, in the tabby and white corner) and Palmerston (the Foreign Office cat, in the black and white corner) have made headlines by fighting like ragamuffins all over Downing Street. They are billed as ‘mousers’, but surely what Westminster needs is a really good ratter. What it needs even more is some advice from John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis, who have filled three hundred pages with sound advice on training cats.

Training cats is nothing new. Lions and tigers have been trained for centuries to do unlikely things – jumping through hoops of fire, for instance – and have only occasionally eaten their trainers by way of revenge.

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