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The Complete Cat's Meow: Everything You Need to Know about Caring for Your Cat Paperback – Apr 1 2011

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“The veterinary and health information is exactly right. The pictures are super cute. The book is easy to read and will be easy to use as a quick resource. You NEED this book. You will love it, and you will learn about and appreciate your cat/cats/cats-to-be even more than you already do.” —Shawn M. Finch, DVM, 

“I have read a lot of cat care books in the almost three decades I’ve spent either caring for cats, working with cats, or writing about cats. When I picked up The Complete Cat’s Meow, I honestly didn’t expect to learn anything new. I was wrong. Not only did I learn a few new things, but this guide truly stands out in the genre.” —Ingrid King, Pet Connection 

“Arden's new book provides cat people with everything they need to keep their cat healthy, happy, and bonded with them for life. She debunks cat myths and provides information to make life better for person and cat. If you get one cat book, this should be it.” —Nancy Marano, Petroglyphs

From the Back Cover

The all-in-one resource for cat owners

"This is a book to be treasured by every cat lover—and we are a legion. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute."
BETTY WHITE, actress and author

Do you consider your cat a valued member of the family? Do you want to ensure you're giving your beloved feline friend the very best possible care? Then this all-in-one cat care guide is for you!

From grooming to litter box issues to nutrition and much more, The Complete Cat's Meow covers all the bases for successfully raising and caring for kitties. It also shows you how to introduce a new kitten to other pets, handle behavioral problems, and make life comfortable for cats of all ages.

Whether you're a veteran cat owner or thinking about adding a feline to your family, The Complete Cat's Meow is your one-stop guide to comprehensive cat care.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 38 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Best Cat Book Ever April 22 2011
By Diane M. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darlene Arden's new book, The Complete Cat's Meow, deserves the accolade, "Best (and most 'complete')Cat Book, Ever." It is beautifully written, clear, concise, and jam-packed with solid, sensible advice, beginning at the 'beginning' with a chapter on newborn kittens and how they grow. Following are chapters on how to choose a cat; getting ready for the cat's introduction into the household; and sections on understanding the feline mind; feeding; health care; concerns unique to felines; emergency situations; overviews of popular cat breeds; and activities and training (incuding a section on therapy cats). Yes, you can train a cat! Everyday life with cats is thoroughly covered, from kittenhood through old age. All of this is done in a genial, non-preachy, reader-friendly style and is illustrated with photos. Numerous information boxes emphasize points of interest, such as subtle signs of illness and neutering/spaying. The book winds up with two appendices. The first is "Shopping for Your Cat" -- great fun! The second is a list of useful resources, including websites and books. At the end is a well-thought-out index. I am a credentialed veterinary technician, and I recommend this book to both neophytes and experienced cat owners. There's something here for everyone. I love this book.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Complete and Charming May 2 2011
By Susan Conant - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darlene Arden's loving and enthusiastic guide to cat care is both comprehensive and delightful. Even the most practical, down-to-earth chapters sparkle with humor. Especially notable is Arden's emphasis on the feline need for human companionship and on the consequent importance of interactive play with cats. This is the perfect book to help all cat owners, veterans and newcomers alike, to appreciate cats and to provide cats with the best possible lives. Highly recommended!
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Pet Food for Thought Feb. 17 2013
By Juli Viars - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I generally do not write book reviews because most of the time someone else has done a great job conveying my thoughts. I find no purpose in writing a redundant review. After purchasing The Complete Cat's Meow , I knew I had to make a couple of comments. Throughout my ongoing quest to learn as much about best nutritional and health practices (keeping it as natural as possible) for my four legged family members, I have purchased several books. While Arden's, The Complete Cat's Meow, has lots of general info and is easy to read, a couple of things stood out that I just could not overlook as critical misconceptions or misinformation on the part of the author.

First, on page 100 Arden states that dry, crunchy food "may help keep kitty's teeth clean." Jean Hofve, DVM says, "Let's get this one straight once and for all: dry food does not clean your cat's teeth!" In my research I have discovered that vets, homeopathic and conventional, agree that dry food is not a good diet for any of pets. Dry pet food is just that... dehydrated (10% or less moisture)... hence very little water, which our pets need! Low water consumption for our cats is a problem we face already without exacerbating the problem with dehydrated food. According to [...] a few problems with dry cat food include, but are not limited to, low moisture, high carbohydrate, protein from plant rather than animal sources, and overconsumption. Arden acknowledges some of the problems with feeding dry food, but touts that reading the label can help ensure a good dry food choice. The problem with that is pet food labels are very difficult to interpret and there are no good DRY food choices. Dry food should never be the animal's primary food source (Anitra Frazier, The Natural Cat).

Secondly, Arden attempts to reassure the reader that commercial pet food is safe for pets based on research, past and ongoing, performed by pet food companies. She states that pet food companies can afford to hire veterinary nutritionists to conduct studies on cats fed various commercial pet foods. Anyone, whether they have taken a basic statistics class or not, can see the problem with this right away. UGH! Arden also states " sure to choose one from a reputable company..." Arden denotes reputable as a pet food company with the AAFCO's stamp of approval. Let me explain the AAFCO's role in pet food production and sales. I'll share information from Dr. Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats" (pg 16-17). Here's what Dr. Pitcairn has to say: "The usual standard is that set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) which `is a private advisory body whose members are representatives of individual state and government agencies, the US Food and Drug Administration and other federal and foreign agencies that share responsibilities in the regulation of animal feed.' Like me, you likely assumed that pet food is regulated as to quality by organizations like this, right? AAFCO, however, has no input as to the ingredients actually used in pet foods, as it has no enforcement authority and does no analytical testing on pet food or the source of protein, fiber, or fats used. Feeding trials, which are done for some (not all) of the foods are `either run by the company itself or by a contracted facility, and the company then attests to the results.' "Even more disappointing, as Ann Martin reports in her book, Food Pets Die For, acceptance of even the AAFCO's standard of quality (yikes) is not universal." Further, Dr. Pitcairn states, "Some of the food you buy might say `USDA inspected.' But the point to realize is that the inspection was to determine if the food was suitable for human consumption. What was not edible was put into pet food. So it is incorrect to think that because the food was inspected, what your pet is eating is of high quality. It actually means the opposite-that because it is inspected, your dog or cat is eating the discarded remnants." I will spare you the gory details of what really is in a lot of our commercial pet food. If you are serious about the health and nutrition of your four legged family members, I highly recommend Dr. Pitcairn's book to you. It is harder to read, but well-sectioned so you can traverse the book as you need help in various areas.
Next, I'll mention that Arden suggests that free feeding (which implies using dry food) is acceptable for some cats (pg 104). Free feeding encourages overeating and a host of other issues such as food addiction, kitty bullying, laziness on the part of the pet companion (temptation to leave uneaten food out for long periods), and bugs. When it comes to free-feeding, I just have to ask myself if I would eat food that has been left uncovered, exposed to dust and dirt and whatever else is floating around in my house. Food left out gets stale and loses it palatability and possibly whatever nutritional benefits it might have had. I can't believe I ever did this to my kitties. I completely understand her point about leaving food out for cats to eat as their energy needs dictate, but seriously, our housecats are not hunting for food using up energy. One thing is for sure, we do better when we know better.

Finally, anyone who needs help finding quality commercial pet food should check out This very valuable website rates commercial dog food (both wet and dry). The website belongs to Dr. Mike Sagman, graduate of the Medical College of Virginia and a dental surgeon in Williamsburg, Virginia who lost his little four legged girl unnecessarily. He has made the commitment to "save good dogs from bad food" by informing consumers about the quality of commercial dog food. His ratings are unbiased and he states the advantages and pitfalls of the analyses. Although he does not currently rate cat food, I make the leap that a company that cares about the quality of its dog food, hopefully cares about their cat food products the same. I also note that just because Dr. Sagman rates dry food, I still discourage its use unless combined with water and other plant and animal sources of high nutritional value. It's a place to start anyway.

Books I recommend:
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats
Anitra Frazier's The Natural Cat (published in 1981, but has been updated to current findings/research)
Andi Brown's The Whole Pet Diet
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Missing Owner's Manual May 21 2011
By Ramona D. Marek - Published on
Format: Paperback
Darlene Arden's book, "The Complete Cat's Meow" is just that. Written in an interesting and easy to read style, it is chock-full of useful information for the first time owner and the life-long owner alike. Arden's knowledge and expertise about cats is apparent but so is her deep love and respect. I learned something I didn't know: "cats and people have identical regions of the brain that are responsible for emotions."

With chapters covering topics from litter box issues, training (yes, training your cat!), de-bunking myths, healthcare, playtime, and much, much more, there is absolutely no reason why humans and felines cannot have a happy, successful relationship. If owners read this book more cats would stay with their families and fewer would be relinquished to shelters.

If you own a cat or are considering a cat, "The Complete Cat's Meow" is the perfect owner's manual.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very Informative, a joy to read! May 20 2011
By D. S. ROGERS - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was so easy to read, I finished it in a few hours. It is so very informative and I thought I knew all there was to know about cats, I was wrong!

The book was a joy to read and the resource section is awesome! It is one that I will refer to over and over again.

Highly recommend this book for all cat owners.

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