You CAN Train Your Cat: Secrets of a Master Cat Trainer and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 12.26
  • List Price: CDN$ 16.99
  • You Save: CDN$ 4.73 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
You CAN Train Your Cat: S... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

You CAN Train Your Cat: Secrets of a Master Cat Trainer Paperback – Oct 13 2009

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 12.26
CDN$ 5.08 CDN$ 4.64

Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping for Six Months When You Join Amazon Student

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 Original edition (Oct. 13 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312565283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312565282
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.7 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #565,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gregory Popovich and his performing cats have appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Night With David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, America’s Got Talent, Pen and Teller, Animal Planet and more.  He has also trained cats for Saturday Night Live and pet food commercials, and has been written up in Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker and People Magazine

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Part I
Laying the Groundwork for a Long, Happy Life Together
The Connection Between Humans and Cats
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
The feline we know as the domestic cat or housecat has cohabitated with humans since long before the dawn of recorded time. Whatever it is that sustains the mutual attraction that first spurred this partnership, it has continued to this day. Perhaps the explanation is that humans and cats were made for each other.
There is evidence from a genetic study that the direct ancestors of today's domestic cats broke away from their wild counterparts and began living with humans more than 100,000 years ago. The study's coauthor, Stephen O'Brien, chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National CancerInstitute in Frederick, Maryland, remarked about the housecat's special character. "The felidae family is well known as a successful predator--very deadly, very ferocious, very threatening to all species including humankind," he said. "But this little guy actually chose not to be that. He actually chose to be a little bit friendly and also was a very good mouser."
Good news for it. The bearlike saber-toothed tiger has been extinct for thousands of years. The clever little housecat is thriving. Estimates indicate there as many as 600 million of these creatures in the world today.
A question arises: Who made the first move in the bonding between cat and human? What drew this curious subspecies of feline toward the fires and shelters of human settlements?
Knowing the independent nature of cats, it is likely that they initially sought out the company of humans, not vice versa. And what, exactly, did these upright, two-legged, rather naked creatures have to offer their much smaller, four-legged and furry, fellow mammals?
The explanation is simple: farms. Early agricultural settlements were infested by rodents attracted by grain stores. The mice and other vermin, in turn, attracted cats. And the cats--being lethal hunters--garnered the gratitude of the farmers. The partnership deal likely was sealed by the cats' openness to establishing permanent residence in the farming communities, partaking of shelter and food offered by human settlers in return for their mouser duties. But we shouldn't ignore two other appealing qualities: the relative ease in caring for pet cats, and cats' affectionate manner toward their human providers.
ONCE THE DOMESTIC CAT had made its move to live alongside humans, it has been this unique animal's fate to have been venerated as well as vilified, depending on the period of history.
In Egyptian civilization, founded on the grain harvest, the cat gained godlike stature. Many Egyptians owned cats, and when a pet cat died, families customarily shaved their eyebrows in mourning. Cats were mummified and buried in special cemeteries. Killing a cat was a capital offense, even if done accidentally. The sight of a dead cat could cause people to flee from the scene--fearing they'd be implicated in the crime. Egyptians were so fond and jealous of their cats that they sent missions to neighboring lands to buy cats that had been illegally exported. But such programs could not contain the popularity of cats inside any one nation's border; the animal's usefulness in catching rodents, as well as cats' suitability as pets, guaranteed their eventual spread around the globe.
The Romans, conquerors of Egypt and much of northern Africa, southwest Asia, and Europe, discovered that cats were more effective at controlling vermin than the ferrets the empire builders had been using. And so the Romans introduced cats throughout their expanding realm. Sailors and traders found cats to be perfect for controlling populations of rats on ships--and so cats traveled the oceans and seas to more distant lands.
As in Egypt, cats gained status in many religions. But that proved a liability to this popular pet as Christianity took hold in the Roman Empire. Church officials wanted to abolish paganism. Their efforts made cats a target for a crusade to change people's perceptions about these widely worshipped animals. By the middle ages, the popular perception of catshad shifted from veneration to vilification; common folk considered cats to be cunning creatures, and associated them with witchcraft. Strays were hunted and killed under the belief that they could be used in pagan rites, or even be witches in disguise. The lingering superstition that a black cat brings bad luck stems from this medieval belief. In some locales, the killing of a cat became part of an official public holiday program, to symbolize the banishment of the devil.
Throughout the ages, cats have proved useful to humans in numerous ways--including as mousers, companions, and even objects of religious devotion. They also have been targets of superstition.
A woman, full of anxiety, approached a well-known dermatologist and asked, "Doctor, is it true that you can make warts disappear forever by burying a black cat in a cemetery under a full moon?"
"Hmm," said the doctor, adopting a pensive look, chin in hand. "Well, yes. This result would be a certainty--providing the warts were on the cat."
Fortunately, such inhumane cruelty is rare in modern times. Today, cats' age-old function as mouse hunters continues in agriculture. Researchers have calculated that in one year, one mouse-hunting cat can save ten tons of grain from mice. Science may have no better substitute as a controller of vermin. But cats' usefulness to humans has extended beyond being rodent killers. Some people ardently believe that cats are psychic.
Reports have come from around the globe of cats predicting natural disasters. For example, officials ordered the evacuation of Haicheng, China, in February 1975 following reports not only of seismic activity but peculiarly anxious behavior of cats and other animals. A magnitude 7.3 temblor struck a few days after the evacuation of the city of 1 million. Stories have been recorded of cats hiding or trying to escape the house, or of mother cats dragging their kittens to safer spots, before humans were aware of impending storms, floods, or volcanic eruptions. A legend from World War II (never confirmed by scientific study, as wartime resources were needed elsewhere) holds that cats could predict air raids by their fur standing on end before a siren wailed.
But scientific explanations surely can be discovered for why cats may be able to sense incoming aircrafts, earthquakes, or thunderstorms before their human masters know what's coming. In relation to sirens, perhaps cats hear distant sound waves or feel vibrations before we humans do. As for storms, electrical discharges in the atmosphere can send electromagnetic waves that saturate the air with positive ions, and which can act on chemical substances in the brain. (Some people suffer headaches during these periods.) Cats may be more sensitive than we are to these ions. Similarly, cats may be more attuned to gases that emanate from a volcano before it erupts. As for detecting earthquakes, cat paws are very sensitive, and perhaps can feel very slight earth tremors as they build.
Whether cats are more sensitive to environmental cues--or actually are prescient--the fact remains they often seem able to sense coming disasters before we humans can.
ONE PARTICULAR ROLE in which housecats excel is in their companionship with their human masters--providing their owners sheer comfort and pleasure just by coexisting with them. One possible explanation is that humans are hardwired for parenting, and relate to pet animals as helpless children, tapping into the emotional fulfillment that comes from parenting. Pets also are known to lower their owners' blood pressure. My late mother, who was plagued by hypertension in her latter years, told me that when her cat curled at her feet, her stress dropped and she felt deep relaxation.
Dr. James Serpell, director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, at the University of Pennsylvania, has written that keeping a pet reduces the number of the owner's visits to the doctor, lengthens survival following a heart attack, and wards off depression.
IT IS OBVIOUS TO ME that the ancient bond between cats and humans will continue for the rest of civilization. As founder of the World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, I have a closer relationship with cats than do most people. My silent communication with cats has allowed me to train them to perform consistently on stage. My connection with cats is very well developed, and I credit this skill to my careful tuning in to these animals' abilities to understand us, and to perceive their environment. Most people are unaware of just how sensitive cats are. I myself continue to be astonished by my own cats' intelligence and sensitivity from time to time.
In fact, I've even come to suspect that an intelligent cat can read its owner's thoughts. One day I was working at my computer at the kitchen table, and decided I would skiplunch and continue typing away. I uttered nary a word about this decision. Within seconds, my cat Martin--a small but feisty gray mix--appeared at my feet. I realized he was begging for a piece of cheese from the refrigerator--whose door I had resolved not to open. I'd occasionally given him this sort of treat at luncthime. Sure enough, Martin ran to the fridge the moment I stood up, as if he were expecting the tasty morsel (which he readily received and devoured).
Yes, Martin is keenly perceptive. Another example: He hates riding in the car. Whenever my wife, daughter and I prepare to leave the house for a ride and decide to take Martin, he foresees this and disappears--usually under a bed. What is especially odd is that we began using code words about leaving, to avoid alerting him. We even used Russian and French, but the result was the same. Perhaps Martin understands not only simple human speech but its undertones? Or--as I've proposed is possible--could he actually read minds?
I've heard countless similar stories from friends. One has claimed that his tomcat can divine his mood even before my friend enters the house. If my friend is in a happy mood, the tomcat will meet him in the hall. If my friend is in a foul humor, his cat is nowhere to be found the moment his master steps inside the door.
Is this telepathy? One thing I know for sure is that cats possess powers of perception that demand serious scientific study. Another thing I know is that the strangeness and uniqueness of cats have endeared them to humankind since the beginning of our inter-species friendship, all those millennia ago.
The mysteriousness inherent in these wonderful creatures may go a long way toward explaining our love for them.
A "Purr-pourri" of Random Cat Trivia
* Cats have keener senses of smell than dogs. In the British Army, during World War I, cats were used for early detection of poison-gas attacks in the trenches. On submarines, cats were used to detect gas leaks.
* European shorthaired cats are considered the best defenders of grain against rats and the mice.
* Cats share a trait with giraffes and camels: They are the only animals that walk first with their left feet, then their right feet.
* Cats greatly love fresh air; therefore a window in the house should always be kept open, if possible.
* Cats sleep approximately 18 hours a day. Newspapers, with their soft, warm texture, are one preferred surface for cats.
* If a cat seems finicky about its food--sniffing it then turning away--consider how long the food has sat in a bowl. A cat's nose performs the role of thermometer.
* The darkness of the spots on a Siamese cat's fur depends on the climate in which it lives. In colder regions, the spots are darker. Siamese kittens are born with all-white fur, since the temperature in the womb keeps the spots from growing dark.
* A Japanese magazine featured the photograph of a tomcat that had traveled 100 kilometers to return to its masters, with whom he had lived since he was a kitten. After several years, a daughter in the family took the cat with her when she moved to a new home. But the cat disappeared the very day of his arrival at the new place. A year later, he showed up at his old home, filthy, bedraggled, and having lost a kilogram of weight.
* Cats can succumb to many illnesses that plague humans, including diabetes, pleurisy, cancer, stomach ulcers, and obesity.
* Stress is a known contributor to a number of diseases, and one treatment for lowering stress levels in patients is acquiring a pet cat. Doctors in the United States have prescribed this remedy.
* Scientists have found that cradling a cat can lower a person's blood pressure, and temper an angry mood.
* Cat lovers may find this shocking, but some people are afraid of cats. This isn't necessarily because of superstition (such as the medieval association of cats with witchcraft and the devil), but because these people suffer from a documented psychological condition: ailurophobia. They may fear getting scratched or bitten, and may break out in sweat, grow short of breath, or even grow hysterical at the sight of a cat.
* Those familiar with cats know that when a person consciously tries to ignore a cat, the cat is prone to approach and even climb up on the poor soul. Famous sufferers of ailurophobia even include two men celebrated as great warriors: Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte.
YOU CAN TRAIN YOUR CAT. Copyright © 2009 by Gregory Popovich. All rights reserved.For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Just when you thought it wasn't possible, then this book comes along! We saw a TV clip about a man who trained cats and has a show in Vegas. Well, we had to get the book just out of curiousity alone. But, the things we saw him do in his show with his furry friends - it was amazing! The book looks to be very interesting and I hightly recommend it to any cat lover, or animal lover!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By ColNap on Oct. 17 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in Brand NEW condition and quite quickly.The book itself has a writing style that is easy-going and informative. The author has a way of including important facts about how to take care of and train your cat in a very casual writing style.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
False Advertising? Oct. 15 2009
By D. Roberts - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author of this book has an act with cats performing tricks, and the title of the book is You Can Train Your Cat.

The problem? There are only two pages of ideas for some simple cat tricks; the rest of the book is some mildly interesting information about his life, and how to get your cats to use the litter box, nutrition, introducing new cats to your house, etc. In other words, another book about cat care.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Lovely and informative book Aug. 2 2011
By E. Volkova - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not so much about making your kitty a stage performer, but more about taking care of the cat, bonding with it. The reading is entertaning and dynamic. I think, it's very useful to read with the kids or to give to the older kids to read before bringing a cat home.
The only statement in the book that rubs me the wrong way is that Gregory states that he is the first creator of cat theater and the first cat trainer in the world. That what he does has never been done before. Which is simply not true. I saw his show in Las Vegas and bought his DVDs. I think he is wonderful. However, he follows in the footsteps of another great cat trainer, Yuri Kuklachev, who started his cat act about 20 years before Popovich and had about 120 cats perform on stage whereas Gregory has 16 cats.
Other then that, great, funny and very useful book. Loved it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Lilli Winston - Published on
Format: Paperback
Like many people I did not hear about the book author untill I went to see the show. My little one was extatic to hear that there I got a tickets to a cat show and she thought it will be a "cat show".. and when I told her it is going to be actual acting and real theather she went gaga.
I saw few cat performances and so did she before seeing Popovich's act.
We have been to many cat shows that had some cat food companies organized gigs with cats, then we also cought a show at Key West with the crazy cat guy at the Sunset pier. I used to think of them as really great performances as I know how difficult is to make a cat to do anything, let alone do it in public with people cheering and all the comotions..

When I saw the Popovich show I was totally mesmerized. So many cats, and cats performing so many fantastic acting just like actors in theather, working in groups, rescuing animals from fake fire building - hilarious acting between cats and dogs, riding in the train with conductor animal.. all acrobatics and all beautifully staged production in real theather on real stage where animals were real actors..

I was amazed and I knew I wanted to know what Mr. Popovich has to say about cat training. I consider any other source inferior to someone who actually can do animals and cats to do what he can do. I also understand that nobody can have better credentials to do so not only because his own lustrious achievement and daily performances but also becuase he cames from generations of cat trainers. He simply must know something that he is doing impossible.

What I also loved is that the cats did not appeared stressed, starved like those in Key West, and did not appear doing things out of fear of punishment and were NOT forced to do their acts. They seemed trully enjoy the acting and they felt like pro having fun doing it.

The cats definitely seemed happy, well fed and well loved and taken care of.
Considering the fact that those were all animals adopted from local last chance animal shelters I would say that this is very admirable act to help those animals who were otherwise sentenced to die.

All kitties were really happy looking fellows and you wanted to cuddle all of them. They appeared to have great sense of manners and their surroundings at all times. It is amazing how far Mr. Popovich could make a cat to appear to understand and coopearate as another human being. He treats them as humans and you can see the mutual love as they clearly love him back.

I recommend this book because no human lives forever and this incredible guy is sharing his and his ancestors secrets of training the most intrainable animal of all so my take is that it is a great opportunity to learn something from a genius in the field. I did read many books on cat training before but knowing that those other expert can not come anywhere near close with Popovitch experience brings his words to different level.
I simply consider him experienced professional who writes from first hand experience in the extremaly challenging situations, therefore he clearly knows what he is talking about.

The book contains tons of useful and very simple and straight forward no nonsense and no fluff information. It is no accident that there is lots of information on a proper cat care and proper animal setting as this is a key for any further animal cooperation with human. If the basic needs are not need or overlooked, then animal just like human won't cooperate in feeling your needs for tricks. Also all those advices that are included will help you to make sure that you treat your cat as cat should be treated with all needs being meet as there are lots of different schools and ideas of what is right and wrong comes to cat everyday care and this book sets them apart and shows you the right way.

We got this book a short while ago and we are just starting with training and all works just as described. It is amazing how easy it is when you know what you are doing and when you do it right.

Thank you for sharing the family secrets Mr. Popovich! Show was wayyyyyy cool!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful insight into the feline mind Oct. 27 2009
By Sidney's mom - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have a much better understanding of my cats after reading this book. The author talks a lot about how to establish good behavior from the start since cats are creatures of habit, and how to correct bad behavior by not giving into it. I definitely picked up some useful hints and tips from this book. There's also a truly excellent picture of a cat eating a hot dog in this book. It's pretty amazing and worth buying the book just to see this crazy picture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful tips and more on cat psychology June 18 2013
By Khrystsina - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I decided to buy the book because I went to Gregory Popovich's show on Long Island. The way he trained his cats really impressed me, so I wanted to find out what his secrets are. The book concentrates on cat psychology most of all. It is not boring, and you can read it very quickly. Unlike other books about cats that I read that were filled with terminology, this book is very simple and easy to read. In fact, Popovich uses his own stories to demonstrate how cats should be treated. The book helped me to understand some interesting aspects of cat psychology that I am using on my cats now. For example, I had no clue that some cats (like mine) refuse to eat canned food unless it is a certain temperature. Gosh, I thought he was just spoiled (which he is :)! So now 12 seconds in the microwave, and my kitty eats his canned food without issues!

Look for similar items by category