Best cat training books and guides in 2021
In our article on dog training books, we looked at some of the best books for training your dog to become an obedient and well-behaved furry friend.
But what about cats?
The general view most people have about domestic cats is that cats are independent, temperamental and hence cannot be effectively trained. While it is true that these intelligent and independent creatures have unique personalities and cannot be placed on a leash like a dog (well, most of the time), you can still train your favorite cat to be an obedient and well-behaved domestic companion.
In this article, we look at some of the best cat training books and guides available in the market. These books will help you with useful advice, tips and tricks to successfully manage cat (or cats) as pets. Most of the options we share are also available in Kindle version as indicated in the list. We will also share some of our favorite picks. Moreover, we would list out some of the feline-focused online resources that you would find extremely useful. So, buckle up and read on!
Best cat training booksSome of the best books that can help you in training your cat (or cats) are listed below:
|Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat||Kindle|
|- This comprehensive guide to cat care and training is authored by renowned cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett.|
- In 425 odd pages, the book is filled with useful information and guidance on how to train your cat from kitten-years to adult age using behavior modification and play therapy techniques.
- An excellent resource for handling the common feline behavior issues,
- Especially useful for cat owners with multiple young cats or kittens.
- The current edition was published in Sept, 2011.
|The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide||Kindle|
|- This practical guide is authored by bestselling cat experts John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis.|
- In long 350 odd pages, the book covers all aspects of cat training. Has detailed information on scientific aspects as well as some easy-to-follow instructions to keep you and your cat happy during its lifetime.
- The current edition was published in Sept, 2016.
|Naughty No More||Kindle|
|- This basic primer on clicker training is authored by Marilyn Krieger, a leading clicker-training expert.|
- In short 150 pages, the book covers how you can train your cat to be obedient and disciplined around the house using positive reinforcement techniques and clicker training.
- The current edition was published in Jan, 2011.
|Your Cat: The Owner's Manual||Kindle|
|- This feline-behavior focused book is authored by a renowned veterinarian and TV personality Dr. Marty Becker with contributions from Gina Spadafori of "Dogs/Cats for Dummies" fame.|
- In 310 odd pages, this book gives an easy to understand information on cat behavior and is filled with useful solutions to the most annoying behavior and healthcare problems in cats.
- The current edition was published in May, 2012.
|Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest||Kindle|
|- This recently published, unique outdoor adventure guide for cats is authored by Laura J. Moss, the co-founder of popular website AdventureCats.org.|
- This Traveling with Pets bestseller covers all aspects on how you can train your cat to enjoy the outdoors - hikes, camping and sailing. Even covers how to leash the cat and prevent it from wandering while outdoors.
- The current edition was published in May, 2017.
|Cat Training in 10 Minutes||Kindle|
|- Another clicker training guide authored by Miriam Fields Babineau.|
- In 140 odd pages, the book covers specific, easy-to-follow instructions to use clicker methodology to train your feline to learn to do simple tricks.
- The current edition was published in Sept, 2003.
|Cats for Dummies||Paperback|
|- This book, written in the popular "Dummies" format is authored by Gina Spadafori and Paul D. Pion.|
- The book covers all aspects of owning a cat, right from how to choose a cat, how to familiarize it to domestication and how to ensure proper upkeep and health. Even has useful tips on how to travel with your feline companion.
- The book follows the excellent Dummies style and filled with side-bar information and appendixes in the 22 chapters spread across 400 odd pages.
- The second edition was published in July 2000.
|Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)||Kindle|
|- This unique and interesting guide on household modifications is authored by famous TV personality Jackson Galaxy along with Kate Benjamin.|
- Filled with over 400 colored illustrations, in 300 pages, the book guides cat owners on how to create smart, functional living spaces for their pet.
- A useful buy for multi-cat homes and DIY enthusiasts.
- The current edition was published in Oct, 2014.
|The Total Cat Manual||Kindle|
|- This recently published, tips and tricks guide is co-authored by David Myer, Abbie Moore and Dr. Pia Salk of adopt-a-pet.com.|
- In 220 pages, the book covers the basics of feline-training, understanding your favorite pet and how to provide effective health-care to your feline friend.
- The current edition was published in Oct, 2016.
|The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do||Hardcover||- This cat-behavior focused book is authored by Mieshelle Nagelschneider who presents her unique C.A.T behavior modification plan to handle common feline behavior issues.|
- In this book, the author presents practical and effective advice to handle feline care and behavior related issues and turn your furry friend into an obedient companion around the house.
- The current fourth edition was published in March, 2013.
|The Cat Owner's Manual||Kindle|
|- This illustration-rich cat training manual is co-authored by popular veterinarian Dr. David Brunner and famous author Sam Stall.|
- In 220 pages, this book provides useful beginner advice and easy to follow instructions to major challenges associated with cat upkeep. Also useful for multi-pet owners.
- Filled with illustrations and schematic diagrams for easy understanding.
- The book was published in Aug 2004.
|Clicker Training for Cats||Paperback||- This short primer on clicker training for cats is authored by one of the first proponents of this training method, Karen Pryor.|
- In short 80 pages, the book covers basic information on how you can use positive reinforcement techniques to train your cat from kitten years to adulthood. Filled with lot of anecdotes and stories.
- The current, 2nd edition was published in July, 2003.
How to pick the best cat training books?
Picking the best cat training books for your cat (or cats) is similar to how you would pick any other pet training guide. The best cat training guide is the one which fulfills most of your requirements, is filled with information that is easy to read and follow.
Without going into too much detail, the major factors you should consider while picking the best cat training guide or guides are listed below:
- Primary purpose: Think about what you are looking for in the guide. If you are looking for a complete understanding of the training process, you can go with the popular The Trainable Cat or Think like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett. On the other hand, if you are specifically looking only for easy-to-follow instructions and want to teach some basic tricks to your cat, you can look at the Naughty No More or similar guide. And if you are looking something specifically for outdoor travel, look no further than Adventure Cats by Laura J. Moss.
- Format of the book: While most of the books that we list are suitable both for beginners and experienced people, some books are written specifically for beginners and are filled with short chapters, sidebar information, and appendixes. If you are a beginner, you may find such guides more suitable for your needs. Cats for Dummies is an example of such books.
- Reviews and Ratings for the book: The popularity of the author and the book sometimes a good indicator of how the book turns out to be. Check out the reviews on Amazon and platforms such as GoodReads by other readers to determine its suitability.
- Publication year of the book: Like all other training guides, books published in the last ten years are generally more suitable than the books written earlier because of the changing lifestyles and advancements in feline care.
Top cat training books
Think Like a Cat
Very few pet training guides successfully amalgamate training advice with behavioral science. This book, Think Like a Cat by the renowned cat behavior expert and trainer-par-excellence Pam Johnson-Bennett is such a book.
The book, at 420 odd pages, is pretty long for a training guide. However, believe us, every page is a worthy read. It is filled with useful information and advice on how to pick the most suitable breed, how to feed your pet and how to train your feline friend right from kitten-years to adulthood.
The book is also an excellent guide on how to handle difficult behavior problems by using play therapy and behavior modification techniques. Moreover, if you happen to own multiple cats or other pets, you would find this book especially useful. And if that is not all, the book has some great insights on handling cat emergencies and first aid as an appendix in the end.
Overall, Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–Not a Sour Puss is a must buy for all serious cat owners- both experienced and beginners and is our Top Pick for best cat training guide.
Here is what some of the popular experts and reviewers have to say about this book:
- Think like a cat–it’s a tall order but sound advice in a fun book full of expertise and compassion, wisdom, and promise of great cat-filled years to come.
- An insightful and easy-to-follow tour of the land and language of felines. Even experienced owners will benefit from this book. She’s the queen of cat behavior!
- If you have a cat, buy this book. If you know someone who shares their home with a cat, buy it for them!
— Roger A. Caras
— Steve Dale, author of My Pet World
— Mark Waldrop, DVM, Nashville Cat Clinic
The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide
If you are an academic-minded person, who is not only interested in guidance on how to train your cat but also delve into the science around cat behavior, training and care, then The Trainable Cat is an excellent book for you.
The book is authored by Dr. John Bradshaw (author of New York Times bestsellers Cat Sense and Dog Sense) and Sarah Ellis, both renowned experts in the field of cat behavior.
At 350 pages, the book is pretty detailed and covers the insights on physiological as well as psychological aspects of training a cat. A lot of scientific information is also sprinkled around along with specific instructions on how you can train your cat to be active, healthy and obedient and free of behavioral problems.
The only complaint you may have with this book is that it is a little wordy and heavy on content and hence may not be fit for people who are just looking for a guide with step-by-step instructions to follow for teaching tricks to their feline friend.
Overall, The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat is our Top Pick #2 for cat training guides.
Here is what some of the popular reviewers have to say about this book:
- …John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis are experts in feline behavior, and together they bring clarity to a vastly misunderstood topic. Cat training can help cats lead happier lives alongside the people who love them. And it’s fun! Read this book. Your cat will thank you.
- Interesting premise…. The goal here is not to get your cat ready for the Big Apple Circus, but to make it easy for you to get your cat to do all the things many cats resist: swallow a pill, go to the vet, take a bath, or stop trying to disembowel your new cat….
- …This is a must-read for all cat lovers who are interested in providing the best life possible while building a deeply trusting partnership with their feline companions…
— Julie Hecht, MSc, author of the Dog Spies blog on Scientific American
— New York Times Book Review
— Miranda K. Workman, Canisius College
Naughty No More
If you are a beginner cat owner and looking for an easy-to-follow guide that can help you ensure proper upkeep of your cat and teach it a few tricks, then this book is just for you.
Naughty No More is authored by Marilyn Krieger, a leading clicker-training expert and proponent of positive reinforcement techniques, and published by BowTie Press.
In short 150 odd pages, the book covers how you can follow clicker training principles to improve the feline-human bond and manage common cat behavioral issues. In addition, you can follow the instructions in this book to teach your cat how to be obedient, follow your commands and handle vet visits and travel.
Naughty No More is our Top Pick#3 for best cat training guides.
Here is what some of the popular experts have to say about this book:
- Cats love clicker training…. This book can make a better life for your cat and a happier cat in your life.
- I recommend Click Your Cat to Better Behavior to cat owners who are training novices and to anyone just starting out in clicker training.
- Krieger presents sensible, easy-to-follow training solutions for the major issues that vex cat owners [in this] well-thought-out, delightfully written training book that belongs in the library of every cat lover.
— Karen Pryor, author of Reaching the Animal Mind
— Bob Bailey, animal trainer
— Alexandra Kurland, author of The Click That Teaches
Your Cat: The Owner’s Manual
Your Cat: The Owner’s Manual is another great primer, targeted mainly at beginner cat owners but works equally well for experienced folks. The book is authored by Dr. Marty Becker, the veterinary contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show with contributions from Gina Spadafori of “Dogs/Cats for Dummies” fame.
In 300 odd pages, the book covers all aspects of feline upbringing and care, starting from how to pick the best breed for yourself to how to provide a caring environment from kitten-age to adulthood and handle common cat behavior issues.
The book even has some great advice on Financial Planning to ensure you are not overwhelmed financially while taking care of your feline friend. Moreover, the book has some unique suggestions and advice on feeding your cat and teaching your cats a few tricks.
Here is what some of the popular experts in the field have to say about this book:
- The book is written in a highly engaging and entertaining style, sprinkled with a dose of humor, which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.
— Ingrid King, ConsciousCat.net
Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest
While the other top picks focused on how to make the life of your beloved cat comfortable in a domestic environment, our final pick is something that aims at getting your feline friend out to explore the wilderness, or sail with you on your next trip.
Published in 2017, this unique book is authored by authored by Laura J. Moss, the famous co-founder of AdventureCats.org and is filled with a lot of anecdotes and photographs of felines enjoying outdoor activities, along with some solid advice and training.
In 220 pages, the author covers all aspects of training your cat to enjoy outdoors starting from determining if your cat is ready for outdoor adventures to how to train your cat using clicker training to follow your lead and stay safe and healthy while in the wilderness. The book even contains instructions on how you can leash your cat and handling first-aid and emergencies during adventure trips.
Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest is our Top Pick#5 for best cat training guide. This book is an essential buy for cat owners who want to take their feline companion along on outdoor trips.
Here is what some of the popular feedback on this book:
- An excellent training guide for any level of outdoor fun.
- Simply the most extraordinary book about cats that I have read in decades.
— Library Journal
— Frank McMillan, Director of Animal Well-Being Studies at Best Friends Animal Society
Breed Specific Cat Training Guides
Most of the options that we have listed above are generic cat training books suitable for almost all cat breeds. However, if you are looking for breed specific resources, then you can check the following list. We have compiled this list based on a survey of cat owners, experts and behaviorists:
|Siamese||Siamese Cats: Complete Care Guide to Siamese Cats||Kindle
|Persian||Persian Cats – The Complete Owners Guide||Kindle
|Maine Coon||Maine Coon Cats – The Owners Guide||Kindle
|Ragdoll||A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide||Kindle
|Bengal||Bengal Cats and Kittens: Complete Owner’s Guide||Kindle
|Abyssinian||Abyssinian Cats: Complete Pet Owners Manual||Kindle
|Birman||Birman Cats: The Complete Owners Guide||Kindle
|Sphynx||Sphynx Cats – The Bald and the Beautiful||Paperback|
|Devon Rex||Devon Rex Cats and Kittens||Kindle
|American Shorthair||American Shorthair Cat||Kindle
|British Shorthair||British Shorthair Cats: The Complete Owners Guide||Kindle
|Himalayan||Himalayan Cat Owner’s Manual||Kindle
|Russian Blue||Russian Blue Cats as Pets||Kindle
|Burmese||Burmese Cats: The Pet Owner’s Guide||Paperback|
In addition to the best cat training books listed above, there are some feline-focused websites that can provide a lot of useful information, advice, tips, and tricks for your feline friend. Some of our favorites are listed below:
- Cat Behavior Associates: A favorite place for feline lovers. Well-known author and world-renowned cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett and other experts share advice, tips, and tricks on keeping your cat hale and healthy.
- The Conscious Cat: Another popular website by award-winning author Ingrid King. Features articles on cat health and nutrition, training and upkeep. In addition, filled with a bunch of beautiful feline pictures and stories.
- Simon’s Cat Blog: The blog section of British animator Simon Tofield’s escapades with his cat through an animated cartoon series. Filled with some interesting information presented in a unique entertaining format.
- Way of the Cats Blog: Yet another blog by Pamela Merritt filled with a lot of training and behavioral advice for cat owners. Especially useful for multiple cat homes.
Final thoughts on the best cat training books
In this article, we listed out twelve popular books for proper upkeep of cats, authored by some of the best trainers and feline behaviorists in the world. These books provide invaluable information on how to train your cat throughout its lifetime. We also listed out our top five picks, based on the quality of all-round information that these books provide.
Just like any other pet training materials, no single book is sufficient and you may need a combination of resources- both online and offline to successfully manage your cat to be your beloved pet.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you pick the best cat training guide or guides for your needs. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, have a great time with your beloved feline companion!!