Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review:"The Complete Cat's Meow", ("everything you need to know about caring for your cat") By Darlene Arden

I thought I  pretty much knew everything there was to know about cats. After all, I was owned by my Angel Bobo for 18 years and now Cody for 4. That's 22 years of being owned by a cat. When I see some books that are reference books or guide books for cat owners I smugly think, "I don't need this". I bet there are many long time cat lovers/owners out there who feel the same.

 Guess what? YOU NEED THIS BOOK.

Did you hear me? No? Let me say it again...YOU NEED THIS BOOK.

"The Complete Cat's Meow" by Darlene Arden is just that. COMPLETE. I have found nothing in my cat reading travels thus far that compares. You ask, "Is it THAT good?"

"Good?" Make that...SUPERB.

 Whether you are just a fan of cats or are  contemplating bringing a cat into your home for the first or 50th time, this book should be your bible.  It is now mine. I am giving it a place of honor  on my desk in my office, where it will function as my handy "go to guide" for anything and everything pertaining to cats.

Never being one to write the title of every chapter of a book that I review (you can go to Amazon for that, as well as to purchase this book, that you MUST purchase), what I WILL do is let you know a little bit of what I learned after having read this highly informative (in a totally non-boring way), 222 page, gem.

About handling and socializing a cat: "male kittens, especially, don't like to have their tummies touched, so they have to be acclimated early on."

About kitty proofing your home: "once a cat begins to swallow something, she can't stop. This is because kitty's tongue, which is so good at giving you sandpaper kisses, has tiny hooks called papillae that help her clean her fur, hunt and eat. However, the catch is that those little papillae all point toward the back of her throat making it  just about impossible for kitty to spit out things like string and yarn."

About cat poisons: "bowls of potpourri are toxic for cats"

About kitty litter: "before the invention of litter, people who kept their cats mainly indoors put ashes into a box for their cat. When cat litter was invented by Ed Lowe in 1947, the whole idea of cat ownership changed."

About cat trees: "if you have a multicat household, the one who always goes to the highest level is the one who probably has higher status in the family."

About food and water dishes: "cat dishes need to be wide and shallow. A cat's whiskers are very sensitive and cannot be crammed into a deep bowl. It's more natural and comfortable for a cat to eat and drink from flat, wide dishes. Keep the word DISH in mind, not BOWL when shopping for kitty."

About creating a first aid kit: "you will need sterile gauze, tweezers, scissors, petroleum jelly, hydrogen peroxide...." (and many other items that you will have to read about when you purchase this book).

The above is just a sampling of a myriad of information that "The Complete Cat's Meow" contains. Once again, to see the complete table of contents and to purchase this must-have for any cat lover, soon-to-be-cat-owner or lifelong cat owner, visit Amazon

It was my pleasure to be afforded the opportunity to read and review this informational buffet. "The Complete Cat's Meow, everything you need to know about caring for your cat" by Darlene Arden, couldn't be more aptly named. It takes you through the entire journey of cat ownership.  There are adorable photos about halfway through the book and....are you one of the people who don't usually read the appendix in the back? Ohhh you will want to read Appendix A and B in this one! That was an extra bonus! (As if this book needed MORE bonuses!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darlene Arden is an award-winning writer, lecturer and Certified Animal Behavior Consultant. She is the author of The Irrepressible Toy Dog (Howell Book House), Small Dogs, Big Hearts (Howell Book House)  (just to name a few). Darlene has written hundreds of articles and columns for all of the major cat and dog publications, as well as for newspapers and general interest publications. She is a former contributing editor to Cats magazine. A former director of the Cat Writers' Association and longtime member of Dog Writers' Association of America, Inc. Darlene is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Maxwell Award, the Muse Medallion and more! She is also a popular and acclaimed speaker, lecturing widely on wellness for pets. Darlene's passion for helping animals live longer and better lives shines through in all she does. Her goal is always the same--to enhance the lives of dogs and cats.

The Complete Cat's Meow (Howell Book House, 978-0-470-64167-5, April 2011)

To purchase click here

I was not compensated in any way for this review other than I was contacted by the publisher and sent the book to review. It was certainly my pleasure to have done so.


  1. Sounds purrty good...
    Benny & Lily

  2. It is catabulous!!!!
    Snuggles back at ya! I am headed off to bed....FINALLY! xoxoxo

  3. Sound Interesting Book! Caren
    I don't like Tummy touch by mom but I'm dying for my dad to rub it.
    Lots of things you high light look like a unique book. Thank you for your reviews

  4. Aunty Caren,
    Great review. We'll get some copies and give to people who want to adopt cats. purrr....meow!

  5. Don't beat around the bush, Caren. Tell us what you really think! lol. Will look out for it. Thanks. x

  6. CAREN....sounds like a great book; thanks for mentioning it.

  7. Ooh sounds like a very wise and practical book for kitty owners!! Thanks for the intro and the review! Take care

  8. @Mr Puddy, Bobo never liked his belly rubbed but Cody loves it! I am thinking that the rescue that had Cody before I adopted him socialized him and worked with him (which is also in the book) to make him like it! Glad you liked the review! xoxo

    @Old Kitty, it is amazing. Simply amazing! You are welcome! xoxo

    @Au and Target it is!

    @Carolyn, sorry that is how I am :) I am super enthusiastic about things that I like and believe in. Some of my other reviews have been less than enthusiastic. When something surpasses my expectations and I review it, I want to give credit where credit is due! xoxo

    @Cat-from-Sydney, when you buy it I would love to hear what you think of it! I know you will love it!

    @Diane it is! You are welcome! :)

  9. I'm a dog person, do I have to read it???
    Well, why not, right???

  10. It sounds like we need this book! We will have to check it out!

  11. Oooh, I'z gonna stand on da mousiepad til Mommy puts dis wun in her Amazon cart! (U can never noes too much abowt takin' propurr care uv us kittehz, after awl... :)) Fanks fur da pawsome info, Miss Caren!

  12. Okay - M says she's sold. She'll get a book today.

  13. I don't get to read much with a diva kitty and 3 boys but I will definitely check this one out!!! Sounds great!

  14. That is such a good review, we will put it on our must read list too!!!

  15. This looks like a wonderful book! I don't think we humans who are owned by cats can ever learn enough from others on how to best take care of them.
    Thanks for the recommendation.

  16. @Priscilla, actually you don't! lol. If you go to and look up Darlene Arden...she has written LOTS of books and guess what? They are almost all about DOGS! Bet they are as good as this one! xoxo

    @Brian thanks so much! I KNOW you are going to find it to be quite useful.

    @Bloggin this one is worth it. Because it is also kind of a "guide/reference" book it is something you can read in bits and pieces and refer to when you need it. It isn't a story and it is worth having on hand for all cat owners as one-stop-shopping reference guide

    @Mario tell "M" thank you and please have her tell me what she thinks of it when she gets it!

    @GlamKitty you are most welcome! Thank you for your enthusiasm!! I hope you aren't standing on the mousepad right now! :)

    @The Monkeys yes, we all need this book! Let me know what you think of it, ok?

  17. @Wendy you are soooo right! That is true! I am glad that you enjoyed it! Thank you!

  18. I just recently met Darlene via facebook and am very much looking forward to reading her book. Like you Caren, I thought how much more could I possibly learn about my cats - as it is, I have had a small army of army of them throghout my life. But, when I did a quick browse of the book through the peek option on Amazon, I was very pleasantly surprised with what I saw and wanted to read more.

    It looks to be very informative, but very easy to read as well. And lets face it, you can never learn too much about the glorious feline species.

    XO - human Deb on behalf of Zee & Zoey's Chronicle Connection

  19. Very beautiful introduction! Thank You very much for this information!

  20. This does sound very interesting. We kitties are a mysterious species, so I can see where something like this could come in handy to a human.

  21. I do get that attitude about dog books/articles that are almost identitcal to each other but then I find one that teaches me something new and renews my interest in learning again.

  22. Sounds like a great book!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  23. @Deb, that is exactly how I felt at first. Then when I started the book I was completely drawn in. It IS very easy to read which oftentimes this genre isn't. I hope you enjoy it!

    @Oskar it IS a great book!

    @Bailey perfect way to describe it! BTW this author has numerous dog books as well!

    @Link there are soooo many practical tips, myths that have been dispelled, all sorts of things. It is a MUST read!

    @Amin THANK YOU! So glad you liked it!

  24. Hi, thanks for the information on the
    Cat's Meow book. I have two picks left on my Doubleday book club and was planning on getting a book on cat's.

  25. Sounds like a great book! Your reviews are always great!!

  26. Sounds good, Caren! I will definitely check it out!!

  27. p.s. I just listened to/read your bizchick interview, and wanted to say congrats! I would love to see you come out with a humor book! It's a shame that your family and close friends aren't more supportive..they don't know what they're missing! xo

  28. Thanks for this great review, the book looks very interesting!
    purrs and love
    Luna - WE LOVE LUNA

  29. sounds like a good one... will have to add it to my list...

  30. @Eileen you are welcome! I am sure you will love it, let me know!

    @Hilary it is a great one!

    @Luna you are welcome and thank you! It is a fabulous book!

    @Catsparella awwww you are the SWEETEST!! You are always so kind and I thank you!! I need to get off of my lazy butt and start thinking of one :)You will LOVE this book, I know you will! xoxo

    @Fin it is a wonderful book, you will love it! I hope you get it. Thanks much about my reviews, I enjoy doing them!

  31. We're definitely getting that book for Mommy so she'll understand us better.

    ~Slash & Bronzy

  32. @Slash & Bronzy I am so happy to hear that! Please let me know what your Mom thinks of it! xoxo

  33. Hi Caren: This does sound like a great book. I learned about the dish preference when Sebastian continually pulled his food out of the bowl with his paw. I thought he just liked feeding the dog from the counter! lol ~Judy =^..^=

  34. @Judy Hi! Great to see you! OMG it IS a great book. The dish thing totally blew me away. As it turns out I have all the WRONG dishes for Cody and it appears I always have! lol about Sebastian liking to "feed the dog from the counter"

  35. You've convinced me, I'm looking forward to getting the book. Sounds great! :)

  36. What a great book! Lots of information I wasn't aware of. I have a friend that just loves loves cats and would love this book. I will have to tell her about it. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Mommy said she loves books about us. The ones that are too basic, no. But from your review she feels like she'll get this one.
    xoxox to you and Cody.

  38. oooh this sounds like a great book, what a wonderful review!

  39. Oh Cod! required reading for my Human, for sure! Starting with that whole dish-bowl thing! Maybe it's why outdoor kittehs always drink from puddles n stuff instead of their water dishes!

  40. I could write this book in my sleep. But it would have a lot of swears. So, probably for the best that Darlene Arden beat me to it. Depending on whom you ask.

  41. @Julie let me know what you think of it!

    @Amin thank you!

    @alonewithcats, good to see you here! Yep you COULD write this in your sleep lol...I think you should write the "censored" version...would be quite interesting! (((hugs))))

    @Spitty you know what? You just made me think. Cody always prefers to only drink out of Dakota's big stainless steel bowl rather than his own. Why? Probably the whisker thing! Never thought about it til now. Duh. I keep giving him water in small BOWLS, rather than "dish type" bowls! You are right!

    @Kritters that Twitter,thank you! It is! You would love it!

    @Admiral Hestorb, yes this one is FAR from just basic. This is a cat lover's bible as I mentioned. Yep I think this is a MUST HAVE for you and The Admiral...much love to you both from Cody & I!!

    @Denise it is sooo good! Your friend would love it I am sure! There was TONS of info that I wasn't aware of and I have owned cats for half of my life! :)

  42. I just got this book earlier this week. Darlene Arden is such an awesome lady. I was really looking forward to reading this book and even more know that I've read your review. One can never know enough about caring for our precious little felines ;-)

  43. Great review! Sounds like a good book.

  44. i really like cats and its useful to me you view about cats! i like to know how long cats live.