________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 9. . . .November 1, 2013


Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends.

Rob Laidlaw.
Toronto, ON: Pajama Press, 2013.
64 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-927485-54-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-927485-31-6 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Cats-Health-Juvenile literature.
Animal welfare-Juvenile literature.
Animal shelters-Juvenile literature.
Voluntarism-Juvenile literature.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

**** /4



Feral cats are also called barn cats, wild cats, or alley cats. A feral cat is a free-roaming cat that is lost, abandoned, or born and raised in the wild. Feral cats are usually afraid of people and will run and hide if they are approached. Most feral cats hide in daylight and come out to search for food in the evening. While life can be hard and short for feral cats, some become quite successful at making a living.

A stray cat, on the other hand, is a lost or abandoned pet that is not especially afraid of humans. He may hang out in places where people live or gather. Sadly, some pets are abandoned when their owners move, lose interest, or decide a cat is just too much bother or expense.


Laidlaw, author of No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs, now provides a book that will empower youth to help homeless cats. The book is divided into six chapters, beginning with the World of Cats. The first pages include information on cat breeds and famous cats (Simon the war cat). Alley and shelter cats are featured next. Cat Champions (children and teens from North America and China) describe how they raise money or awareness for homeless cats. The colour photographs show the children interacting with the animals in their home or a shelter. Sun Shibo is only seven-years-old, but he dances and sings at Pet 100 parties. The money raised goes towards a trap, neuter, and release program. Other children have used their talents to create promotional materials for rescue groups, or to socialize cats that are not used to being touched. Attractive sidebars contain tidbits of information that will be of interest to cat lovers. Itís here you can read about the cats on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Black Cat Syndrome. The remaining chapters are about fostering and adopting cats. New owners are reminded not to declaw their cat and to think about whether their cat should be an indoor or an outdoor cat. The author lists the reasons someone might want to adopt an older cat and what to do to ensure their new cat finds its way home if it is lost (microchips, license tags). An index and resource guide (cat protection and information websites) can be found on the back pages. This book worked for me. I contacted my local humane society today, and I shared with them some ideas in this book. I also suggested partnership with the local library for a Kitten Holding Time program.

Highly Recommended.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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