An Introduction to Responsible Private Captive Husbandry of Wild Felines by Dawn Simas and George Stowers. This booklet is available in two forms. You can buy one from Wild About Cats that includes an overview of all non-endangered small feline species as well as general husbandry information. Another version without the species information is mailed free to all new Feline Conservation Federation members.
Feline Conservation Federation newsletter. Detailed newsletter sent bi-monthly to all FCF members.
Dr. Jona Jordan has a manual on the care of small wild felines. To order, drop a check in the mail made out to Touch the Jungle.
Dr. Jona Jordan
9014 Argonne Way
Forestville, CA 95436
Donít Shoot the Dog is a training classic written by dog trainer and former marine mammal trainer Karen Pryor. Contrary to what the title suggests, this book is not a dog-training manual. Itís a wonderful guide to how humans and animals learn, and how to shape their behavior. Donít Shoot the Dog is a must-have for any potential or experienced serval owner. It focuses on using positive reinforcement to shape behavior, and thereís also a superb section on the 10 ways to get rid of unwanted behavior. Pryorís positive approach to training is perfectly suited to working with felines (especially undomesticated ones), as they do not respond well to coercive training methods.
The second book on your reading list is Excel-Erated Learning by Pamela Reid While this book is written for dog trainers, the learning principles apply to all species. Reid explains in plain English how animals learn, making scientific-sounding concepts such as operant conditioning and counterconditioning easily understandable.
Clicker Training for Cats, by Karen Pryor is a simple and fun overview of clicker training with lots of good advice for feline owners.
To advance your clicker-training skills, pick up a copy of Click for Joy, by Melissa Alexander. This dog-training guide is easily adapted to feline use.
The Cat Who Cried for Help, by renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, discusses case histories of domestic cat behavior problems. It is enjoyable reading and offers help with many of the problems you might face with a serval.
Anyone faced with a serious behavior problem should invest in a copy of Pet Behavior Protocols, by Suzanne Hetts. This overpriced but valuable book is written for animal behaviorists and veterinarians. Hetts provides detailed, humane, and effective instructions for working with a wide range of dog and cat behavior issues. It costs less than a trip to a behaviorist or a new couch!
The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson is a dog-training book containing an excellent discussion of the importance of socialization and how to do it. Early socialization becomes all the more critical when you are dealing with a non-domesticated animal. Even if you never plan to expose your cat to the public, the socialization sections of this book may change your mind.
Fear Less; Real truth about risk, safety and security in a time of terrorism, by security and threat analysis expert Gavin de Becker. Contains valuable insights on techniques used by the media to sensationalize news, and helps put fears in perspective. The most reassuring and levelheaded book Iíve had the pleasure to read.
Wild Cats of the World, by Mel and Fiona Sunquist contains photos and information backed by studies on all wild cat species. Great reference book.
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