Cat Dependent No More


Cat Dependent No More: Learning to Live Cat-Free in a Cat-Filled World

Submitter: I am a brand new reference librarian, and I am weeding non-fiction for the first time. The non-circulation of this gem, as well as the frightening, seemingly oiled cat image, caught my attention. At first I thought this was a mis-catalogued humor work; I found it in the self-help 150s, but no, it truly is to be used…for some human need that I cannot imagine. Please note the author’s use of “Dr”.

Holly: This is bizarre!  I think it must be satirical.  The author’s other works include What Color is Your Kitten?, The Purrsueders, and A Fur, Fur Bitter Thing.  The book’s first chapter, which can be read on Google Books, does seem to make fun of the self-help industry, acknowledging that it is lucrative and that you can make a “disorder” out of almost anything.  It’s unclear to me if the author really believes in cat co-dependency, or if he just wanted to write a profitable self-help book.

Mary:  I might be cat dependent.


  1. Wow, I have this book. My grandmother sent it to me down here in Brasil about 6 years ago. I have never read it because I thought it was sent to make a point since I have 3 cats. Maybe I’ll go track it down and see what it’s really about.

  2. There is a car in my neighborhood with a bumper sticker: “Pets are not the answer.” I often want to leave him a note asking him (I know it’s a him because I’ve seen him as I walk my dog…the irony!) what the answer IS. Maybe he is the “Dr.”

  3. The problem with the idea of codependcy with a cat, is that a cat could generally care less about you….unless she is hungry.

  4. Love it! I am forwarding this blog post to my sister! The librarian in me thinks it’s a satire on Beattie’s “Co-Dependent No More”.

    Personally, I am dog dependent. They’re like potato chips.

  5. I could use this book. I work at an animal shelter, and cats are like crack to me. I need them. Thankfully my two would never let me get a third, otherwise I might turn into a crazy cat lady with fifty of them.

  6. I’d be interested in looking at that book. Looks like it was meant as a send-up of Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More, but maybe it really is meant seriously. Either way I’d like to actually see it. Or the reader in Brazil could track it down and write us a report.

    Written with a cat on my lap

  7. “could care less” vs “couldn’t care less” – proponents of either side might like to see the Language Log posts on the topic, the most recent of which was http:/ November 2010.
    It is a blog I am as unable to do without as ALB 🙂

    That cat-dependent book *must* be a joke. Reader-in-Brazil, we need your input!

  8. My first thought was that it’s a serious book aimed at people who “hoard” cats . But then I realized that people who have hundreds of cats overrunning their homes usually don’t think they have a problem, so it’s probably intended to be a humorous book.

  9. Leigha… I think Karen means you can’t stop with just one! You need more and more and… well, I’m sure you get the picture!!

  10. This is intended to be funny. No doubt whatsoever. And, it succeeds, if the cover is any indication.

  11. Our five cats say that they are not “Monkey Dependent”, but do find us quite useful at times.

  12. Ha! This is absolutely a satire of Codependent No More. The writing style and little checklists and bullet points are taken straight from Melody Beattie’s book. Definitely a humor book.

  13. I certainly HOPE this is a joke – my husband and I have willingly taken in 6 cats (not all at once – gradually over time) over the past 3 years of our marriage, while we’re at the point where we just can’t take in any more strays or go to the shelter, we are comfortable with the amount we have and we are able to care for them and keep our home fresh and clean. Having as many cats as we do, though, seems to shout to the world, “Feel free to make snide and/or snarky comments about me being ‘crazy’ or rudely infer that our home must smell bad all the time!”


  14. People! This book is a set of parodies of “self-help” popular literature as it stood in 1990 plus a knock at several popular books like “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for His Hat” lampooned by substituting “A Cat” for “His Hat”. Even Derrida’s Deconstructionism takes a hit in the chapter involving “Continental Litter Area Theory”, a field derided by some as “Compost Modernism” a/k/a taurine fertilizer shoveling. The author was a writer/editor for the Utne Reader who daringly even took hits at his employer thinly disguised as the “Whatme? Reader” (The Utne Reader was the Left’s version of the Readers’ Digest but not as interesting: is it still publishing, anyone?). Drug Dependent No More is the title being parodied; brilliantly from reading Cat Dependent one can extrapolate and reconstruct what the parodied target’s basic thesis was.
    I’m surprised that many of the posters haven’t caught on to Cat Dependent No More’s being a parody of self-help circa 1991. I bought a copy upon seeing it at first sight and may have bought it as an Xmas present for my leftist sister with five cats (Puss, her 4 kittens, 2 grandkittens, son/husband, daughter/sister in law, etc. One of the cats was its own aunt; she had all 5 of them repaired). Drug depended No More I think was the actual book the cover parodied.
    I had expected this book to become enormously popular but alas it skewered too many popular things–something to offend everyone at least once. Also cat-agorizing it must have been a problem. Too many shelf stockers and librarians putting it in the self-help section.
    There is a famous book of a similar type by Thurber & White, I believe. “Is Sex Necessary?” written in 1927 or so. It was a parody of the books on sex that were published in the 1920’s that were a prominent feature of that liberated decade. That there were such sex books is now largely forgotten (people aren’t well read anymore) leaving modern readers to puzzle at Is Sex Necessary, tho’ the chapter “What Children Should Tell Their Parents about Sex” sort of gives it away. (A useful thing nowadays if children DID tell their parents more about sex: a lot of trouble might be avoided!).

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