Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Cat From...

Image courtesty of

Most cats surrendered to animal shelters arrive for the same reason...bad behavior. Perhaps they won't use the litter box, tatter furniture, or even scratch and bite their people. Not the kind of scenes that evoke warm and fuzzy feelings. And sadly, at most shelters, Kitty Convicts reside in abundance.

Finally, someone has come along to help undo the damage. Jackson Galaxy, a tattooed mountain of a man, looks more like a motorcycle gang member than a cat whisperer. Yet he works the same magic on felines that Cesar Millan does with troubled canines. Galaxy appears on the Animal Planet show, "My Cat From Hell." I've watched a number of episodes now, and seen hissing and snarling wild things become contented lap cats. What are his feline training secrets? Whip and chair? Haz-mat suit and tranquilizers?

No. It's really quite simple. With a strong knowledge of cat behavior, Galaxy teaches people.

Here are a few of his tactics:

1. Cats feel more powerful and less stressed when they can travel up to observe their world from a perch high above. Give them a way to climb to the top and back down again in a natural flow.
"Ahhh, I am now ruler of  my world!"

2. Cats are natural hunters. Get play toys that give them the chance to do what they're meant to do, and use them. A tired kitty is a happy kitty.

3. Provide plenty of litter boxes kept scrupulously scooped. If kitty has an accident, make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. No covered litterboxes, please. In addition, if you've set the environment up well (see number 1), kitty won't feel the need to mark his territory.

4. Cats must scratch something. Provide plenty of attractive scratching posts, both vertical and horizontal. Focus on putting them beside areas kitty has proven he/she likes to scratch. A little catnip incentive doesn't hurt, either. Voila! It's kitty happy hour!

5. Be sure your cat is spayed/neutered. Raging hormones create as many behavior problems in cats as they do in teenagers.

These are only a few of Galaxy's suggestions. Every time I see the show I learn something new, as he assigns his prescription "homework", then returns to check on progress. It's fascinating to watch.

I hope anyone who is experiencing troubles with their feline will tune in and see what they can do to improve the pet/guardian bond. Don't worry. Even if your cat is angelic, you'll still unearth a nugget or two of wisdom.

We bring animals into our homes and usually expect them to behave like people. Much as we may think  otherwise, critters aren't human beings. They have a different genetic makeup and different instincts. Yet it only requires a few adaptations for everyone to have a happy and fulfilling co-existence.

And that, my friends, is the key to having fewer animals languish in shelters or euthanized as unadoptable.

Amen, Mom...Amen!


Nerissa's Life said...

Excellent information here! Thanks! Not that I need it of course... 'cause I'm one good kitty. But I'll pass it along to the peeps for the 'other' cats in the house.

Two French Bulldogs said...

We saw that nutty man on the TV..yippE for him
Benny & Lily

Sketching with Dogs said...

I think Galaxy is right with his suggestions.
We treat cats so unaturally these days and don't like it when they behave like cats are supposed to.
Half of the so called problems in animals are caused by the ignorance of the owners.
Lynne x

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

What super info.

Unknown said...

What a great post! Me has been the Cat From Hell since my Daddy saved me from being euthanized 13 years ago. Me was (and still is sometimes a horrible cat! But me is much better now (most of the time.
Yous has to knows what to do and yous and your cat is much happier.

Tammy said...

Amen from me, too. And I'm sure from all those kitties sent to shelters because their owners don't work with them.

Linda O'Connell said...

Thanks for making cat owners and lover aware.

haopee said...

Ohhh! That guy is amazing. I haven't actually noticed his name but he does look motorcycle-ish.

I'm glad you shared some of his concepts. I don't know much about kitties so reading this post is refreshing.

Huggies and Cheese,


The Furries of Whisppy said...

We LOVE My Cat From Hell and how Jackson Galaxy handles "misunderstood" kitties. :)

bichonpawz said...

Excellent information!! Mama misses her cats, but she is allergic to them! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Our old cat Chuck(no longer with us) had bladder crystals and started inappropriately wizzing. The folks immediatley took him to the vet and they got him on cosequin for cats and special prescriptive diet and he got better. He was only 1yr old at the time and lived to 11yrs. Please come see the post on our bloggie this week. It's in memory of our sissy's cat, El Gato.
Smooches from pooches,
BabyRD & Hootie

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Cats rock. We have three in our house (2 old ladies and a youngster) and never tire of watching them do their kitty thing. Each has such a different personality from the other. I've not heard of this show, but I'll have to watch it now. Thanks for the head's up.

Lynn said...

I thoughts cats liked their litter boxes covered... hmmmm. Thanks for the info.