Cat Behaviorist Jackson Galaxy Gets inside the Feline Mind

May 31, 2011

By Julia Williams

Have you noticed that “cat guys” are everywhere these days? They’re turning up in funny YouTube videos and TV commercials. British animator Simon Tofield produces the very hilarious Simon’s Cat cartoons featuring a guy and his quirky kitty. A pet food company conducted a nationwide search for a cat correspondent, and chose a man from hundreds of thousands of applicants. A kitty-lovin’ man hosts the hit new series Must Love Cats on Animal Planet, and now their newest show – My Cat From Hell – features yet another “cat guy.” Apparently, real men do love cats, and they’re not afraid to admit it!

My Cat From Hell premiered on May 7. It showcases cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, who works with problem kitties and their owners to resolve serious issues that threaten to tear the family apart. From aggressive cats that scratch and bite, to skittish kitties that cower in fear, to curious cats prone to mischief and mayhem – Jackson has seen it all. In many cases, the families are on the verge of giving up their cats, and Jackson is their last hope. He uses his unique understanding of the feline mind to analyze their behavior, assess the situation and recommend some solutions.

I’ve watched three episodes, and I love everything about this show except the name. I hate the name because it implies that something is wrong with the cat. In reality, the bad behavior is nearly always a result of humans who just don’t understand feline nature. “We ask cats to co-exist with us in environments that don’t always support their natural instincts,” says Jackson. “I’ve devoted my life to teaching the cat’s eye view.”

Once he educates the humans on why their cat acts a certain way, Jackson gives them specific things they need to change and voila, their cat’s behavior changes too! I have to admit, though, that watching the anti-cat boyfriend rant about his dislike of all things feline, I would have proposed a much simpler solution. Get rid of the boyfriend – problem solved!

Jackson believes that cats are either bush dwellers or tree dwellers by nature. And a tree dweller stuck at ground level leads to one very frustrated feline. The solution is easy: satisfy their natural instinct to seek higher ground by providing tall perches, shelves that lead to catwalks, and other vertical spaces.

Jackson has been called a cat whisperer, but says he doesn’t like that term because it suggests he can do something other people can’t. He prefers to be called a “cat listener” and believes that everyone has the ability to do what he does, if they just take the time to tune into their cat.

Jackson Galaxy has been working with cats for 16 years, including eight years in a high stress cat shelter in Colorado. (That’s not his real last name by the way. I know…shocker!) His mission is to reduce the number of cats that end up in shelters or abandoned on the streets for reasons that are entirely preventable. Educating cat owners one-on- one certainly has an impact, but having a television show enables him to reach infinitely more people.

I think Jackson’s knowledge of cats and his insight into their behavior could benefit even those who don’t have “problem cats” with severe behavioral issues. I’ve had cats all my life, and although I do know quite a bit about feline behavior, I still learned things from watching this show. Sadly, I read that the three episodes I watched are all there is. I certainly hope they do decide to renew the show, and I’m betting they will because My Cat From Hell has gotten lots of good press and positive feedback.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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  1. KDward says:

    Amazing man, amazing show. How important for the nation to see how to interact with cats, how they should be treated. So many people have no clue, they believe its just fine to leave cats outside, fend for themselves, and put them down when they act like cats, not humans! Thank you Jackson Galaxy!

  2. meowmeowmans says:

    We’ve really enjoyed “My Cat from Hell” so far. We do hope that Animal Planet orders more episodes, because Jackson is doing a great job of educating and enlightening people about cats. 🙂

  3. Priscilla says:

    I didn’t know about this guy! He sounds cool!

  4. BeadedTail says:

    We’ve been hearing about Jackson Galaxy lately but haven’t seen anything he’s done but it seems we need to! We don’t like the title either but it’s wonderful that people are seeing that cats deserve to be understood and they are a part of the family and should be treated as such. Of course we don’t have any issues since we’re purrfect kitties here!

    Angel & Isabella

  5. I like that he’s a cat listener! Not whisperer! And Caren’s got a good point! 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    If any boyfriend ever gave me the It’s Me or the Cat ultimatum, my kitties and I would kick his butt to the curb so fast his head would spin. =^..^=

  7. Anonymous…yes, I was kidding about the boyfriend!!! Mostly…LOL.

  8. Caren…LOL. I agree with you on the renaming. That is more like it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    If my boyfriend had a problem with my cat, he would get booted right out the door. If he has a problem with my cat, he has a problem with me. My cat is family and I won’t continue a relationship with anyone if he can’t live with me and my cat. That’s called respecting me.

    That being said, I took Julia’s comment as just kidding and laughed out loud. My boyfriend thought I was nuts.

  10. Linda says:


    You are most welcomed and I hope the apple mint plants help repel those nasty critters. You have a very wise and good mom.

  11. I love Jackson Galaxy and was able to catch one of the episodes. As you said, the “problem cat” wasn’t really a problem, it was the owners. Jackson’s tips were spot on and the felines troubles were cured!! I think the show should be renamed “The Owners From Hell” though lol

  12. D. Matsuura says:

    I happened to watch the show by accident and was really entertained by Jackson. Isn’t that what good television is all about. The name of the show is the most entertaining of all – My Cat From Hell – Love it. Julia’s comments – not so much love there. No one should get rid of a spouse or boyfriend because of animal issues. You called that one wrong.

  13. Hey… guess WHAT???? I saw the post from yesterday and I loved it sooooooo much that I had my mom stop and buy some Apple Mint plants on my way home today!!!!! THANKS!!!!

  14. The Monkeys says:

    We don’t much about him since that show isn’t available on Animal Planet Canada yet, but we’ve seen snippets on Cats 101.

  15. Hmm, not sure I want anyone in my head, but the show sounds very cool!

  16. Hmm, not sure I want anyone in my head, but the show sounds very cool!

  17. We like Jackson Galaxy! He is very entertaining and does give some good advice. But we like him best of all because he likes cats!!

  18. Marg says:

    I have heard so much about this guy, I wish I could watch the program to see if he is for real. He visited a friend that I blog with and he sure didn’t tame the feral cat that she has. Maybe he didn’t have time. I don’t like being negative, but I have my doubts about how good he is in real life and not on the TV. I don’t get that channel on TV since I don’t have cable or a dish. And then maybe he is good.