Cats are very adorable pets, but as much as their meows can bring a smile to our faces, they can make us go me-oouuuuccch too.
Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell is back for its seventh season with the continuing adventures of Jackson Galaxy, who travels from Los Angeles to New York helping cat families in need. Jackson deals with some of the worst cases of cat-on-cat and cat-on-human aggression he has ever seen. From humans that just don't understand their animals to cats that are in need, Jackson has one goal: to help change people's lives, one cat at a time.
The new season of My Cat from Hell premieres April 20, Wednesdays, 9 PM.
Thirty years after the worst nuclear catastrophe in history, which sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout exploding into the atmosphere, biologist Rob Nelson and Anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota are the first scientists to be permitted unlimited access to the areas surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to investigate how the environment and wildlife have been affected after 30 years in the most contaminated area on earth.
While they are able to stay for as long as needed to conduct their research, both experts need to make sure the radiation exposure in their bodies does not reach unacceptably high levels. And ultimately, what they discover about the effects of high radiation doses on animal and plant life in the region astonishes and surprises them.
The new one-off, Life After: Chernobyl, premieres April 26, Tuesdays, 9 PM.
Q and A with Jackson Galaxy for My Cat From Hell Season 7
Question: Could you share perhaps some special experiences, or any surprises in the season that you want your audiences or viewers to pay more attention to?
Jackson Galaxy: Hopefully I will never become complacent enough that I think I've seen it all. But there are certain ones this season where I was completely shocked. There was one cat named Katrina, her people had moved into a new house. Because Katrina was peeing everywhere, they didn't buy a stick of furniture. So I walk into this house and it is completely empty, like it was echoing. There wasn't even a chair for me to sit on. When I found out that it was about the cat, like I said, it takes a lot to surprise me after all these years, but that was shocking. These people were living in a completely empty house and locking the cat in the garage because they were so afraid of pee. That takes a lot. So that represents one of the most surprised I've ever been.
Also that first episode with the cat Sebastian. Here I am showing this family that, ‘You've got a dangerous situation on your hands. You’ve basically got a cat grenade that you're sitting on and you've got to take care of it,’ and they didn't do their homework. And I come back the second time they didn't do anything. And they've got a six-month old child and an incredibly aggressive cat. And I had to basically put my own skin in the game in order to demonstrate how dire the situation was, but that always shocks me. If I tell you from 1 to 10 you've got an 11 on your hands and you don’t do anything about it. That just still shocks me.
Question: Do you feel like your real job is to alter human behavior rather than cat behavior?
Jackson Galaxy: I think that it’s a pretty 50-50 split. No behavior whether human or animal happens in a vacuum; they happen because of each other to a large degree. And I have never ever been to a home where solving the human issue didn't help solve the cat issue and vice versa. So I think that they are equal parts of the solution and the problem. So I'm always working with human behavior as much as cat behavior, which is probably part of the reason why I don't like calling myself a cat behaviorist. I have never liked it. I just do it because I don't know what else people would call me besides Cat Daddy. But I'm equal parts family therapist and cat therapist.
Question: Do you have any tips for someone that is having problems with their cat? Where do they go about starting to solve this problem?
Jackson Galaxy: If they're having any kind of problem with their cat I would hope that between my books, my YouTube channel and all the videos that I have on there, my website, my show. On my website I will recommend other books as well, I would hope that that's at least a start. What I would recommend for anyone who's having a problem, number one, take yourself out of the equation. I think that one of the main problems we're going to see is that you think that the reason that your cat is doing something is because they don't like you or because they resent you or something like that. So that's the biggest thing. Take yourself out of the equation for a second.
And the second thing is be curious. The internet is a great place. Google is an amazing tool. And as long as you don't take one source as your gospel, and that you're doing due diligence, and as if you're a journalist, just go and find a number of different people who backup what you're looking at, yeah, that's the way to do it.
Question: You were a rock musician before and now you're a cat therapist. So what made you choose to change direction?
Jackson Galaxy: There's a moment – and I write about it in my first book, in Cat Daddy – I write about this evening where I was working in an animal shelter. Basically it would take a lightning bolt for you to take a look at your life and go, ‘Oh, wait a minute.’ I wanted to be a successful musician more than anything in the world, and I still miss that. However, when you realise that your talent, and I guess your gifts, are better spent saving lives - It would take a lot of ego to keep going down the other path. Musically I can make people's lives happier, and I can make me happy, but it's not going to save a life. So it really became a very easy choice, maybe a bit of a sacrifice, but flashing forward 20 years it wasn't a sacrifice. It's an honour.
Question: Why did you choose cats among the other animals?
Jackson Galaxy: Oh, I love all animals. I consider myself an animal activist more than anything else. I happen to have maybe a way with cats that others don't, and it is the thing that I can teach better than I can teach anything else. And I just happen to have I guess more of a skill with cats than I do with any other animal. So that's the path that I walk down right now, but that's not to say that I don't love all animals. I do.
Question: Would you share some tips or trick about how to manage cats’ behaviours?
Jackson Galaxy: Treat them nicely. I think a lot of times we tend to wrap cats up into our own problems and we tend to read into behaviours that don't exist because we get upset by their behavior. I think that the number one thing is to get to know what cats are. I've gone into detail about that in all of my books. There's always a section in the books, and there will be a section in my talk at Pet Expo Singapore, where I tell you about Cat Mojo 101, what all cats need. And when you understand that then you will approach them through that filter, instead of your own filter or through the filter of dogs. And then you're really doing the kindest thing that you can do for them, which is to approach them on their own terms. So hopefully that's the first thing. Learn about all cats and what their basic needs are, and then the rest of it is much, much easier.
Question: In terms of food, do you think wet cat food is better than dry?
Jackson Galaxy: Yes, I think the dry food is not even worth calling food. When we talk about the cat in your house being connected to the cats on the plains, it means that they are carnivore. They are here to eat meat, nothing but meat. And so when we start adding in grain and we start adding in whatever it takes to turn it into a pellet, why bother? Why not just feed them the meat that they need to survive? So I'm a huge proponent not just of wet food, but I'm a huge proponent of a raw meat diet, to have them eat exactly what they're uniquely suited to eat. It seems to me that when people feed dry food they also are leaving food out 24 hours a day, which again I'm not a big fan of. I like meal times, and I like structuring their digestive process, in a way, that I think plays into their behaviour as well.