Hi, I'm Jackson Galaxy, back on reddit. I'm here to answer anything you want. Since I don't know you and your individual cat, I won't be able to make personal recommendations, but if you keep the questions general, I'm happy to help (and nobody will get hurt).

The season finale of MY CAT FROM HELL is this Saturday 6/13 at 8/7 central on Animal Planet!

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Victoria's helping me out today.

AMA!

https://twitter.com/JacksonGalaxy/status/609407475180281856

Update: I wanna thank you guys for showing up en masse. It's an amazing feeling to be able to interact with cat lovers around the world. I will for sure do this again. And in the meantime - go put some love on any animal in your life! Spread the love a little bit.

Comments: 227 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

Chrixeleon36 karma

Have you played Catlateral Damage? It's a video game where you play as a crazy cat, run around houses, and knock everything on the floor. I feel like you would like it!

jackson-galaxy13 karma

I have seen it.

As a decided non-gamer, I haven't actually played it. So I'll leave that to you guys.

BrennaAtOsku25 karma

Mr. Galaxy, I first just want to say that as a cat lover and human behaviorist (degree in Behavior Analysis, job in behavioral health, etc.) I absolutely love your show, and wish that half of my colleagues were as good with people as you are with cats.

My question for you is how did you end up following the behavioural route in working with cats? Did you have some sort of knowledge or training with it to start, or did you pick it up along the way?

Also, my sister's boyfriend's name is Jackson, but I always refer to him as Jackson Galaxy (as an homage to you, of course). Can I keep doing that, or is it weird?

jackson-galaxy32 karma

I actually came to behavior as an artist.

I'm a writer, a theater artist, and a performance artist. And as such, my job is to study people, and their behaviors, and internalize it, and make sense of it.

After it became obvious that I had an affinity with cats, my instinctive next move was to apply what I knew, which was to make their behaviors make sense to me internally.

And then I read a lot. And asked a lot of questions. And I've always kept a base on that side of my brain, because that's where I live. And studied behavior because I had to.

It's weird. And keeping doing it!

taxidermyunicornhead23 karma

Hi Jackosn!

Why does my cat cannoli paw at everything? She does it to almost any flat surface, first I thought it was only shiny surfaces, but then she started doing it to the wall. She's a very needy cat, she needs at least 30 min of full attention after you come home from work and will just follow you around meowing non-stop until she is satisfied.

jackson-galaxy21 karma

Yeah, because they see ghosts and wanna say hi to them.

(No, I don't know).

Pawing at a surface could mean many different things. They could see their reflection and want to see what that is about. A lot of times, they will paw at a vertical surface to mimic what they do to bury their waste - so they may smell something and this is their attempt to "bury" it. Sometimes they want to see what it feels like and turns into repetitive behavior.

In short: There's a lot of answers? Make sure that you're taking a whiff and making sure there is no cat pee in that area, or any sort of smelly goodness that your cat might be reacting to.

iownakeytar21 karma

Hey Jackson, thanks for AMAing for us today!

What's your opinion on the "crazy cat lady" stereotype? Is there a tipping point where X number of cats leads to crazy cat lady status? And who's the real problem: the cats, or the lady?

jackson-galaxy95 karma

Let's take this one apart once and for all.

I HATE the crazy cat lady stereotype.

I think it damages our efforts to put more cats in more homes, because potential adopters are too worried about how the rest of the world is going to perceive them.

It's a stereotype whose time has come to die.

And one way of doing it is - we're all crazy cat ladies. Take back the word. You know?

Take it back.

It's time to realize that it's dangerous.

My friend Daniel, who was at CatCon last weekend, was wearing his t-shirt that said "I'm a crazy cat lady."

It's important that men need to take it back too. Because we have an obligation to come out of the "cat closet" and say it proudly. If you want to help this situation - all you cat hipsters and whatever - POST PICTURES.

All you gotta do is post your pictures on reddit and Facebook and instagram - show the world what a REAL crazy cat lady looks like.

BOOM! Blow this shit up!

I've known people who have one cat, and start worrying if they have two. It's insane. It's like you're back in the 7th grade and worrying about what brand of jeans you're wearing.

You just need to stand up, and admit you love cats.

As long as your cats are happy, and you're not actually hoarding, own it proudly and pass it along. We have millions of cats that need homes, and we're not doing anybody any favors by perpetuating this.

johnnynoname1218 karma

How do I keep my cat away from my pizza ?

This is a serious question btw

Once the box is open I'm like cartman when he does that "NO KITTY THATS MAH POT PIE!" Thing

jackson-galaxy40 karma

Hahahaaaaa!

You know...you have to ask me that?!??!?!

Close the damn pizza box! Put it in the damn fridge!

If your cat is out-smarting you when it comes to your pizza...

Or put your cat in the bedroom while you're eating the pizza?

Honest to god, folks. There are sometimes when you gotta figure it out.

Chomie2216 karma

Jackson! Do you have any tips on how to handle a bully cat? We have two and they get along OK but sometimes the boy (both are spayed/neutered, btw) likes to bully the girl. It starts with grooming and then he likes to bite her neck and then they start wrestling. How do you know if it's just play and hasn't escalated to fight?

Thanks and I love your show!

jackson-galaxy29 karma

It sounds like play to me.

Don't forget, for your cats, play = prey.

So all of their play techniques are practice for hunting. With a bit of dominance role-play thrown in.

Wow, that sounds weird.

ANYWAY. The way you tell whether it's play or fight is if there's blood, guts, pee, poop, and mouthfuls of hair present. I don't worry about vocalizations. I don't worry about things unless I see physical proof of a problem. Did someone pee while they were fighting? Did somebody have a puncture wound? Otherwise, they'll get over it and make up, just like us.

Even if cats have a fight - unless it warrants you breaking it up - don't forget, cats have to live with each other the same way you have to live with your roommates or family. And there are certain days when you wake up and you can't stand the sight of their face, and you're gonna have a fight.

So shit happens, even in the cat world.

So it's important we enable dialogue while discouraging WWIII.

So it is important to recognize difference, and it sounds like you've recognized it.

liljakeyplzandthnx13 karma

Any special reason you chose to change your name?

jackson-galaxy40 karma

It sounded cool.

Literally, that was it.

And you should try it. Changing your name to something awesome. The thing is - it's a name. And if you wanna be a rockstar, or a superhero, or a porn star, or whatever - it's fun.

It was that simple. It really was. (I'm sure my shrink would totally argue).

Henge11 karma

Hi Jackson! Who was the strangest cat you ever met and what made it so strange?

jackson-galaxy28 karma

First of all - I don't consider ANY of the cats I work with even a fraction as strange as the people who live with those cats.

You have to train yourself almost as a social worker or a psychologist when you work at an animal shelter. Somebody walks into your shelter with their dog, and says "I have to give up my dog, because I'm moving." Let's say a 10 year old dog, that they've had since it was a puppy. And your shelter is full.

You have no place to put this dog.

And you still have to look at that person, and say "Thank you so much for bringing this dog to us."

Versus letting him out on the street. Which people do.

You have to train yourself not to just bite your tongue, but also educate at the same time.

My goal is - how am I gonna keep this cat in this home, and not make this cat part of the system?

Now, of course, it could very well be that this cat doesn't BELONG in this home. But all of the tongue-holding comes from that place of insisting that I can educate you. Insisting that I can uncover that empathic, compassionate place where you will consider your cat a TRUE family member, and thus won't think of discarding them like a used baseball mitt.

So when it seems like I have the patience of a saint, I don't. I'm just trying to educate people.

That said, though, there have been some cats that... if "strange" means "I don't get you," there've been a few of those.

One of the strangest was the cat, her name was Penny Lane, and when I discovered that she had this glitch in the system where if I had a toy in my hand she'd play like a kitten, and if I put the toy down, she'd go for my face with her teeth and claws. It was to the point where - when I discovered that - the look on my face was 100% I don't get you right now.

If you're CONFUSED as a cat behaviorist, that's okay.

If you're CONFUSED in front of millions of people - that's not okay.

So that was the first time that happened. She deserved the credit.

thelast_timelord10 karma

Hi Jackson! Big fan of your work and your show. What is the best way to take care of your cat's litter box? Brand to use, how often should you clean, etc.? EDIT with a 2nd question Do cats in general love to chew on plastic bags for some reason? Because mine does, and I'm constantly having to hide them from him and don't know how to get him to stop.

jackson-galaxy17 karma

To me, it's not a matter of which litter box, it's a matter of how many.

Remember the old formula - for each cat you have, have a litter box, plus one.

So 2 cats = 3 litter boxes, and so on.

I'm a big fan of keeping it simple. And at the same time, all you need to do is look at YOUR cat.

So if your cat is fat, you don't want a teeny little litter box. If your cat is a senior, you might want a box that has no front for them to step over, or that has a ramp. If you have a longhair cat, you might not want to have a hood on it, because when their hair brushes on it, it creates static electricity.

PLACEMENT IS KEY. Location, location, location!

And when it comes to litter- think about your cat first, and you second. Texture - no scented. They are breathing that shit.

I prefer non-clay litter. Clay is dangerous on many levels. Clay, first of all, the clumping agent in clay is called sodium bentonite. If your cat ingests it, it clumps, and can expand in their guts, the same way it expands in that litter box.

There's the fact that the dust - it's silica dust, that comes off that shit. So your cat is breathing that dust. So if you get locked in there, you'd know what it's like.

And clay litter does not biodegrade. Which means that MILLIONS of tons of that shit is in our landfills, where it will never go away.

So I'm a huge fan of natural litter. You just have to find the one that works for you and your cat.

jackson-galaxy13 karma

You're doing the right thing.

If your cat is a chewer, you need to keep EVERYTHING out of their reach, because ingesting plastic is either going to come out in poop or get stuck in their guts, and that will be a big problem and a massive bill.

So keep the stuff away.

There are many theories about why cats chew different objects.

There's a condition called Pica, and Pica is a condition which has been classified as an Obsessive-Compulsive condition, which manifests in the ingestion of foreign objects like plastic. However, there are many non-Pica plastic-chewing cats.

One theory is that it mimics chewing of greenery, of leaves, of grass. Another theory is that most plastic bags have a component of animal product in them, so because it has that scent that's imperceptible to humans, that cats are drawn to that as well.

Presenting cat grass or catnip in place is FANTASTIC, and I encourage that completely.

lovemygraycat10 karma

How do you encourage "senior" cats to continue to play, assuming there aren't any significant health problems other than getting older? And/or how can you make this time the most enriched and happiest for them? Have a little senior cat I love more than is rational. :) Thanks, Jackson! P.S. I believe that you've saved many cats' (and other animals) lives with your tv show! Thanks for your work.

jackson-galaxy12 karma

Well, thank you for your kind words, and that's really nice, and that's a great question - because you tend to think because they're a little more sedentary, that they're not a cat.

But they still wake up every morning, going hunt! Kill! Catch! Eat!

One thing is to modify your expectations - to remember that your cat is STILL Hunting, maybe just with their eyes. You still want to present challenges to them.

One of the ways to do that is by increasing "Cat TV" - so bird feeders outside the window, something for them to watch out the window so they can engage their "hunter-self" without having to expend too much energy.

Another thing you can do is present them with toys they don't have to chase around the room. On a few episodes of my show, I've created a "play carpet" which is a piece of carpet with toys velcroed to it, which allows them to solve puzzles without running around.

Remember - your cat is always going to be a predator their entire life. Just adapt play to their age. And your 20 year old cat is not going to tear around the house like a kitten. But they still have that urge. And it's up to you how you want to engage that.

divinearcanum8 karma

Hi Jackson! I love your show and I read your book and I was so moved by reading how you overcame your struggles and made a new life for yourself and are helping other people and animals! (I was literally crying at the end.)

I am curious: What are the best and worst things about working on "My Cat From Hell"? And do you ever feel like you want to do something different? Or maybe MCFH is your dream job! ;)

I appreciate your work and watching you educate people on how to better understand their pets. Love it!

jackson-galaxy11 karma

Well, first of all, thank you so much.

I mean, it's really nice to know that that book - which was a real labor of love - affected folks in a positive way.

In terms of MY CAT FROM HELL - I love my job.

I love what I do.

But don't forget, MY CAT FROM HELL is just a televised version of what I've been doing for years.

That is my job, I just do it on TV now. I love making TV. And I Love helping cats and people. So you add that up, it's great. But it's not the be-all, end-all of my life.

I look forward to all the challenges that lay ahead, after MY CAT FROM HELL may be no longer. Other TV shows, books, working with shelters and rescues. I've got a real full life, thankfully, and a lot of goals.

And I'm good with that. I realize that I'm blessed to be somebody whose job and passion are the same thing.

Wherever that leads me, I'll be happy.

number_1_swimfan8 karma

Just a simple question, what is it about cats that you love so much?

I have two of my own, they're wonderful, just was curious about your take.

jackson-galaxy34 karma

Haha!

First and foremost, I love all animals. I would spend as much time with a dog, a donkey, an opossum, as I would a cat.

But cats presented themselves to me with a deeper connection, which I felt compelled to share.

I love the way they love. Which is without attachment. I love that, and I'm jealous of it at the same time.

The things i love about cats, I'm also jealous of. Loving without attachment. Sitting in a window for six hours without thinking of anything except the birds you're looking at. I sleep when I'm tired, I eat when I'm hungry, I play when I'm bored. And their mystery. I love the fact that they're a mystery. And I will never know everything about them. They keep me humble.

pyramidsofmoney8 karma

Hi Jackson, sort of off topic, but my girlfriend is looking to get us a cat from a shelter but she has some allergies. I am stoked to get a cat but I do not want to do that at the expense of her health.

So, 1) have you seen noticeable decline in allergic reactions in breeds like Russian Blues or Siberians?

2) What's the best way to re-home a shelter cat that might be skittish or afraid?

jackson-galaxy21 karma

1.) It's a very important question, because I think a lot of people hear this information, go out and get one of these breeds, and then they find out it's not the case, and then that cat winds up without a home.

So it's important that you realize that there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic breed.

In reality, you're not allergic to cats. You're allergic to the specific chemical makeup of an enzyme in their saliva, that once they groom themselves, and it turns into dander and it flies off them, that's what you're reacting to.

That said, there's also plenty that you can do to lessen the allergenic effect of your cat on you.

And I think I have an article on our website with details - http://jacksongalaxy.com/2014/08/28/allergic-to-cats/

And don't forget - it's not cats that you're allergic to. It's an individual cat. So it's okay to ask yourself if you're allergic to one cat versus another - whether it's longhair, shorthair, various breeds.

2.) The way that you do this is put yourself in their shoes.

What is the story of your cat? The circumstances? Were they found on the street, or going from home to home to home? Don't forget, they are coming away from whatever experience it is- whatever landed them in your lap was the most hellacious experience you can imagine.

Imagine - you're either born out there, fighting for food, or then another day, you wake and you're in a cage. So with some cats, you couple that with a genetic disposition for skittishness, which can create shutdown in a cat.

Honestly, I write more about this in my new book, CATIFY TO SATISFY, it's coming out in November, but in the book I talk about the concept of "basecamp" and how setting up a basecamp is SO important for your cats. And in that room - the basecamp - that's where they can put things to smell, like beds, bowls, and things that smell like you - allowing them to OWN a space that's not overwhelming size-wise. Spending time with them at their pace-balancing comfort and challenge, which is to say, give them the space they need to explore YOU - get on the floor, present a treat on the floor in front of you, talk very slowly with them, slowly blink at them, allow them to trust you.

At the same time, don't allow them to live under the bed or the closet. Still dare them to be in the space, present, with you.

And then just give it time. They will.

The sure-fire way NOT to do it? Is to scoop them up in your arms, and squeeze them, and say "Nothing's going to happen to you EVER AGAIN!" - you have to allow them to discover you.

And allow them to discover you. And make yourself like Santa Claus, so it's worth discovering.

Miss_Meliss_a8 karma

Hi Jackson! I truly love your show and your love of cats and all creatures. Your book, Cat Daddy, was an amazing look into your life and how you started out working with cats. I couldn't submit a question without letting you know!

I saw in your AmA last year you mentioned being a UFC/MMA fan. Who is your favorite fighter, and do you have a favorite fight?

Thanks for all that you do!!

jackson-galaxy5 karma

MMM-hmm!

I am a massive UFC geek.

Probably because it's amazing to watch people do things I will never be able to do.

Let's see - favorite fighter? It's tough. If you'd have asked me six months ago, I wouldn't have hesitated in saying Anderson Silva. And I'm not gonna lie, even though he hasn't been proven guilty, it saddens me that he tested positive. That aside, he's one of the most gifted athletes on planet earth. Also, Rhonda Rousey is off-the-charts crazy amazing. My favorite fight?

I would have to say...along with pretty much everybody the else, the fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar is the best fight, because it's the most important fight. Dana White would be the first one to tell you that the UFC would not exist if it weren't for that fight.

So props to that one.

nnnooopppee8 karma

Hey Jackson. Love your show.
Whats your favorite guitar and why? Also, why wont my cat ever shut the hell up?

jackson-galaxy22 karma

My favorite guitar is my original guitar, which still hangs near me on the wall. I got this guitar when I was 11 years old. It's a crappy Hohner. Which has traveled with me for 35 years now, and has seen it all. And he's not telling!

Hehe. You cat won't shut the hell up because you keep talking back.

vcr997 karma

Thank you for your great work with cat and cat owners! We have a rescued cat that is 9 months old and sometimes we worry that he gets lonely while we are at work. What are your recommendations on integrating a second cat to a household?

jackson-galaxy12 karma

On my website, there's also an article - my website confuses me sometimes, which is great - but there should be an article on there about this.

http://jacksongalaxy.com/2010/10/01/cat-to-cat-introductions/

And the overriding thing is PATIENCE.

Take your time. It has to happen - again - that balance of challenge and comfort. Your resident cat has to be assured, at all times, that their territory's not being taken away by this new being, and at the same time, this new being is a POSITIVE factor in their life.

Do it all on cat-time, not on human-time.

blitzkriegpickle6 karma

Hi, Jackson! Ahh! Would you ever consider visiting our animal shelter in Charleston, West Virginia, to give our staff some behavioral pointers for shelter cats?

jackson-galaxy15 karma

Funny thing you should ask that. I started in animal shelters. I'm a 20-year-veteran of animal shelters. My entire LIFE is centered around animal shelters. My foundation is dedicated to bettering the life of shelter animals and the people who care for them. So as such, I spend ALL of my off-time from the show at shelters, designing programs for them.

So long story short - if I can get there, if I'm in the neighborhood, I would love nothing more than to come to your shelter and give you guys the love you deserve.

alligatorskyy6 karma

Do you have any advice on how to not be scared around cats? I'm used to dogs, and my dad and his gf are getting a cat soon; I'm scared of cats after getting attacked by my cousin's one a few years ago, and ever since, I've just been terrified of them. I don't know how to act around this new cat.

jackson-galaxy21 karma

Did you ever notice that the person that a cat comes to, in a room - if you have a whole room of people, and there's the one person who says "I love cats!" and the cat will say "screw off!" and then the cat goes up to the one person in the room - who's that one person? It's the one person who hates cats, is scared of cats, or allergic to cats.

And that's because that's the person who is keeping their distance.

Which is the best way to let cats know and trust you.

So let it happen. Keep yourself centered. Breathe. No matter what, the cat's not gonna kill you.

Number two: practice what i call "the slow blink." The cat "I love you."

I'm sure I've written about it. If you look at a cat softly, close your eyes, open it again - I detail it in my book CAT DADDY - they will over time blink back at you.

It's a very complicated system, but it is the de-facto way of saying "I love you" without using your hands, petting, or picking them up.

By softening your eyes, and closing your eyes to that cat, what you're saying is I'm vulnerable to you. I trust you.

And the cat returns that blink which says Even though you could kill me, I trust you.

So it keeps it a matter of allowing it to happen. And ABOVE ALL - don't let your fear take you over. Because if that happens, you'll wind up staring at your cat, and the one thing you don't want to do to ANY animal is stare them down. They will take that as a threat.

So keep yourself centered. Breathe. Don't think about the cat. Let them explore you. And in their time, they will.

jackson-galaxy26 karma

There's so many people who don't bring cats into their lives, or say they hate cats, because a cat scratched them when they were 3 or 4 years old.

It's really important to realize that you're victimizing an ENTIRE SPECIES based on one asshole cat when you were 3 years old.

It's not all cats you hate. You hate that one cat that scratched you and made you cry.

Imborednow6 karma

What got you interested in cat training?

jackson-galaxy13 karma

I was never interested in cat training. I was interested in getting a cat to meet me halfway without begging, you know? So positive reinforcement behavioral modification is something I became very interested in after I got into cats - as a matter of fact, because there was such a dearth of information about how to work with cats, I turned to a good friend of mine who was a dog trainer, and she taught me everything about positive reinforcement, which works on every species. It doesn't matter if you're a chicken, a cat, dog, or human, this works.

And I use it to get cats to live better with humans. Not to get them to juggle balls, or play the guitar, or walk a tightrope.

I'm very sensitive about animals performing for humans. And I would never condone it. I use training techniques to get them to live more functionally with you.

rnbwpnt6 karma

Thanks for all your work helping humans and pets get along better together. I have learned tons about cat behavior (and stupid human behavior) and love it.

If someone were of a mind to engage your professional services, how would one do that? What might it cost?

Also, I know from having my own that tattoos are incredibly personal and unique. Even if you and I have the same design, the meaning may be completely different. Have you ever considered doing a Facebook or blog post about your ink and its meaning?

jackson-galaxy10 karma

I unfortunately - the irony is, I spent all these years doing nothing BUT going to people's homes, and now, because I'm on TV going into people's homes, I don't have time to go to people's homes.

That's the sad truth. Between filming the show, working with shelters, helping my foundation, writing books, doing things like AMAs - I have no time to go to people's homes.

Virtually the only homes I go into these days is if somebody wins it through a shelter raffle or something. But that's about it.

You know, to be honest, I think I've written about my ink before? But maybe I'll do it again.

jenlynmen5 karma

Hi Jackson, I have a one year old tuxedo cat and she is always giving me "kisses". She wraps her paws around my neck, makes "biscuits" and nibbles all over my face. Why? And is this actual affection?

jackson-galaxy10 karma

Yes.

HAHA!

It is affection.

What it is is leftover behavior from a very early age. Before they can ever even open their eyes, from birth, they find their place along mom's milk-line, and stimulate the milk to come out of mom's tummy. So yes, this is a behavior that usually comes from being weaned way too early - you'll see cats that were taken away from mom before they were done weaning, and often they will transfer that behavior onto someone else.

That said - you're "mom." And they're expressing their affection to you by basically calling you "mom."

Henge5 karma

As a "job perk" do you ever get to meet any of the interesting cats made famous/popular on the internet? Like Lil Bub?

jackson-galaxy17 karma

You know, again, I'm not a big fan of performing cats. But I find that Lil Bub and her guy, Mike, represent the best of internet cat fame. Mike is so protective of Bub. Mike's heart is huge, Bub loves it - I can say that from firsthand experience, she loves being with people, she thrives on it - as long as you're asking the cat, and the cat is happy, I'm all for it.

So I've met some of them.

relsbells5 karma

As a cat person and musician, do you think playing certain types of music (such as classic rock or metal) around cats is "abuse"? I work with cats and I've heard someone say that it is and that there are studies about it, but it doesn't seem to bother the kitties that I've been around

jackson-galaxy10 karma

You know, I think that one of the most useless - I mean, there have been SO Many studies, and each one of those studies comes up with contradictory information. I could come up with many studies that say "Cats respond to classical" and then find another study that says "Cats respond to EDM" - there are SO many opinions and "studies."

The only way to find out is to find out.

It's insulting, if you think about it. It's like a study saying "humans can't stand Swedish Death Metal."

What?! You know, we're individuals. And cats are individuals with very tuned hearing skills. Very advanced and sensitive hearing apparatus. So as such, loud, loud music is going to bug the hell out of your cat.

Loud Beethoven is going to offend them, I think, as much as loud Metallica.

But the chance is that people are playing Metallica a lot louder than Beethoven, which is probably what people are going on about.

But don't forget - cats are individuals, and have individual taste.

barrell_of_pabstbeer4 karma

Hello. I recently lost my 18 year old cat. He was a very docile and loving male tiger. Do you see certain breeds that are better behaved than others? Are Scottish Folds one of the most calm breeds that really enjoy people's company? Thanks.

jackson-galaxy10 karma

You know, I'm not a big breed person. I'm really not. I don't advocate one breed over another. I don't really dig the whole "Breed" thing.

Bengals tend to be more rambunctious, because they are hybrids and that much closer to a natural predator, and have very distinctive physical needs. And Scottish folds were bred because their ears are inside out, not because they act a certain way.

The thing that's bothersome about many breeds of cats - not dogs - is that we did it for looks. So a lot of the behavioral results are just because of looks.

So sometimes - like Maine Coons, they can sometimes be "doglike cats." But that said, I prefer to keep myself remove from digging too deep into breeds, except when it helps me with my cases.

You can make generalizations about every breed, but every cat is an individual. Just because you're Canadian, you're not going to act a certain way - but it DOES mean you are going to say your "ohs" a certain way.

femputersaysno4 karma

Hi Jackson, thanks for doing this AMA! My cat has been peeing around the house ever since we moved into it. I've recently bought two trees and set up more litter boxes. Hopefully it will help, I'm also taking him to the vet monday to make sure that he's ok. He seems ok, perfectly happy and cuddly and loving most of the time. Anyways, I know you can't answer why my cat is doing it, but, I was wondering what your recommendations for getting the smell of cat urine out are? I use Nature's Miracle Advanced, I think it does an ok job but Bender (my kitty) keeps coming back. Would you also recommend getting a black light or will that just drive me insane?

jackson-galaxy11 karma

You know, without pimping a specific product (my own cleaning product is coming out in the next few months, hint hint) - the product that I've used on the show for years is called Fizzion.

And I find it to be an incredibly useful cleaner.

One of the things I love about it is that you know it works because it doesn't smell like pee anymore. Which is to say it doesn't smell like flower-y pee, or orange-y pee, or lemon-y pee - it doesn't smell like anything.

You wanna use a product that's actually going to remove it. So that's the product I use. And my own product will be made by the same company.

And yes and yes. You should get a blacklight, and it will make you crazy. It's a necessary evil. The only way to end cat peeing problems is to make the "anti-Treasure Map."

Find every single spot that cat has peed. Put an X on that spot. And after you do that, you will see patterns. And where the patterns are, you should put a box. Or let's say you suddenly discover that there's pee all around your front door - that says there's something happening outside your front door, and you'll probably find pee of another animal outside.

Don't forget - pee is like "cat telephone."

It's a conversation. It's not just about finding it and cleaning it. It's about finding it, cleaning it, and finding out why it happened in the first place.

And the only way to do that is with a blacklight.

alligatorskyy4 karma

What inspired you to start My Cat From Hell? Love the show btw!

jackson-galaxy7 karma

Well, I wasn't inspired to start MY CAT FROM HELL. This was my job. And others in the "biz" found me doing my job, and thought others might wanna see it. And they were right!

pcslady4 karma

Hi Jackson, I love your program, I've learned a lot from it! :) I hope you can help me: I have a two year old cat whom I love, and I like to think he loves me back! My question is, I'm thinking about going study a semester abroad, but I'm afraid to go because I don't want him to miss me and start misbehaving because of it. We live with my parents, so of coursw he won't be left alone, and he's an excellent cat, very well behaved. Do you have any recommendations for making this process less hurtful for him? Thanks!!

jackson-galaxy10 karma

I've had people who sent their dirty laundry home for the cat to smell. One thing that i've found that doesn't work with cats is Skyping. But I travel a LOT. And my wife will put me on FaceTime with the cats and they're like What... I don't know what you're doing.

So I'd steer you away from that solution.

Unfortunately, it is what it is - a long-distance relationship.

LatakiaBlend3 karma

Jackson,

Big fan of the show. I've always wondered whether your love for cats and the understanding you have for them and their behavior extends beyond domestic housecats into, say, big cats or other wild cats, like bobcats or lynx?

jackson-galaxy4 karma

Yes, I love all cats.

I love all things cat. And of course, the connection between the big cats and their little cousins are scary in their similarities, so a lot of what I teach you about cats has been adapted from big cat behavior.

So I'm equally as fascinated by big cats. Hopefully I'll be able to spend time with them in the future.

beernerd2 karma

How do you feel about the film "All Dogs Go to Heaven"?

jackson-galaxy6 karma

Never saw it.

beernerd3 karma

Well no wonder you're a cat person.

What's your favorite movie?

jackson-galaxy6 karma

WOW.

Wow.

Wow.

Man.

That is a BITCH of a question.

You know, the movie that I've seen probably more times than any other - I'm a huge fan of the film WINGS OF DESIRE. Which is from the German filmmaker Wim Benders. It was remade American-style with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan, I think it was called CITY OF ANGELS? But the theme - it's one of the most touching, beautiful movies I've ever seen.

But it's impossible to narrow it down to any movie. There are certain movies - there's the whole category - GODFATHER 1 and 2 - no way, those two have to be on the list.

And BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is a great film - the sight of Audrey Hepburn period is enough to melt you. And with a cat? Done deal.

In terms of animal movies - I'm sure I'll think of like six of them later. I love LADY & THE TRAMP, I love RATATOUILLE, I was a huge fan growing up of all the Disney movies, especially the ways that animals were usually more interesting than any humans.

EmoKidSid2 karma

Hey, Jackson! I love your show, and have learned a lot about my cat from watching. The cat, Faraday, however, has some issues that kinda drive me crazy.

She’s six years old, and a very nervous and clingy cat. She follows me everywhere. If she even THINKS I’m about to get up and leave the room, she’ll jump up and prepare to go with me. I certainly don’t mind her following me around, but she’s constantly under my feet. She’ll stand directly in my path, take a few steps, turn and look at me, take a few steps, turn and look at me…. I can’t simply walk through the house or get her out of the way and it’s incredibly frustrating. There are times I’ll walk right into her or accidentally kick her. I feel awful about it, but sometimes I honestly don’t see her or know that she’s there. I don’t want to keep kicking her, and I’m legitimately worried about tripping over her and falling down the stairs. I just want her to relax and not feel like she HAS to be perpetually right by my side.

Again, she often can’t relax when I pet her. She’ll get up and walk around while she’s being petted. Could this just be her enjoying the affection in her own way? It’s kind of exhausting when I just want to chill and enjoy being with my pal, and she’s constantly moving around.

And finally, she refuses to be picked up or held. Won’t even sit in my lap. That’s okay, it’s her preference, but it can be a problem. It’s impossible to put her in her kennel to go to the vet. I’ve tried leaving food, treats, blankets, and toys in the box many times to let her get used to it, show her it’s okay and lure her in, but she won’t even go in there for her favourite treats.

Sorry for the long comment, but any advice you could give me on any of these issues would be greatly appreciated. I want Faraday to be calm and happy and not so anxious all the time, and if anybody can help out, it’s you, good sir! Thanks so much :)

jackson-galaxy5 karma

Hey there - the thing that makes my practice unique is unless I am physically in your house, meeting your cat, breaking bread with you, whatever, or at the very least, Skyping, I won't make guesses as to what's going on.

It's my way of honoring your cat's individuality.

So sorry I can't answer questions like this.

rafferty852 karma

Thoughts on de-clawing? (inside cat)

jackson-galaxy19 karma

WOW, that simple huh?

Now listen - all you gotta do is go to my Youtube channel. And search "declawing" and you'll find out everything you need to know.

Go to http://www.pawproject.org/ and find out even more.

In short: de-clawing is barbaric.

De-clawing is inhumane.

And it is unnecessary.

It should be outlawed in the United States, just the same way it is outlawed in more than 25 countries around the world.

jsfst27271 karma

Hey Jackson dig the show, but what's up with your hair?

jackson-galaxy5 karma

What hair? I'm bald. Do you mean my facial hair?

jackson-galaxy7 karma

My hair fell out when I was in my twenties, and I decided to embrace it.

My facial hair is meant to be fun. What's the point of having something, if you don't have fun with it?

What's the point of having toenails if you don't paint them? What's the point of having facial hair if you can't have fun with it?

One of my friends, growing up, by age 14, he had a MASSIVE lumberjack set of sideburns, and he never did anything with it! The only reason I cut off the really long part of my beard was because it was becoming a real hassle - try eating lunch and not winding up with a snack for later - and when I got married, it was kind of a deal I made.