Feline behavior advice from Jackson Galaxy

Jackson Galaxy

Ever since Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell” became so popular that it was renewed for a second season, Jackson Galaxy’s Facebook page has been flooded with questions and requests for help from fans. Siince he can’t answer each and every question individually, Jackson compiled some of the questions into Q&A video blogs. The blogs are a treasure trove of feline behavior information.

If your question wasn’t answered in one of the blogs, remember that Jackson works one-on-one with clients, either during in-home consultations (in the Los Angeles area) or remotely. Consultations involve taking a detailed history, meeting the cat and her family, and watching the cat  interact with everyone and everything in her territory. For remote consultations, Jackson requests that the client provide a video showing the cat’s home, feeding station, and litter box locations. Please contact Jackson through his website to set up a consultation.

Here is his most recent video blog:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSUjN-6XaHI

For more video blogs, please visit Jackson’s blog. You can find additional videos on his YouTube channel. If you have a question for Jackson, post it on his Facebook page, and it may just get answered in his next video blog.

You may also enjoy reading:

Up close and purrsonal with Jackson Galazy, star of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell

Help feed shelter cats with Jackson Galaxy and the Pet Postcard Project

169 Comments on Feline behavior advice from Jackson Galaxy

  1. Rodney
    April 19, 2017 at 2:29 am (1 month ago)

    Hi, and thank you.
    i got into a home the second day I adopted a 4yr tortie. What a love. I had seen a previous cat but knew it was sick. Woke up thinking of her so yup she was there next day. So i adopted her as well-(another story,she was in fact very very ill) All things happen for a reason . Anyway my tortie use to sit in my lap for hours throughout the day. I changed/moved furniture. Swapped places. a recliner which is where we sat. Put a love seat recliner in it spot. the chair went in spot where love seat was. My tortie cat quit sitting in my lap. Gave me attitude. so i put them back. She has been in my lap twice since then. Has messes with me by asking to come up only to jump across to her post.
    Do not think other cats health improvements being more out has or was reasoning….?? lol. Seemed more furniture rearranging…. lol.
    Please any thoughts as i’m bummed no lap time with her anymore. Being empathic i feel she misses that bonding time.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 19, 2017 at 5:23 am (1 month ago)

      Cats are creatures of habit and generally don’t like change. Moving furniture can definitely cause changes in behavior.

      Reply
      • Jeanine
        May 16, 2017 at 7:27 pm (7 days ago)

        What do you think about a rolling walker being introduced to the home due to illness. Eva seems to be afraid of it…..she hides in the bedroom and seems to not want to be with it in the same room…help!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          May 17, 2017 at 5:21 am (6 days ago)

          Unfortunately, that’s not unusual. Cats hate change, and anything new in their environment can be “scary.” You’ll have to try to gradually desensitize her to it. Maybe try using catnip on it to make it more interesting for her. Try to get her to associate it with good things – maybe toss treats to her every time the walker is being used? Tie a toy to the walker that may intrigue her (of course, being careful that it’s not going to trip you!)

          Reply
          • Jeanine
            May 18, 2017 at 5:35 am (5 days ago)

            Thank you for your thoughts..will start the processes today.hopefully it will make her a happy girt again. Since the weather has been 90 for a day a believe the fan has alarmed her also. We do live with them…..don’t we.? Thank you again!

  2. theresa octavi
    February 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm (3 months ago)

    I have 3 cats. 2 of them do not get along since day one. I have tried many “introduction” methods such as sight swap, calming collars, JG spirit essence, food reward, baby gates, pheromones, you name it. its been over a year and I’m very frustrated. The aggressor will attack on sight. The “victim” is older & much smaller. Both get along with the 3rd cat quite well. I’ve always had a multi-cat house but never had this problem last so long. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  3. Mickie
    February 14, 2017 at 1:39 pm (3 months ago)

    My 8 month old cat, GiGi, who was hand fed from birth has started biting from the time i brought her home. this seems to be her way of play, how can i get her to stop biting?

    Reply
  4. Sandy Kummerow
    February 3, 2017 at 9:54 am (4 months ago)

    I have a 4 year old female shorthair that I adopted from the humane society about two years ago. She was a normal cat. About 2 months ago, she started attacking her tail, which she NEVER did in the past. I took her to the vet, she doesn’t have fleas, her skin isn’t dry, they did blood work and an ultra sound, and there are NO issues. They gave me anti-depressant pills (I haven’t given her them, I didn’t want to drug her up) and a couple can foods to try, she prefers her dry food. They said with everything checking out good, they really don’t know much more that they can do. She did start to calm down, a little, after a bit, but still going after her tail, sometimes very aggressively. With in the last week, it has got drastically worse. I thought I noticed this yesterday but she wouldn’t let me touch her tail, but this morning I noticed that she has pulled out so much hair that half of the tip of her tail, almost an inch long, is bare. She wouldn’t let me touch it, but it didn’t look like she broke open any skin…yet. She had started sleeping next to me at night in the last two months more than normal, but last night was different. She took forever to come to bed, just sat next to me and watched. When she did finally jump on the bed, she laid right by my head ready to pounce off the bed, she stayed like this all night (I didn’t get much sleep). I kept petting her all night to try to calm her down because I could tell she just wanted to attack her tail and seemed very stressed out. I don’t know what to do, I didn’t like seeing what her tail looked like this morning. Any thoughts or ideas to help me with her? I do NOT like seeing her like this.

    Reply
    • tony
      February 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm (4 months ago)

      perhaps try some calming pheromones? You can buy them as a spray, a collar or wipes for their muzzle. Another option, use a spray on their tail that tastes bad. I use it on my silk plants and it help. Not sure how effective it would be on fur but worth a try?

      Reply
    • Robin
      February 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm (4 months ago)

      I suggest putting a calming collar on her. If that doesn’ t work you may want to try playing soothing music from online that is specifically designed to relax cats. Has she been exposed to a lot of catnip lately? One of my cats cannot have any catnip because she tries to eat her own tail afterwards. I hope that either the collar or the music helps as an alternative to meds.

      Reply
  5. Lynda
    January 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm (4 months ago)

    We have a 7 year old neutered Mainecoon. He is pretty mellow. We adopted a Great Dane who is chill. First intro dog charged, cat growled. They have been separated. We have a dog trainer coming in to help with sit, stay. The cat now has a cat shelf walkway. Hope for a controlled intro someday. Any other ideas?

    Reply
  6. Bailey
    January 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm (4 months ago)

    I want to take my cat outside on a leash but every time I put the harness on him he lays down and doesn’t move. What should I do?

    Reply
  7. Deborah polley
    December 3, 2016 at 2:33 pm (6 months ago)

    October 1,2016
    I moved in with my son and his female cat who is spayed. I have a male and female that are also altered. His female and my male do not get along they will fight and there will be fur everywhere. Is there anyway to stop this to where they can live together?

    Reply
  8. Neetah
    November 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm (6 months ago)

    16 year old cat eats very small amount then runs away from it. vet cked his teeth and they were fine. was given cerenia injection, and transdermal FAMOTIDINE and MIRTAZAPINE for 10 days. Have you seen this behavior b4, and what could it be?Any suggestions of what to do next?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 25, 2016 at 6:23 am (6 months ago)

      I would pursue additional diagnostics, probably with an internal medicine specialist.

      Reply
  9. Melinda Geiser
    November 20, 2016 at 9:41 pm (6 months ago)

    Hi, my husband has three cats(mine too, but he is the cat nut). the oldest is an 8 yr old 25 lb. tom cat, who is generally friendly and quiet. He usually just ignores the other two cats. The youngest is a female just over 18 mo. old and has been with us most of it (14 mo.). We started to introduce them slowly, but they got along fine right from the beginning. The day before yesterday he attacked her. No idea why. Today he hissed at her and chased her. HELP. Nothing has changed lately that i can think of. no new litter or food. I have been traveling a lot, but he (their primary attachment) had been here as much as ever. Any suggestions??

    Reply
  10. Kelly
    November 18, 2016 at 4:39 pm (6 months ago)

    Houston we have a problem: I’ve had 2 Simese cats for over 10yrs, and I brought 2 Ferrel cats in, which I have domesticated. The simese cats, especially the male one… is stalking, and attacking the male ferrel cat. I can’t leave them in the same room together, or there will be a blood war. The ferrels have been in the house for like 6-7 months now. What would you do in a situation like this? I hate to let the poor cat back outside, but I am out of options here! HELP PLEASE!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm (6 months ago)

      I would separate the cats and start over with slow and gradual introductions, Kelly. It may be challenging if this situation has been going on for 7 months.

      Reply
  11. Georgia
    November 13, 2016 at 4:12 am (6 months ago)

    My daughter adopted a 4 yr. Himalayan, declawed (she was surrendered by a previous owner, already declawed)…female, spayed cat. She has had issues over the past 2 years of urinating outside of her litter box. She will use the litter box for defecating, but urinates on the sofa, in the hallway…random areas. My daughter cleans the pan out each day, but the urinating continues. Can you recommend anything that would help her?

    Reply
    • Robin
      November 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm (6 months ago)

      Does she have another cat or animal or did she have one in the past? It sounds like the cat may be stressed in that environment. My cat was doing the same thing because of my other cat and territory issues. If it’s not that then maybe a calming collar would help with anxiety and stress. Also using more natural litter may help. I usr to mix catnip in the litter box along with natural litter from the pet store. It worked well in getting my cat interested in using the box for both occasions. I hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Kathy
        December 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm (5 months ago)

        My cat is having issues recently she is pee peeing on the wall took her to the vet for antibiotic may have been ati now she’s doing it again need to have an ultra sound to rule out stones if it’s negative I will difenatly try the calming collar and cat no with natural litter thanks so much

        Reply
        • Robin
          December 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm (5 months ago)

          Kathy,

          I hope there are no medical issues with her. If she received a clean bill of health and you get both the calming collar and some ‘natural’ cat litter, you may also want to consider adding a little bit of catnip on top of the litter. That seemed to have worked for my cats. They couldn’t help but go the litter box and once they were there, nature called. Please let me know how you are coming along. Good luck.

          Reply
    • Lisa Maynard
      January 15, 2017 at 6:37 am (4 months ago)

      Cats who have been declawed have VERY sensitive toes and a good many of them don’t like certain types of cat litter because it hurts them to scratch in it. I saw an episode of (My Cat From Hell) where he deals with this exact issue. Trying different litters will be your best bet. The softer, smaller grained scoopable litters will work best. The all natural ones may be best also! Good luck!

      Reply
  12. Misty
    October 15, 2016 at 10:56 am (7 months ago)

    This message is for jackson galaxy i have an 18 lb cat and i also have a 25 corgi dog my cat stocks my dog and smacks her my cat will hide and as soon as my dog walks by him he attacks her my dog is very friendly and just walks away but i am sick of seeing my dog be mistreated

    Reply
  13. Charlotte
    October 9, 2016 at 6:46 pm (8 months ago)

    Jackson,
    Do you think it’s best to have one cat or two?

    We adopted a beautiful female 2 year old that was a recuse cat. We’re thinking of adopting a male of the same breed. What is your advise please?

    Reply
  14. Jan CREECH
    September 10, 2016 at 9:22 am (9 months ago)

    I have a 4 year old female that we rescued from a shelter. She used to greet people at the door and let them love on her, for the first couple years. All the sudden she won’t have ANYTHING to do with anyone but my husband n I. What would make her change like this? And is there any suggestions on how to get the “sweetheart” back in her

    Reply
  15. Jackie
    August 25, 2016 at 12:37 am (9 months ago)

    This message is for Jackson
    I need your help what can I do to stop the cat for spraying .
    I need your help

    Reply
      • Lisa Maynard
        January 15, 2017 at 6:40 am (4 months ago)

        Can I ask why he no longer helps private clients? Thats a sad shame!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          January 15, 2017 at 6:57 am (4 months ago)

          Between filming the show, his work with his foundation, and his travel schedule, he’s just become too busy to take on private clients, Lisa. But just think how many more cats he is helping through all his work!

          Reply
  16. Kenzie
    August 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm (10 months ago)

    So about 2 months ago a I got a 3 month old kitten.She has a weird thing she does almost every morning. At about 7am she will start rubbing up on me to wake me up then she bites me. Like it’s not to hurt me but it’s slightly uncomfortable. There have been moments where I wake to feel my cat holding the front of my neck or biting my eyebrow. She never bites to break the skin but what could cause this behavior?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 2, 2016 at 5:45 am (10 months ago)

      She’s probably hungry. Try tiring her out with a vigorous play session just before you go to bed and feed her a small snack.

      Reply
  17. Giovana
    July 12, 2016 at 10:48 am (11 months ago)

    I need your advice, ASAP. My cat has been missing for two weeks. It is driving me mad. I did all that I could: posters, flyers, internet search in lost and found pets, vets, shops, talking neighbours, tell to the microchiped company, RSPCA, Cat protection, pet detective etc… and I still cannot find him anywhere. He is a male, neutered, microchiped, 1yo. I have been putting his food, drink , my clothes outside , etc… I really do not know, what I need to do now.

    Reply
    • Kate
      November 22, 2016 at 4:36 am (6 months ago)

      My male cat was let outside on purpose by a friend of my brother and he dug himself in a hole and I tried everything to get him. I called the animal patrol to ask them to help me and I know that this sounds gross but it worked. I was told to grab some of his used litter out of his box and create a trail to the door and to leave the door open however since my female was inside and I didn’t want her to get out I didn’t leave the door open. However Chance came out of the hole enough to where I grabbed him and got him inside. I don’t know if you have any of his used litter but try to get something with his scent. I have a feeling someone may have taken your cat inside their home. I hope that you find him. I have my female Asya (Asia) microchipped but Chance isn’t until December 2nd but I have always thought that it would be amazing if they make these chips with gps so that we can go online and track our fur babies when something like this happens.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        November 22, 2016 at 5:58 am (6 months ago)

        While there are no GPS tracking chips yet, you can get GPS tracking devices that attach to the cat’s collar, Kate.

        Reply
  18. tery
    June 29, 2016 at 11:06 am (11 months ago)

    I have a cat that is 1/2 Chausie and 1/2 Domestic. My probelm with him is that whenever I pet him, he bites me. Very sweet cat but wonder if the Asian Chausie in him is the cause. I have had cats all my life and never had this problem with other cats. He will be purring while being petted and them for some reason, something takes over and he bites. Help

    Reply
  19. cathetine willis
    June 20, 2016 at 7:54 pm (11 months ago)

    My cat Wizzy suffers from urinary tract infections and getting her in a carrier to the vet is virtually impossible. The vet gave me a liquid antibiotic but i am unable give it to her because she will attack me or spit it out. I tried putting it in milk but she refused to drink it. Any suggestions? Another thing about this cat is she goes nuts when i try to put frontline on her. She usually runs and hides. When we have attempted to put her in a cat carrier she has attacked us to the point where we just give up. She hasnt been to the vet in 2 years. She has been with me since she was a kitten and has always been an inside cat. I’ve never had a more horrible cat. It’s gotten so bad that i have actually thought about having her put down. I could never rehome her because no one would want this mean cat. Please! Please help me. I’m so stressed about it. I find myself brought to tears daily because i just dont know what to do anymore

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 21, 2016 at 5:47 am (11 months ago)

      I know it’s hard when you’re dealing with a challenging cat, but please don’t give up on your girl. I recommend that you work with either a housecall vet who specializes in feline behavior, or a feline behaviorist. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Marilyn Krieger http://thecatcoach.com/ and Pam Johnson-Bennett http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/ Both offer remote consultations.

      Reply
    • tony
      June 29, 2016 at 4:37 pm (11 months ago)

      Get a syringe and fire that medicine in her mouth so she can’t spit it up.

      Reply
      • Kate
        November 22, 2016 at 5:05 am (6 months ago)

        When my male cat was to make his trip for his baby boy shots he freaked out so bad about getting into the carrier that he bit me and wet himself. My vet does house calls but I wanted him to do it and stop freaking out over a carrier so I changed his appointment for 2 weeks, I started out by leaving the carrier open and in the living room, I put his toys inside and went and got a mouse toy you fill with catnip. I let my female show him that she felt safe and comfy in the carrier and I allowed her Asya (Asia) to sleep in it too. I bought a baby blanket and let him (Chance) get his scent on it and placed it in the carrier along with a treat trail going inside. I made Chance want to be in HIS special carrier and even used his toys to make it a fun thing for him. Now he’s still a scaredy cat and gets scared of the carrier but he does go inside and we’re off to the vet. Now we’re working on him getting brave because I have never seen such a wimpy cat in my life, lol
        If you go at this like your cats a human baby and take baby steps by not just pulling the carrier out when it’s vet time, you will make progress.
        As for the medicine well Asya is a hell cat when it comes to meds so my vet just gives her a shot called a convenience shot if she needs antibiotics, it’s a shot that lasts 2 weeks and I don’t have to worry about her spitting, throwing up, or turning into a devil child from hell, lol
        Don’t ever think of putting an animal down unless they are suffering from illness, please cause they are not throw aways just because you are tired of dealing. No one would do that to you just because you acted out. I had to put my 22 year old baby boy down because he was in heart failure and even though I know that he was suffering, the lifetime effects that has on me I’ll never get over.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 22, 2016 at 6:01 am (6 months ago)

          I’m sorry about your 22-year-old kitty. Even when they live that long, it’s just never long enough. And thank you for sharing your experience about how you got Chance used to the carrier. As for Convenia, I hope your vet educated you about the possible risks of this long acting antibiotic. Sadly, far too many vets don’t. While it can be a godsend for difficult to pill cats, it comes with some potentially serious side effects. Here’s more information: http://consciouscat.net/2011/09/26/convenia-for-cats-sacrificing-safety-for-convenience/

          Reply
  20. Jackie Trapp
    June 7, 2016 at 3:58 pm (12 months ago)

    Hi,
    One elder cat lost his brother last year, so we went to the humane society and found an almost teen age kitty to keep him company. Slinky has done ok with the change and loss. Chanel however is a different story. We don’t know all her background but she was returned. Which is ok. Chall doesn’t like to be touch too much and can be a little jumpy at times which can be workable. She appears to be friendly and has adjusted to Slinky being older and not to rambunctious. My children both have cats. All came to live with us. Chall gets along fine with two, but is frightened by the other two and will not come down to the main floor of our home. It gets to the point that they will chase her under the bed, etc. There are times that she is by herself. I am afraid that the solitude may have an adverse effect on her. Is there any advise that can give to help us? Thanks!

    Reply
  21. Wanda Twellman
    June 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm (12 months ago)

    I’m worried about one of my ‘girls’. On Feb. 24, I had a total replacement of my right knee. On March 29, my right knee gave way tearing the MCL and Patellar tendon resulting in me being hospitalized for 6 days then spending the next 32 days in a nursing home. Far from my ‘girls’. A mother-daughter pair, mother is 11 years old and daughter is 9 years old. The daughter, Minx, seems to have coped well with my extended absence from home. But the mother, Lily, I am worried about.
    Since I got home the first part of May, Lily has been attached to my side like Velcro. She doesn’t play, she isn’t eating like she normally does, she is sleeping all the time and she stays right under my feet or beside me all the time. Taking into consideration her age, I had her to our vet for a health check and he said she’s in perfect health. But he can’t explain her behavior any more than I can.
    Could my extended absence from home have been psychologically too traumatic for her to handle?? Prior to my injury, being retired, I was almost always at home or at most, gone for a few hours at a time except for two trips out west to visit my best friend. Both times I was gone for no longer than two weeks and it’s been a few years since my last trip.
    My Lily is my precious girl and I am really worried about her current behavior. She seems to be extremely insecure and anxious. To add to the current problems, I will be moving in a month or so to a new house and I know that’s going to upsetting to both girls. I need to know what I can do to help Lily get over her anxiety of my being gone for so long and ideas/suggestions to make the move as painless as possible for both of my ‘girls’ and not add any more stress to Lily.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2016 at 6:01 am (12 months ago)

      I absolutely think that Lily was traumatized by your absence during your surgery and recovery, Wanda. You may want to consider working with a feline behaviorist to help her regain confidence. Jackson no longer sees private clients. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Marilyn Krieger http://thecatcoach.com/ and Pam Johnson-Bennett http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/ Both offer remote consultations.

      Reply
      • Kate
        November 22, 2016 at 5:24 am (6 months ago)

        In July I got really sick and was hospitalized for 9 days, came home and 48 hours later I was taken by ambulance in respiratory failure. My Asya (Asia) saw them take me out and even though she’s used to my being away (hospitalized, she was so excited to see me when I got home. I came in the house and called out to her and all of the sudden I hear boom, boom, boom and I open the basement door and all I see is a brown ball of fur flying at me, lol Asya flew! Yes I said flew! Never hitting the last 2 steps when she flew into my arms, tail wagging like a dog’s tail and purring, meowing, and then the kisses! She kissed my face for at least 5 full minutes, she missed her mommy. BUT ever since she doesn’t let me out of her sight, she literally pulls my arm to her chest , holding onto me like she is afraid to let me go. Every time I go anywhere she sits in the window and waits for me. I make sure that I tell her every chance I can that I am going nowhere and I love her but she’s very much traumatized and it’ll be a long time before she relaxes.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 22, 2016 at 6:03 am (6 months ago)

          Oh my goodness, what a welcome!

          Reply

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