Have you ever watched Jackson Galaxy’s program, Cats From Hell, on Animal Planet? Wow, does he take on some challenging cat situations. There are cats that don’t get along with each other barely surviving in the same household, cats that hate their owner’s boyfriend or girlfriend, scaredy cats, destructive cats… And Jackson comes in with his guitar case full of cat toys and other potentially useful paraphernalia and he assesses the situation, gives the cat owners some homework to try with their cat and then comes back once or twice to see how things are going.
Often he suggests bringing in tall cat trees and building ledges all around the upper portions of the room for the cats to climb on and relax on. He says that cats like to be high—it helps to give them a sense of power and confidence when they’re looking down on the world instead of peering out at it from under a bed or dresser or out from a closet.
He also recommends a lot of playtime with appropriate toys—usually a feather toy or some other toy on the end of a wand.
He also shows the people various techniques for handling their particular cat situations, such as using wood panels to help keep cats apart so they don’t fight and giving them something to claw on so they don’t tear up your belongings and tips for getting a cat to warm up to you.
I recall one incident where the cat suddenly became frightened and I think even somewhat aggressive. Turns out the cat was hard of hearing and once when he was in the yard, a big dog or a big truck approached and caught him off guard and scared him. He carried that fear with him after that, until Jackson helped the family to figure out what had caused it and guided them in helping the cat to gain his confidence back and, of course, he thought them to be more aware of the cat’s handicap.
I hadn’t watched the program in a while. When I turned it on last week, I noticed they also have a segment about Cats From Heaven where Jackson showcases a cat who has done something amazingly worthwhile—save a family member, console someone who’s ill or something like that. In the segment I watched, the cat alerted the family to the fact that the baby in the crib was suffocating in a blanket.
If you get Animal Planet, you’ll probably enjoy watching Cats From Hell and Cats From Heaven. You may even learn a few techniques to help with your own cat.