My Cat From Hell is a reality TV show that started in May 2011 when it was broadcast on Animal Planet. It stars Jackson Galaxy who is a cat behaviourist, as well as a musician, and sees him visiting the homes of cat owners. His mission is to solve the conflicts or behavioural issues that the cats are exhibiting or to solve problems between owners and their cats. The series returned to the screens on 26th April 2014 for a 16 episode 5th season.
What to expect
Jackson Galaxy works on the theory that he can help any ‘problem cat’ as long as its humans follow the instructions he gives them. He also thinks that most behavioural problems are a result of either a trigger in the environment or the mishandling of the cat by its owners.
Some of the main areas that he teaches cat owners are that cats are territorial and need their own space within the home. He also learns about cats sending out signals when they no longer want to be petted, which he refers to as overstimulation. Cats can lash out when overstimulated and when cornered. To help with the latter, he often recommends the use of above floor walkways that have no dead ends to allow the cat to escape.
Amongst areas covered are things such as the correct way of picking up a cat as picking up incorrectly can lead to injury to the cat and to the human when they try to escape. Other areas covered are cats that have excessive amounts of energy and what can be done to release this. If not done in a positive way, this can lead to damage around the house.
Jackson also helps people deal with having more than one animal in the house by showing how to give them their own separate areas. He introduces the animals to each other in positive situations such as at feeding time.
Behavioral problems in cats
The show highlights a growing area recognized by cat charities across the country where cats are being abandoned due to behavioral problems that, with the right advice, can often be solved. Third on the list of reasons for abandonment is cat litter tray avoidance after allergies and moving somewhere that the cat can’t be taken. Similarly, issues with destruction of property around the house is another issue. This show works to help educate people on these issues to allow them better understand of their pet.
There have been five series thus far of the show: Series 1 had just three episodes, Series 2 had six, Series 3 had ten, Series 4 had seventeen and Series 5 has sixteen. So far, Series 4, Episode 3 entitled ‘Penny Hates Puck’ has the highest viewer numbers with 1.2 million people watching the show. It involved two cats who were violently fighting every time they saw each other while another cat had become oddly obsessed with a stuffed animal in the household.
The show has also received positive reception from the written media with Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly commented that ‘Galaxy offers useful tips, even if your animal’s not nuts’.