Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jackson Galaxy Uses His Cat Charisma on 'My Cat from Hell'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jackson Galaxy Uses His Cat Charisma on 'My Cat from Hell'

Article excerpt

Jackson Galaxy offers three tips for adding a cat to your household:

* Don't just think about kittens. "With a kitten, you can't predict their personality. With an adult cat, you know what you're getting."

* Choose a cat that's the best match with your existing cat. "Don't go in with your own preferences in mind. Look for traits and a personality that you know will complement your cat."

* Take your time with the introduction. "Don't force it. Pushing them together can cause trauma and create stress. Let them warm up at their own speed."

Jackson Galaxy didn't choose the cat life. The cat life chose him.

Galaxy, who helps troubled cats and frustrated owners restore harmony on Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell," found his calling when he began working at the Humane Society in Boulder, Colo., 20 years ago, he says.

"I quickly realized that cats were drawn to me," he says. "It was one of those serendipitous things. I had little experience, but I knew it wasn't right to euthanize cats just because of behavior problems."

Taking advantage of his natural cat charisma, Galaxy read and studied and eventually opened a practice along with a holistic veterinarian in Boulder. When he moved to Los Angeles in 2007 and started a similar practice, it was almost inevitable that television would come calling.

"Here's this crazy-looking guy, and he works with cats!" Galaxy says, channeling producers' thoughts. With full-sleeve tattoos, piercings and artistically sculptured facial hair, Galaxy looks more like a hip musician, which he was in a previous life, than someone who carries cat toys in his guitar case.

Since 2011, Galaxy has been the star of "My Cat From Hell," returning Saturday with new episodes on Animal Planet.

But about that title: Galaxy wasn't thrilled with what he saw as sensationalism. "I had thought we might call it 'Cat Daddy,'" a nickname that is also the title of his 2012 book.

"But cat behavior on TV was uncharted territory, and Discovery (parent to Animal Planet) wanted to grab the attention of cat people. In retrospect, I think they were right. And anyone who watches knows that's not what it's about. …

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