Know Your Cat: Jackson Galaxy’s Advice for Pet Parents
Entertainment The host of Animal Planet’s hit show ”My Cat From Hell” Jackson Galaxy weighs in on the best ways for owners to care for their feline friend.
Mediaplanet: It’s been suggested that pets improve human health. Do you think cats are therapeutic for their owners?
JG: Having any sort of animal in your life is an irreplaceable piece of therapy. It’s been proved that just by touching an animal, cat or dog, your blood pressure goes down—these are facts. There is no reason why people should not own an animal.
MP: What is the biggest misconception people have about training cats?
JG: That it can’t be done—that they are untrainable. We know that positive reinforcement training is applicable for every type of species. Cats are different from dogs in that fact that they are not motivated to do things specifically for you, it’s not part of their genetic makeup. What motivates them is specific foods, the right type of toy, etc. Find what type of reward for your cat prefers, and withhold that product unless they’re working on a training session so they look forward to training.
MP: How often should a cat owner take their pet in for a checkup?
"Interactive play is essential, as cats are hunting animals. It’s their natural instinct, and your job as their guardian is to invest in this time with your cat to keep them active."
JG: Cats are incredibly stoic when it comes to demonstrating they are in pain. Because they disguise this pain so effectively, its necessary for us to be proactive and bring them in at least once a year, just like you would your dog. Dogs demonstrate more of a human quality and a recognizable discomfort, so if your cat suddenly starts eliminating outside the litter box, take them to the vet immediately.
MP: Do you have any litter box tips?
JG: The litter box should be cleaned every day. I’m a big believer in the old formula, which is however many cats you have, you have one litter box plus one. I am not a big fan of the automatic litter box. If you are not cleaning it yourself, you have lost an important component in maintaining a cat’s health.
MP: How do you get a cat to stay active?
JG: Interactive play is essential, as cats are hunting animals. It’s their natural instinct, and your job as their guardian is to invest in this time with your cat to keep them active.
MP: How do you recommend owners meet their cat’s nutritional needs?
JG: Cats are obligate carnivores. They need meat, and nothing but meat. Their diets should consist of 90 percent meat and meat protein, and 10 percent grass and veggies. I do not believe in processed or crunchy food. It’s solely about the meat. I am a huge promoter of the raw food diet.