Showing posts with label Jackson Galaxy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jackson Galaxy. Show all posts

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Jackson Galaxy is disappointed with the cat fancy and cat breeding

 It is no surprise to me that Jackson Galaxy, the world's most famous cat whisperer (cat behaviourist) dislikes or is disappointed with cat breeding and the breeds. Well, I have generalised and read his mind so I'll tell you what he says in his book Total Cat Mojo about the purebred cats and you can make up your own mind. 

He always adopts non-purebred cats. He does the right thing. Although he is high profile, he's very down to earth and a realist. He sees the big picture and the need to do the right thing and adopt rescue cat. He worked extensively in cat rescue before becoming a famous cat bebehaviourist.

Jackson Galaxy with Barry
Jackson Galaxy loved Barry deeply and misses him a lot. Photo: Jackson Galaxy.

He heads his section on breeding and the breeds with "The Puppet Master Enters: Purebred Cats".

You get a hint in that heading. He's saying that people are playing at God when they create new purebred cat breeds and create them for sale.

He explains that in the early days of the cat fancy there was no extreme breeding as there is today. For example, he explains that the Siamese cat's pointed coat was enough to distinguish that cat breed from the rest and it was and still is. 

And the Persian cat back in the old days was pretty much a standard-looking cat. There were no flat-faced oddities in those days. This is what he says. But today "breeding is an altogether different beast (so to speak), with organisations recognising anywhere from 44 to nearly 60 different breeds of cats (I think actually that TICA recognise more than 70)."

And he then goes on to talk about how the cat fancy developed in America in a detrimental way. He says:

"In the process, we have pushed cats' physical appearance to extremes, often without regard for the well-being of the cats being bred. We've made the Persian's face flatter and the Siamese space thinner and more pointed. Consequently, the changes we have imposed through breeding are in many ways detrimental to the Raw Cat."

The Raw Cat that he refers to is the natural domestic cat, the domesticated wildcat with a wildcat character beneath that domestic exterior.

He adds that:

"By selecting Persians for the brachycephalic (short-nosed) appearance, we have actually made it harder for them to breathe, increased the chance of skin, dental and eye disease, and made giving birth riskier and more difficult.

Scottish Folds are used as a model for studying pain and arthritis because the mutations that cause the folds in their ears also lead to painful degeneration in their bones and cartilage.

Manx cats are prone to back pain, constipation, and other elimination problems because of spinal cord deformities.

Maine Coon cats are prone to heart disease, and Siamese cats have a higher likelihood of asthma and hyperaesthesia. Sidebar from Michael: the modern Siamese is the unhealthiest breed and the Persian is in the top three.

RELATED: Siamese: The World’s Most Unhealthy Cat!

These are just a few examples. When you limit the gene pool, you increase the chance of dangerous mutations and disease. There is no other way around it.

Humans may be pulling the strings when it comes to cats' exteriors, but are we making any progress in understanding their inner world?"

As you can see, he is critical of a section of the cat fancy where they breed purebred cats to extreme meaning the anatomy becomes abnormal in order to create a cat which looks different and can be completely distinguished from the other breeds. 

The objective here is to sell more cats and to follow the breed standard accurately but breeders go beyond simply following the breed standard in their efforts to create more interesting cats at which point they create unhealthy cats as is emphasised by Jackson Galaxy.

Thursday 18 May 2023

4 things you should NEVER do to your cat

This is Jackson Galaxy's list of 4 things that you should never do to your cat but it could equally well have been my list or the list of any one of millions of excellent cat caregivers. Actually, my list would be longer but Jackson was limited by the length of the video. 

It is wonderful for me that at the top of his list is declawing. He's American and millions of Americans declaw their cat. He is alienating these potential supporters by criticising them which is the right thing to do and it is wonderful to see. It proves that Jackson set high standards.

Although he has to say that declawing is very bad because it is bloody well exactly that. He says declawing should be banned in the US. He's right and it is banned in 2 states and around a dozen cities but there's a long way to go. Across the rest of the world around 38 countries specifically ban it. In other countries general welfare laws would effectively ban it. Or no one even thinks about declawing in nearly all other countries.

4 things you should NEVER do to your cat
Declawing is a big NO NO. Screenshot from the video.

His next pet hate is punishing your cat. Right again. That's number 2 on his list of things that you should never do to your cat. Cats do not understand punishment as it is a human concept, activity and process that is solely for humans. It requires understanding social norms and morals. That is not the domain of are precious feline friends.

Punishment alienates your cat if it achieves anything at all. There is a subtle modification that Britain's celebrity cat behaviourist, Dr Bruce Fogle, recommends and he calls it 'divine intervention'. 

Jackson mentions the squirt bottle. If your cat cannot see that the squirt is coming from their owner but just arrives as if by God's will, it will not alienate the cat but simply tell the cat that what they are doing results in an unpleasant experience. This should stop them doing it.

Personally, I'd never do this but there is a difference. There are better ways of dealing with cat behavior that a cat owner does not like: training through positive reinforcement or accepting it (modified human thinking).

Yelling at your cat is a form of punishment and is also a No, No. I can understand when this might seem acceptable or happens because the owner loses self-control but it isn't a good idea.

His fourth point of not giving up is, I believe, a reference to not abandoning your cat to a shelter or in a much worse place. There are always ways to resolve problems many of which are actually relatively straightforward.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Infographics on 3 cat companion behaviours that need correction plus training fear out of your cat


I am thankful for Jackson's thoughts on this. He has his own language for describing cat behavior. I am not sure that the Infographic needs to be expanded on but I will add some words. 

Fridging and cocooning?

Two of these behavioural traits: liking to be on top of the fridge or underneath furniture which Jackson exceeded describes as fridging and cocooning respectively, are due to anxiety even fear. They are not that uncommon. 

Domestic cats have to be quite wary in some homes where the environment is not really conducive to a cat expressing their natural behaviours.

So, if a cat caregiver sees this kind of behaviour, they might accurately presume that their cat is anxious. Other signs might be over grooming themselves even to the point where they barber the hair from the inside of their legs were on their belly, both easily accessible places.


Jackson Galaxy, American's favourite cat behaviourist, suggests that in order to allow a domestic cat to gain their confidence and become less timid, the cat caregiver should provide a cocoon for them which is a transformational place. 

This is a hiding place which is more open to the possibility of them interacting with what is going on around them. It is an intermediate location where a cat can feel secure and when it suits them integrate into general household life.

Train to reduce fear in a cat

Here is another infographic on a similar topic.

Infographic by MikeB at PoC.

Monday 21 July 2014

UK Version of Jackson Galaxy

In the UK, according to the Daily Star, we have an unknown cat expert who wants to become an recognised feline behaviourist with his own television show just like Jackson Galaxy in the USA. His name is Louis Denver, 29, and I have a feeling he has been watching Jackson Galaxy in action on his website.

Louis denver 1

He calls himself a “cat man" and says that he has built up his skills as a cat psychologist over time.  He lives in the north of the country in Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire.

Regrettably, he says things which tell me that he does not know enough about cats to be the UK's version of Jackson Galaxy.

Louis says the main problems facing cat owners are inappropriate elimination, loud meowing at night and spraying around the house. These are not the main problems.  Very few domestic cats spray around the house because spraying, as I'm sure Louis knows, is a form of territorial marking but although some rarely do this, 95% of domestic cats don't, especially if they are neutered.

Also, meowing at night is not in my mind a major problem.  You can see a list of the reasons for cat relinquishment on this page and they tell us what the major reasons are for a breakdown in the relationship between person and cat.

Louis says if a domestic cat misses the litter tray it is because the cat is territorially insecure and keen to mark his territory. Marking territory through spraying horizontally is not the same as peeing into a litter tray. The reasons behind both actions are completely different and unrelated.  You can read about how to stop peeing outside the box on this page.

Louis also states that cats try to be naughty. I would certainly dispute that especially as he implies that it is the reason for not using the litter tray which is completely incorrect in my opinion.

Louis claims to have learned everything he knows about cats from TV programmes and online tutorials. With respect to Louis, you cannot substitute actual cat caretaking over a long period of time with YouTube videos. To learn about cat behaviour solely from the Internet from words written and videos made is not enough.

He does have a good point when he says that cat caretakers need to play with their cats more often. And he doesn't like the mistreatment of cats which obviously tells us that his heart is in the right place.

I am not sure that the actually cares for a cat. That has not been stated in the article in the Daily Star.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Question: Is Lux The Celebrity Aggressive Cat Declawed?

Having followed the Lux story from its inception on the Internet I am yet to see any reference made to the possibility that this cat - who is supposed to have a history of aggressive behaviour - has been declawed. We know that Jackson Galaxy, the well-known cat behaviourist is figuring out what is wrong and what causes the aggression (his assessment will be discussed on his Animal Planet television programme “My Cat from Hell").  However, I'm certain that Mr Galaxy has not made any reference to whether Lux has been declawed or not. We know he has struggled to solve the riddle.

It is a question worth asking simply because a cat's behaviour can be detrimentally affected by the declawing operation. It depends on the individual cat. Some cats will be affected much more than others. Some cats will undergo a botched operation and may be suffering from acute discomfort with bone shards in their toes and/or nail regrowth under the skin. There are all kinds of possibilities and cats do not disclose their discomfort except sometimes in aggressive behaviour which apparently has no obvious cause. Cats can become vulnerable/fearful without claws, it is said, and tend to bite in compensation.

I am of course simply speculating. I do not have the faintest idea whether Lux was declawed and if he was whether it affects his behaviour and has turned him into a cat with a history of aggression. I am simply asking the question and I hope somebody is able to answer it. Perhaps Mr Galaxy can and will do so in his television programme which is very shortly to be aired.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Are You Considered By Some to Be a Crazy Cat Lover or Animal Hugger?

Jackson Galaxy Considered by Some to be a Crazy Animal Hugger

If you are a young man and you love cats and perhaps you love all animals then you might be considered to be a crazy cat lover or crazy animal hugger by some people.  Jackson Galaxy says that he is considered to be a crazy animal hugger by some people in the USA (click on the link above to read more about that).  He is not your archetypal cat lover based on appearance which is why he breaks down barriers. He breaks down the stereotypical image of a person who likes animals and cats. This is his great asset I think.
Cat lovers are creative people. Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

What I mean is his appearance is his great asset because when you combine his appearance with the fact that he is a well-known cat behaviourist and “animal hugger" then you have a potent mix which is highly effective and which draws people in who would otherwise not necessary be that interested in animal welfare.

The stereotype is that older women, particularly independent and intelligent women, are cat lovers. The other stereotype is that the younger man or the family man is a dog lover.

If you like animals a lot then people who don't understand can unjustifiably criticise you.  However, I don't think that a person who loves animals would criticise a person who does not love animals.  I think that people who care about animal welfare are generally better people and they tend to be more polite and therefore will not be aggressive towards people who are different.  Conversely, the people who are aggressive towards people concerned about animal welfare can tend to be more aggressive anyway.  Am I stereotyping people myself?  I'm not sure but that is how it looks to me sometimes.

It is surprising that such a well-known cat behaviourist with his own television channel in the USA is criticised and insulted by people who call him a crazy animal hugger.  This is what Jackson himself says happens sometimes.

On a more optimistic note, however, he does say that there is an ongoing general shift in attitude towards animal welfare among Americans in America.  He believes - and he is well placed to assess this - that Americans are becoming more sensitive towards animal welfare, which means of course that Jackson will become more mainstream and criticised less!  What a good thing that would be. Perhaps this trend will translate into less declawing of cats and less wild cat species as pets.  There are too many pet wild cats in America.  They are unsuited.

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