Jackson Galaxy is back for another season of his hit Animal Planet show, My Cat From Hell, and he has more kitty myths to dispel. In the first two episodes alone, he solves the seemingly hopeless situation of a family cat that is so freaked out that she lives in the kitchen cupboards (and poops on the counter), and he takes a road trip with Instagram star and neonatal kitten rescuer Hannah Shaw and a van full of kittens. This season will also see him focus as much on feline rescue and rehab as he does helping dysfunctional humans and their kitty conundrums. The heavily tattooed feline behavioral specialist hopped on the phone with Playboy to talk about pussycats, exploding the cat lady myth, and why feline owners make better lovers, among other things.
So, do you ever feel sort of jaded about the humans you come into contact with who are on the show? Because sometimes they’re sort of frustrating.
Yeah, often they’re frustrating, but thank God, I have not become jaded. I think it’s because I always keep my eye on the prize, which is that that’s one more cat that’s not going to wind up in the system. I’ve always got that in my mind. Plus, I like people, and I like educating people. I think by and large, and I’m scouring my brain right now, I can think of, over the course of eight seasons now of My Cat From Hell and let’s say 150 of these cases, I can think of like one or two where I was, like, you know what, I give up on you… Go get a goldfish. I can’t handle you.
There’s just been not many where you can’t find that candy center under the shell. It’s always there. And I also consider myself just as much of a relationship coach as I am a cat guy… The day that I do feel that sense of ‘I give up’ or I can’t deal with humans anymore, it’s time for me to head off to some kind of compound somewhere in the woods and hang out with cats. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Let’s discuss the cat lady stereotype. As a cat lady myself, how do we eradicate these terrible stereotypes we have of people — men, women, other, everyone, being these sort of terrible, neurotic people.
Well, very simple. Own it. Own it. Take it back. You know? I call myself a crazy cat lady, even though I’m far from it, that stereotype. But, if we take it back, we highlight the insanity of it. How people avoid bringing a cat into their life just because they’re afraid their friends are going to judge [them]. That’s crazy. But it’s crazy because societally we’ve accepted a label.
Now, one of the ways that people in that sort of younger, Hannah Shaw demographic can do something is post pictures. Post a picture of you and your cat and show the world that we are not your mom’s crazy cat ladis. You know what I mean? We’re not sitting in a basement knitting sweaters out of our cat’s fur. We are a pretty with-it bunch of people. That means men and women. Men got to step up to the plate, man. I mean, please. If your masculinity is threatened in any way because you’re thinking about posting a selfie of you and your cat, you got much bigger problems.
Do you think cat lovers make better partners?
You mean, romantically, partners?
If your masculinity is threatened in any way because you’re thinking about posting a selfie of you and your cat, you got much bigger problems.
Yes, yes. Do you think they make better lovers?
Yeah, they do. Yeah, man. I mean, because there’s a sensitivity. And let me tell you something, not for nothing, but I do believe that cats sort of represent the mystery that is femininity, you know what I mean? The feminine. They are mysterious in ways that men sometimes don’t have the patience for. Dogs are right there. Right there on the surface. And, hey, I love dogs. I have dogs. But they’re right there on the surface — very easy for men. You know? [laughs] We just want to see what it is, okay, it’s like, can I fix this thing? Yeah, I can fix it, let’s go.
But cats require meeting in the middle. They require listening. They require patience and compromise if you want to be a successful in a world with cat. And that’s what it takes to be in a relationship. Men can definitely take note on this one, that what you bring to your life as a partner, you bring to your life with your cat. And vice versa. I know that sounds, or it might sound crazy, but I can tell you it’s definitely true.
The more attuned you are to the animal world in general, the more sensitive it makes you, and I think that that’s definitely something you bring to your partner.
My Cat From Hell is on Animal Planet at Saturday, 9/8c.