How Jackson Galaxy Started ‘My Cat from Hell’ Series

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on April 30, 2013
Animal Planet
Jackson with Olive at Emile in Mike's apartment in New York City.

How did Jackson Galaxy from “My Cat From Hell” get started?
—Stacy Robertson, Columbus, Ohio.

One night about 15 years ago, Galaxy went into the cat room at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Colo., where he worked, to calm the kitties down during a storm, and the cats just kind of gravitated toward him. The “Cat Daddy” was born.

“If you know that you can help affect a change in an animal’s life and keep them from being euthanized in a shelter, you jump on it,” the New York City-born cat wrangler says. “That is as simple as it was. Over time, we started implementing me doing home visits.”

This season of “My Cat From Hell” is Galaxy’s fourth, and he says that each year producers up the ante on the problems. One of his most difficult in season four was trying to re-educate a cat, which had been abandoned, to once again trust humans and come into the house of the people trying to rescue it. There was also an instance where a mom was convinced that the family’s cat was attacking her small dogs.

“It was the most intense psychological challenge I have ever dealt with. I am not a human psychologist,” he says.

But the story that touched his heart the most was a little girl with a cat named Autumn. She was about to lose her tabby to the animal shelter because it peed on everything.

The author of the memoir “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love and Coming Clean“ recalls that “The family said, ‘Of course we want her to have this kitten, but we are losing everything in the house from microwaves to couches.’ The pressure was really on.”

When not filming the Animal Planet series, Galaxy, who now lives in Los Angeles, runs his private consulting practice, working with families to help them understand why their cats are acting out and how to resolve the issues. He also continues his work with shelters as the big-picture goal for Galaxy is to create a no-kill reality.

“I come into homes with cats halfway out the door,” he says. “Their owners are ready to bring them to shelters or turn them out into the street. We are able to make that not happen and forge a bond between humans and animals. That is my part and I get to see it happen every day.”