Jackson Galaxy, perhaps known to pet-television audiences as America’s “Cat Daddy” for his duties hosting the Animal Planet show My Cat from Hell, was in DC last week as part of his book tour. Sitting in the Jefferson Hotel—which he deemed to be too fancy for him and full of items that he could accidentally break—he talked about his book, his next television project, and if President Trump should get a pet.
Galaxy’s book, Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat, which came out last month, is all about how to have a successful relationship with an animal. “It’s basically all I know about cats in one place,” Galaxy says.
The book starts out as a broad history of cats and their physiology, but as it progresses, the book focuses more tightly on how to form strong bonds with the famously standoffish pets.
“I don’t want it to be ‘Cats for Dummies’. I don’t want to just give you a how-to, I don’t want to give you that shortcut. I do want to get all the information that I have that will help in there,” Galaxy says.
Galaxy also has a new show, Cat vs. Dog, which also airs on Animal Planet. In it, Galaxy and Zoe Sandor, a dog trainer, work together to ease tension and conflict between cats and dogs living in the same space, as well as the humans.
“I don’t want to spoil any storylines but we get deep into it right off the bat,” Galaxy says. “Obviously, no matter if you’re dealing with Cat vs. Dog or [My] Cat from Hell, it always comes down to the humans. It’s always human dysfunction that causes these things. When you’ve got two species going at it, there’s a lot of dysfunction.”
And although he is a feline behaviorist, he does own three dogs.
“I can’t imagine spending my whole life working with cats and not going home to a dog,” Galaxy says. “Everyone needs that! That’s the thing, I don’t believe in cat people or dog people, I think we’re all ‘bipetual’ by nature.”
That includes Trump, the first president to occupy the White House without animal companionship. Galaxy talks a lot about how animals add compassion and humility to their owners’ lives, prompting the the notion that if Trump is cold on getting a dog, perhaps he should consider a cat.
“Oh, yeah,” Galaxy says, without missing a beat. “He should get anything. The presence of animals in our lives, number one, teaches us humility and number two, expands our circle of compassion. “It teaches you that you’re not top dog in the world, especially cats.”
Galaxy went on to say that humans have a hard time with compromising and being vulnerable with other humans, let alone with other species.
“A little humility goes a long way when you’re occupying that office,” Galaxy said.
And would the “Cat Daddy” offer his services if the President entered a troubled relationship with a pet cat? “I would help,” Galaxy answers. “If he reached out to me, that would say, ‘I love my cat enough to not kick him out of my house.’ I’m there.”
Beside promoting his new show and book—and offering unsolicited advice to the President—Galaxy also recently relaunched his foundation, the Jackson Galaxy Project. The charity works on increasing shelter cats’ chances being adopted and a fund to provide assistance to cats in need of medical care. He’s also trying to develop pet-friendly domestic-violence shelters.”