Escape Artists

My Cat From Hell shows you a lot of what happens when Jackson rescues cats and their guardians from a hellish situation.

But it can’t always show everything.

When Jackson went over to help Roscoe the rambunctious cat and his guardians Danielle and Ruben recently (season 3, episode 5), something happened that spurred Jackson enough to make sure he told you about it.

Here’s Jackson:

We didn’t show this [on the T.V. episode].

They [Danielle & Ruben] were talking to me about how Roscoe gets out all the time; he’s an amazing escape artist.

I said okay tell me about it, and as they were telling me about it – I had been in the house for five minutes – Roscoe reached up, opened the sliding glass door of their patio, and was gone.  Like, out onto the patio balcony and was gone; luckily they were on the ground floor.

We got him back pretty uneventfully.

And that’s number one by the way:

Cat escapes – don’t run after them.

You run and start screaming their name and they will keep running.  If you just walk outside, and you breathe and you call their name very gently (even though you’re panicking) they won’t panic, and you’ll be able to swoop them up most of the time.  Which is what happened with Roscoe.

But the second thing is this: Roscoe had no collar on.  Not only did he have no collar on, this is a chronic escape artist: no collar, no tags, no microchip.

And they didn’t have a great picture, a current picture of Roscoe.

These are three major things that have to happen with your cat…

…especially if they’re escape artists, but with every cat really.

  • First of all, even if your cats are 100% indoors, they should have collars on with tags saying at the very least your phone number.
  • Secondly, all cats should be microchipped.  Not just for the obvious, which is that if they get picked up, every shelter in the U.S. at this point has a scanner.  They will scan, and get your proper information.  Also by the way, Ruben and Danielle had just moved.  So you have to make sure that the address information that’s registered to your microchip is current.

And also this is crazy but true: there are people who drive around and swoop up stray animals.  And those animals can be used for laboratory testing.  If those animals have microchips, legally they can’t be.  So that’s “kind of important,” too.

  • Lastly, they didn’t have a current picture of Roscoe.  If your cat goes missing, you put up a clear, frontal current picture of them.  Showing features on their face, the length of their fur, their color…then you make as many flyers as you can saying “This is Roscoe, he’s missing, here’s my number, call me.”  If it’s a fuzzy picture, if it’s one from when he was a kitten – not gonna help you.

So, to sum it up, make sure your cats have a collar and tag, microchip, and clear picture for flyers in case they get lost.

That’s what Roscoe was missing.

  1. Lynn   August 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm  

    Good tips here, Jackson.. I DO think it’s a big negative when you encourage cat owners to take their cats out for walks, though!
    There is NO good reason to encourage this, they are protected and happy inside!
    It’s just stimulating them to want to go out, and that is not good either.
    Our multicat home has happy cats, who are fine sitting in windows, or watching things from closed windows when weather is too hot or cold.
    Just my personal feelings as a person with lots of experience with cats and shelter background.

    1. Sheila W.   August 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm  

      I disagree with your anti-walking stance big time. I take my Vladimir out for walks and he loves it, gets the exercise and play time he needs, plus he gets to experience nature in a safe way. Vladimir’s microchipped and his information is up to date. While it is sad that some animals get lost and/or end up in shelters, that isn’t the case for all of them, so denying them limited outdoor time isn’t a viable solution, either.

      Thank you, Jackson, for your great advice! You ROCK!

      1. Lynn   August 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm  

        Sheila, what happens when an unexpected dog comes up and attacks your Vladimir? You are only encouraging him to WANT to go out all the time by doing this action. It’s a negative if you think and look around at the real dangers that surround them out there!
        Our multicat home is very happy and never go out, never will. I need to know they are safe and would never encourage walking them or allowing them to roam EVER..
        This is a bad idea! Shelters do not even recommend letting cats out and they will deny an adoption if potential adoptees want to do this with them too!

        1. Wren   February 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm  

          Shelters discourage people letting their cats roam free – they do NOT discourage walking them on a leash. Walking a cat on a leash is no more dangerous than walking a dog on a leash, and you wouldn’t discourage people from walking their dog, would you? Your “dangerous dog” scenario can happen to a dog on a leash – or a human – as well, but frankly, most dogs I’ve ever met are friendly and wouldn’t attack just because it’s a cat any more than they would attack just because it’s a smaller dog. And if someone comes along with a dog while you’ve got a cat, it’s up to the humans to communicate “Oh, my dog doesn’t like cats” and then the cat guardian can pick up the cat maybe or the dog guardian can cross the street. But I think the growls and hisses that would inevitably ensue long before they can reach each other would cause the same reaction. I have three cats, and two of them have zero desire to walk on a leash, but one of them enjoys it. We don’t go far, but he gets to smell the smells and roll around outside. And he’s perfectly safe with me. Conflating leash-walking with neighborhood roaming is a little beyond. That’s the cat equivalent of parents who won’t let their kids ride bikes around the block with their friends anymore because they’re afraid of every other human being on the planet. We need to ratchet down the anxiety a little; the world is not out to get us. There is being reasonably safe and then there are phobias.

    2. Deaf258   August 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm  

      I understand the dangers of having an outdoors cat. Due to the history of the my neighborhood and my last 2 cats from many years ago, my current cat, BearClaw, is forbidden to go outside alone. One was mauled by a neighbor’s dog and we couldn’t save that cat. Another was killed by a child riding a bike on the sidewalk. I don’t let her walk out of the house by herself. I make it a routine where I put on a harness and leash, pick her up gently, walk out of the house with her in my arms and then set her down someplace safe for her to explore. I could tell BearClaw, who is a 100% indoors cat, is a lot happier being allowed to explore outside than being kept inside. The first time I let her sit in a tree, she was in heaven! I could see her face and body language that she was starting to decompress, relax and shed off the stress that was going on in the environment in my home (I’m not the source of the stress). I guess the tree is her new-found spa. Believe it or not, I’ve taken BearClaw camping with me and shared a tent. Cats are not meant to be kept in a cage or a small room indefinitely or else they’ll go anxious, poopy and claw everything.

      1. Deaf258   August 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm  

        Oh, one more thing.. BearClaw is current with her shots, registered with a microchip and collared with 2 tags, one with my information and another with her registration.

      2. Lynn   August 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm  

        Yes, cats do not belong kept in a small room! or cage, of course not..But, thats not the same as cats living in a home or apartment with free reign, cat trees, toys, etc. Cats are in danger going outside, it’s that simple and logical..Look around..If you can’t see that, I don’t know where you are living!
        most people live in cities or suburbs, so just the cars driving by is enough of a danger to their lives to not let them out! Not to mention the many other dangers to them..We would not risk their lives that way. They can get fresh air sitting in an open window..

        1. Katrina Steinbruegge   September 18, 2014 at 6:30 am  

          My, Mulley (said Molly) was in a third floor apartment with me and one other cat, she sat in the open window all the time, but even though loud noises scared her, i.e. motorcycles, she loved going on a leash for a walk around our small town square. People would always stop and pet her, even pick her up, and tell me how beautiful she was, they were amazed at how well she was on a leash, this was almost twenty years ago. My other cat, Asha, really just loved the steps she was not fond of the outdoors. I let her, on a leash, run up and down the stairs, there were dogs in these apartments too. I plan to get my current cat a leash, she already has a collar and Harness,(and is micro-chipped) and loves to bolt out the door. The boyfriend wants her to be totally indoors, but I don’t think that is fair to her, we don’t have room for a catio, so a leash will have to do.

    3. Barry   August 4, 2012 at 10:54 am  

      When cats are in solitary confinement, they, like humans suffer moderate to severe psychological and sometimes irreversible damage in as little as 60 days. Solitary confinement is a violation of article three of the Geneva Convention based on some firm evidence. Cats have been outside animals for 25 million years and become stressed due to their confinement when they cannot mark their territory nor have their senses stimulated by the movement of lizards, birds, butterflies and other animals. Jackson has shown on many of his visits that taking a cat for a walk is healthy for the cat as well as the owner. Cats should not be so severely penalized because they use a litter box. Dogs need to be walked to do their “business” and dogs that are walked twice a day do not show the neurotic behaviors that indoor-only cats often suffer from. I deal with cat parents daily who have enriched their indoor-only cat by taking walks or better still building a dedicated cat area outside where they can act naturally and still be safe. In my rarely humble opinion, permanently taking a cat out of their natural state is abuse.

      1. Lynn   August 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm  

        Sorry, Barry, you are really misinformed here about keeping cats safe indoors! They do NOT need to go outside ever! Soilary confinement??? they have happy homes with toys, cat treehouses, people who love them, it’s not prison!
        We have had many cats in our lifetime and I have shelter background too, so am very experienced with cats..In no way, do I think they are suffering as housecats!
        They suffer when they are hit by cars, snatched to be sold to experimental labs, harmed or abused by mean sick people, attacked by dogs or wolves, coyotes, depending where you live!
        You have to face reality and protect them. Our cats do not have any psychological damage, that’s just nonsense..
        You cause harm by promoting them to go outside..I hope others do not take your comments seriously…the only way to protect cats is to keep them inside our homes, provide playtime, love, treehouses for watching birds thru windows, window beds when windows are secure, etc.
        It’s logical and the loving choice!

        1. Sara   August 5, 2012 at 9:17 am  

          Lynn, I believe when you say you have had quite a bit of experience with cats but I also think that because of your work in shelters that the negative side of things has affected you to the point where you are more worried about how YOU feel about the situation ( going outdoors) rather than how the cats feel. Also, just because your cat(s) are 100% indoor and happy, doesn’t meen that all cats are this way. My cat loves going outside, but he is in a safe, enclosed cat friendly area made specifically made for him. And I think thats the point here, every situation and every cat is different and experiences/ interperets life differently than the next. Keeping a cat indoors 100% if they don’t want to is like trying to get a teenager to do the same!!!

        2. Marc   August 9, 2012 at 4:58 am  

          Lynn, an indoor cat who is bonded to his owner and altered isn’t encouraged to run away when he’s taken to a quiet park to spent quality time with his owner, smelling bushes and getting his head rubbed and rolling in the grass while in a harness and on a lead.

          Because he doesn’t start thinking “Oh, I could totally run out here with noisy cars wizzing past and people on the street in the bright scary light of day all alone”.

          I do hope you understand that you are, in essence, arguing that all dog owners are wrong to ever take their dogs for a walk, because it “promotes” going out of the yard.

          My tamed feral, who raised a litter in a hole in a brick wall and managed to feed her kittens totally by hunting, and who most people would tell you never should have become a pet, is TERRIFIED of going back outside, where she spent 2 years of her life. Because it’s scary as hell and she knows about it.

          My little boy, with a sheltered life, kept darting out the door when he was six months to one year old. Thankfully, he’d freeze 20-30 feet out, and try to get his bearings, at which point we scooped him up. Yes, he was altered.

          Once we started having leash time, he stopped running out. He got his curiosity satisfied. If he really really feels he wants to go out, he digs out his harness (Annoyingly, sometimes at 3 AM, because he’s a cat) and literally drags it to me. He doesn’t claw the screens or try to burrow under the door.

          I understand that you’re coming entirely from a place of wanting to protect cats, and that you are sincere in your worries, but I have to ask you – do you know of one case that validates your fears?

          Just one case where a cat guardian spent two months getting their cat used to a harness and lead, and then took them out once a day for one and then five and then twenty and then thirty minutes, making the whole event about play and togetherness….and then complained their cat was suddenly trying to dart outside alone and run off?

          You’re going based on what you think is likely. We’re going based on experience.

          Outside time isn’t for every cat or every cat guardian. Many people don’t have the time or patience or they have cats who are damaged – like I said, I can’t take my formerly feral girl outside.

          But it’s not evil and doesn’t lead to run-aways, particularly if you do it right.

          1. patty   July 31, 2015 at 1:20 pm  

            Marc, I don’t know if you still read this forum, but if so, I want to thank you. I have two semi-ferals and one of them would love to go outside. He is overly curious about the door. Thankfully we have a double-door set up where one of the doors is most always closed. I have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to frighten him away from the door with loud noises (from things, not me). This works only temporarily and he’s back at it again in a month or so. I have toyed often with the idea of harness/leash training him, but have always wondered if it would make things worse. Your post is giving me encouragement to at least try. It’s obviously not working keeping him inside. My other semi-feral (more feral than the other) has shown little to no interest in the outdoors other than watching for bugs on the window or occasionally chattering at a bird.

            My question is, what have you found to be the best harness? He is only about 9-10 months old, so I’m guessing he will still grow some.

            I obviously will be training indoors and then I thought when that was going well, I’d take him to a pet store where it would still be enclosed but definitely different than his comfy home. I also have thought about always putting the harness on, putting him in his crate and then carrying him outside or even out into a vehicle and then let out again so he might distinguish a necessary routine to get to put his feet in the grass…err weeds :).

            Thank you for your assistance and opinion!

          2. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 12:14 am  

            My Cat was very vicious today when he attacked me just because I brushed my teeth, he has always gotten upset with me when I take a shower, tried all kinds of things to help him and he has gotten alot better but today is the first time he was so vicious with me and wanted to attack me, when I tried to move away from him he got even more angry when his nail jabbed me and then I went to move away from him is when he not only jabbed deeper into my skin but he yanked and twisted and tore a small but a good size hole before he let me go, he piecered into my Artery on my wrist and I should have went to get stitches but by the time I got the bleeding to stop I decided that if the wound started to bleed again then I would go. My Boy was a “Farrow” born in the wild. I feed him thru an eye dropper. His Mother knew he was blind in 1 eye and maybe both so he was about a week or 2 old an it has always been just us 2 and whenever anyone came to visit he would run and hide and he sensed I had health problems at the age of 2 months My Dr. gave me a new sleep med and during the nite I went to bathroom and fell back asleep and he came an got between my feet and stood on his hind legs and reached up gently an touched my face an I woke up an went back to bed but the position I was leaning forward an in sleep I could have fallen forward an hit my head on a heavy porclain bath tub but my boy watched out for me and the 1st time he heard me cry he came running in from Livingroom and got on my lap an used his paw to wipe away my tears and without using his nails. I and my Daughter have tried for a couple of yrs now to figure out a solution but as yet nothing but this thing today with brushing my teeth an had not ever seen him go at me like he did is kind of freightning, he wanted to hurt me and vicously an it was not a quick thing for him to calm down an stood his ground still snarling an spittin at me an when he wants me to pet him is affectionate with me but when hes done he will bite me not vicious more in a playful way but even in play he has drawn blood. I am not physical and I have not ever yelled/screemed at him, he understands no sometimes ignores my no and I have to go and gently push him away. I would have to say that in most of his playing with me he plays a little ruff. My boy got outside about a year ago for 24 hrs it was his 1st time an when he did he seemed very scared an I cleaned him up and keep telling him hes alright an when he would let me I would hold him an pet him, I’m not sure if he is blind in both eyes but one eye is for sure so he gets away with alot. It feels so awesome to be loved and only love of a pet that it is a knowledge that for who he is can only be with me cause no matter what for a solution to put him down will not ever egist for me. He is so smart and he takes his time to solve a new challenge for himself, he loves to pose for the camera an I have them from the beginning of his life to the present he just turned 2 yrs old in May 2015. He is funny, interesting so different from other cats I’ve ever known or known of and he is just Wonderful. If anyone got any suggestions or solutions to solve his an my problem it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening and reading. Mary…

          3. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 12:38 am  

            Marc, if your cat will let you put a harness on then keep it on him at Pets smart they have a few an I had to really work hard to put his on an since I had it a little too big he got it off and it is impossible to put it back on him an my boy is strong so I have been thinking about havein his custom made an find a proffessional put it on him an leave it on. You probably still have growing so have fun and buy the cheaper and pretty or classic. The 1st collar he had was purple with a bell an when he grew out of that 1 is when I bought him the cheaper harness an now he won’t let me put it on, I thought he was cute yellow/lite brown tabby an his purple harness even tho it was for just a min. or so. I don’t screem or yell or hit him an sometimes when I’m talkin to him he seems like he understands. I think words used alot they get use to an who knows if they learn to understand our language and we theirs…

        3. Jen   August 13, 2012 at 12:55 am  

          No one is advocating letting cats roam the neighborhood without supervision.

          My cat loves to be outdoors. She loves to sit in the dirt, scratch her back on the patio, smell flowers, wander a bit. She keeps me company when I weed. She is chipped, has a breakaway collar with a bell, and I’m always right there. If there is anything that could make her bolt, she wears a harness and leash, but mostly I am so close that when she starts to wander and I say “uuuum,” she immediately sits and starts to groom! We do have dogs in my area and a few irresponsible people let their dogs out without leashes. So I pick her up when they are around and give them the stink eye.

          I would never let her roam without supervision. I don’t want her getting lost or coming across an evil person. I don’t want her hit by cars. I don’t want her killing birds either.

          None of those things has ever happened.

          I also am very involved in my local no-kill shelter and we only adopt to people who want indoor cats to be a part of their family. However we also acknowledge the benefits of being outside. Our facility has screened porches for each cat room. A rare and lucky cat may get taken on a walk with a leash and harness. Not everyone gets this but we did have a senior citizen who was declining and had lost interest in food. A walk on a leash gave him something to explore and be interested in as well as a break from the other shelter cats. He started eating again.

        4. John   August 19, 2012 at 6:43 am  

          Lynn, While I understand your position that for many cats an indoor life is highly suitable, there are many environments in which it is completely appropriate for cats to be outdoors. My father practiced veterinary medicine, owned and opperated his own clinicm, served with the local humane society volunteering much of his time and energy, and we kept both, indoor only and indoor-outdoor cats. Actually we also provided care to quite a few outdoor strays. These were not permitted into the house.
          Yes, it is true. The world is a dangerous place. Dangerous for people, cats, dogs etc. We let our children outside dispite the dangers. We let our cats outside as well. I do worry when my cats are out. I have seen hundreds of cats injured or taken ill by elements of the great out of doors. Originally I would keep a very close eye on my cat. Like a mother, I taught him to stay in the yard and come when he was called. Quite often when I am working in the gardens he is right there beside me.
          While it may not be good for every cat or every owner to allow there cat to explore the great out of doors, it is good for many of them.
          Your cats are very fortunate that you care for them as you do. As long as the cat is happy and well cared for, indoors or out really isn’t so important.

        5. Lani   September 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm  

          I am totally with Lynn in this. We got our first cat as a married couple in 1972. We lived 2 blocks from a major freeway, 1/2 block from the commuter rail tracks and 1 block from the major highway through town – suburbia. Lambchop lived entirely indoors. We put screens on all windows and outside doors. Our 3 year old daughter was carefully taught to be sure the scre4en doors were closed each and every time. Lambchop rode 250 miles in the front of a UHaul truck when we moved. Cat pan, water and carrier were right there for her as needed. During her life with us, we had 3 other cats, one who adopted us but became a contented house cat (just before she gave birth to the kittens she was pregnant with). Lambchop lived to the ripe old age of 17. How many outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats do you know who have managed that?
          Since she went to the RB, we have had at least 2 cats. Our now grown daughter has had as many as 5 house cats at once. None of our or her cats met a premature end via dog packs, poisining, fights, cars, etc. All died of natural causes.
          Last week, our next door neighbor’s 5 month old kitten was found in the ditch next to the (rural) main road that runs next to their house. That is the 3rd they have lost in 2 years, despite my warnings. I know of only one in the neighborhood that now roams free. For how long/????
          My sweet Herbie (currently our only due to old age taking his best buddy) spends hours at the windows, stretched out, with his cream and white belly facing out to the street!!! The entire neighborhood knows who he is. He has no desire to go out and he has even had the chance (before I hollered at the friend who stood in the doorway holding the screen door open.
          So, go ahead and let your cat’s out. But enjoy them when they are in as they are vulnerable when outside and they may only be around for a couple of years

          1. Lani   November 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm  

            Oops. I just noticed thayt I made a typo in my comment above. We have had at least 12 cats since Lambchop went to the RB, not 2. Old age is definitely setting in with me. LOL

        6. Colleen Scholz   April 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm  

          Dear Lynn,
          I agree that cats need to be indoors. I don’t know about the walking cats thing though. We live out in the country, but on a busy highwayAfter I have spent mega money on a cat to get it neutered and shots etc. , I’ve just had too many bad experiences with them getting hurt or killed. Yes, i have one outdoor cat, but my other two babies are totally indoors.
          I had one little black boy cat that had no street saavy at all. He fallowed me out towards the street where I was working and laid down in the road! I called him back, but he just went right back in the road. As I turned my back, I heard a truck, and too late– he was hit and killed.
          I had another cat that was really a sweet fellow. I did let him go outside; but he always came back for his food. One evening, I had heard a “pop”, someone shooting on the property near us. Next day he didn’t come home. I went looking for him and found him shot up on the upper property! I was broken hearted!
          So now, I’ve decided my cats need to be right here by me;and they’re very happy, and so am I. I don’t want to lose another of my little friends.
          Happy cat mom

        7. dana   May 30, 2014 at 3:14 am  

          I don’t think you understand the concept of a LEASH.. Stop using the argument that they should not be let outside.. NONE of these people are letting their cats roam. They are taking them on a LEASH. Cars, dogs, and coyotes are not a danger on a monitored walk. Jeez, I’m annoyed by your constant one minded argument.

  2. Melanie   August 4, 2012 at 7:25 am  

    I want my Misty to wear her collar, but I just can’t keep it on her. She was great about wearing it for the first year of her life, then I got her microchipped. They put the microchip where the collar is and now the collar irritates the heck out of her. I’ve tried several times to get her to wear it, but she literally runs around the house like a mad cat, her skin bunching up, her ears flat, and gives me very dirty looks. When I decided she would have to deal with it and left the collar on her for two days, she hid under the bed, unless she was running around the house with her skin crawling and madly licking her fur.

    Does anyone know of a gentle collar or other way to identify her? I’ve tried hemp and a beastie band. Collars with breakaway clips only stay on for one minute before she pulls it right off.

    1. Lynn   August 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm  

      Why do you insist on forcing Misty to wear a collar? Our five never wear them, our many other cats never wore them either. Maybe the collar sitting on top of the microchip IS irritating her.. She is trying to tell you this, but, you are ignoring her. Let her be, why does a housecat need a collar? She couldn’t be yelling any louder to you to PLEASE not collar me!!
      Why put her through this stress, Melanie?

      1. Melanie   August 5, 2012 at 6:33 am  

        Most of the time, I’m fine with her not wearing it. But, we’re moving to another part of the state in a couple of weeks and I want her to wear it during the move. Even though I’ll be boarding her the actual day of the move, there is a lot of coming and going and doors accidentally being left open. I just don’t want her to get loose in a strange new area without a visual identifier that she’s a pet. After she’s adjusted to the move, the collar will remain off. I just wish I could think of some alternative way to ID her as a pet.

        1. Connie   August 6, 2012 at 8:23 am  

          have you tried a harness or a walking jacket for the move? They sit differently on the cat and might not ‘irritate’ the chip. Both are a little easier to control the cat if the need arises too. A cat on a leash and collar is at higher risk of escaping then a harness or a walking jacket.

          Good luck with the move

        2. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 12:45 am  

          Mellanie get you 1,2 or 3 proffesionals to put the collar on for you, collars are probably a breeze compared to other things that are necessary to put on cats

  3. Memory Russell   August 4, 2012 at 9:15 am  

    After watching Jackson work with Bengals, I take Wallingford (a rescue who I suspect is Bengal) for “walks” in a harness that he can not get out of – even if he runs like his tail is on fire – with me on the other end of the leash. Lately he has been marking a large bush most times we are out and he hasn’t peed in the house once since he has been marking outside! I put walks in quotation marks because it isn’t much of a walk for me as we just nose around the yard, eat plants and pee on bushes. After reading everyone’s comments, I am going to get everyone microchipped, even if they are house kitties.

    1. Deaf258   August 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm  

      For people wondering about the costs.. The local animal shelter, Halo, here in Phoenix charges 25 dollars per pet for microchips.

    2. Lindsay   August 5, 2012 at 5:21 am  

      What kind of harnass do you use?

  4. Texas, a cat in New York   August 4, 2012 at 10:22 am  

    Thanks for these useful info.
    I have a question: is tattoo a way to identify cats in the U.S.?
    I’m curious because recently I posted pics of me as a kitten on my blog and on them we can see I had my ear tattooed for identification (which used to be done in France, where I come from, before microchip existed) and everyone was wondering what it was.
    Thanks for everything! I’m a fan!

    1. Cassandra Phillips-Sears   August 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm  

      Some cats in the US were tattooed in their ear before microchipping became widespread but now I do not think too many cat owners still tattoo their cat’s ears.

      1. Texas, a cat in New York   August 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm  

        Thanks =^.^=

  5. donna   August 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm  

    i have heard that microchips can cause tumors. i have always been too bothered by this to get my cats chipped. can anyone convince me that these are just rumors? i want to keep my kitties safe but i also want to keep them healthy

    1. Lynn   August 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm  

      Check out this webpage about the dangers of microchipping. I’m not so sure about them, we adopted two cats from shelters, they were already microchipped. We have five cats, and they are STRICTLY INDOORS always, have had many cats and never let them out, have taught them going near our doors is a big no no.
      I guess each cat owner has to weigh this carefully, IF you are good at keeping your cats inside safely, and no chance of them wanting to get out, I don’t see a microchip as necessary.
      Of course, if your cats go out (which isn’t smart anyway) or your family members aren’t diligent about making sure they do not get out the door, a chip will connect that cat back to you if they ever get lost or picked up by someone else! It’s all scary to us, because to think of our kitties being outdoors, and the many dangers out there is just overwhelming! You don’t know who is around, there are mean people, besides mean dogs, cars could hit them, disease caught from sick kitties living outside, etc.
      Here is a good link to read and decide for yourselves…based on a British study:

      We all want our kitties safe~! And only WE can protect them by teaching them to live indoors always!!


      1. Jessie   August 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm  

        There’s also a concern that microchips will allow the government to include household pets under NAIS (the National Animal Identification System). The NAIS was instituted to allow the government to track livestock and on the surface it sounds like a good plan, especially when we had so many illnesses with livestock. But, it’s been used to limit small farmers from operating small farms, in favor of large factory farming techniques which promote animal illnesses and food born disease. What’s this to do with household pets? Simply there are those concerned that the NAIS will branch out to include household pets, to allow governmental taxation, to limit or control your freedom regarding pets, or for other reasons that aren’t clear. I’m also not a person who strictly trusts the idea of a foreign substance being inserted into my body, so why put it in my cat’s? My girls are strictly indoors– with plenty of stimulation in their current home. If I’m able to move to a house with a yard– they will get their own catarium. But I don’t like the microchip idea being forced on owners and wouldn’t go for it myself.


        1. Jen   August 13, 2012 at 12:39 am  

          Microchips are safe. Postinjection sarcomas can happen with any injection but are very rare. It doesn’t hurt the cat as it is put in the scruff. Millions of cats have been microchipped.

          You may have an indoor cat but microchips aren’t because you know everything will go well. They exist for that chance that something can go wrong: earthquakes, fires, burglary and floods could all lead to your cat escaping and being too disoriented to finding her way back home. The microchip prevents her from being destroyed by a shelter or medical experiments if nothing else.

          I doubt the government cares that we have kitties. The microchips are passive anyways. No one knows about it unless they have a scanner against the skin of the cat.

          1. donna   August 13, 2012 at 11:04 am  

            thanks for the talk down. sounds like what you are saying is that the tumors happen mostly because of the injection and not the chip. that does make me feel better about chipping them. i do worry about what might happen in case of emergency. my next step is to try to train them to walk on a leash.

  6. elizabeth fulks   August 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm  

    I love the show. It is so helpful to the ‘cat people’ out there., I have been lucky that I haven’t had any type of behavioral issues with any of my cats. Plus I am a dog person too.

  7. Ashleigh   August 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm  

    Personally the concern for us is keeping Wildlife, surrounding plants and neighbours gardens safe.
    As a cat owner you need to be aware that your fluffy sweetheart is a natural born killer! Despite the century’s of select breeding we have done to create the ideal cute companion, we are well aware our ‘LOLCat’ is a murderer.
    We moved LOLCat from a family sized home in Wine Country Australia to the third largest capital city in Australia. She adjusted without a moan or change in behaviour, from an outside Cat to a full-time inside Urban Cat . We have been here a year and she has been chipped, tagged and collard ( you must do this legally here) There have been two occasions were she’s slipped out and were a brief sniff of curiosity, both times she has wondered back inside in less then a minute. LOLCat gets plenty of sunlight, an excess of toys, food puzzles and far too much attention. We have a happy healthy Cat, the neighbours gardens look great their plants are not destroyed or sprayed on. The Possums in our backyard are alive, happy and most importantly eating native vegetation . Because we don’t leave our cats out to flatten (whilst sun-baking) , destroy plant’s or eating other native animals (who play a vital part in the distribution of seeds and the overall ecosystem) . We have always brought her inside at night before we moved here – as its a law to do so. I can’t see why these rules are not applied in the US as Cats, Dogs and Rabbits are a menace to wildlife and native plants not just here but globally. As a Outside Cat owner you should review the amount of birds and other creatures your Cat brings in. It is pure Ignorance to assume the surrounding homes are fine with your pet having free rein of the neighbourhood. Those quiet neighbours you have next door may not be as Cat happy as you.

    1. LolasMom   September 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm  


      With all due respect,

         /ˈmɜrdərər/ Show Spelled[mur-der-er] Show IPA
      a PERSON who commits murder.


      (Not an animal that hunts prey to eat, survive, or protect their offspring or defend their guardians.)

  8. Niels earsup   August 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm  

    We have our two sisters since 3 years, shortly after their births. We live in Uruguay where we have a house with a big garden, while the next door plot only houses a pony. All neighbours have dogs, our cats and all the other cats in the neighbourhood, stay away of these dogs. They are cautious about encounters and are quickly up in a tree if necessary. Our Rosie and Susie wear no collars. We think these could be dangerous when they climb trees. Imagine they hang themselves! We do not fear that they run away, they are very much attached to us, have ample space outside. They know that they are much smarter than those silly smelly dogs, who run after sticks, and bark, a behaviour too downmarket for a decent girl.

    1. Dianda   September 27, 2012 at 7:03 am  

      There are special collars designed for cats (and dogs) so when they get stuck on the collar, and enough strength is on that collar, it’ll open up to release the cat. 🙂

    2. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 1:00 am  

      I think Harness is much safer than collars that go around the neck an besides who wants to buy collars that come apart so they don’t get choked and they end up loosing them, after I used both I thought the harness are a much better choice, they fit securely without any danger. I think I want to find out if paying for a custom made harness just might be a good choice so I would say which ever one feels right to you

  9. Identity tags for cats and dogs   August 7, 2012 at 12:18 am  

    I think you have some misunderstanding with your content because i don’t agree with you. Cats can adapt himself in every situation environment.

  10. jenny   August 27, 2012 at 11:20 am  

    I have a feral cat colony and a few have been hit. I have had two indoor/outdoor cats, one lived to be about 17 and one was hit at 3. I currently have a cat from my ferals as a strictly indoor cat by her own choosing and a 6 month kitten who I’m seeing if he likes going outside on harness and leash. He hasn’t decided. But neither of my indoor show any inclination to run out the door at any time, so I don’t think a cat having access to harness time outside will automatically want to bolt out every chance they have. @~~{~

  11. Sharon   September 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm  


    Just wanted to let you know that while I do NOT own a pet, I am addicted to your show, which appears on Saturday afternoons-evenings here in Fort Worth, Texas. The reason why I am addicted, is because of you and the energy you put out in each episode. You are not only great with cats, but you handle their wacky owners even better! You are truly gifted with animals, but you do NOT come across like some of the animal-lovers so often portrayed in today’s society. Those individuals will often do more harm for the cause of animal protection, while you make me want to help in any way I can. I hope your show is around for the long-haul.
    Your are truly THE talented and gift “cat-whisperer”.

  12. Silvia Alonso   September 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm  

    Hi… I have a big problem with my cat, it is white and deaf. Sometimes we understand each other for signs but it adores clothes of the neighbors to escape and to be stolen. My house transformed in one to be going and to come from people who looks for the clothes. I wired the whole terrace but it came to the point of running for the walls and this way to go out. What can I do?. He would be grateful for a good advice to him. Thank you very much

    1. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 1:33 am  

      I have heard and seen things that Cats are really hung up on doing things for no aparent reason, have you tried to put the cat in the house before the time comes around when the clothes get taken or let the cat sleep in basement till the clothes are returned

  13. Jillian   October 10, 2012 at 3:41 am  

    Funny, our shelter has an outdoor chicken wire enclosure that the cats LOVE!!! Walking a cat outdoors is obviously a personal preference. I am the very proud owner of one 12 year old part persian all white long hair cat, a 11 year old tortoise calico cat and a 6 year old orange tabby barn cat. All are fixed. Unfortunately all were declawed before re-homed at our house. But this doesn’t stop us from taking them out on their harnesses and leash every day. My persian sits by the door when it is snowing and loves to feel the snow on her. How can I deny her the joy of chasing a butterfly or batting at the snowflakes. (incidentally my persian is named snowflake). I can’t fathom denying them that indescribable happiness that they show me when they get to explore the world. Safety is key. We have a 11 month old lab that I have trained to sit and watch the cats. When the cats were approached by another not so friendly dog, my lab barked and scared off the other dog. I thought it was great! Our cat/dog world is awesome!

    1. Mary   August 13, 2015 at 1:23 am  

      how neet, nothing like trained watch dogs for the kittys, I think its awesome. Things change, when I was growing up there was not as much population as there is now. We had an ole alley cat that my Grandmother found in a trash bin an brought it home gave it a bath and fed the cat and my Grandmother would let him in early morning and let it out after breakfast an he would be gone all day and every day right around dinner time my Grandmother would call him he was always in hearing range an after dinner he laid around in the kitchen floor where it was always warm an the next morning after breakfast she would let him out, we never worried about our indoor/outdoor cats for they were always safe. Now a days dogs are kept in the backyards with high fences to keep the familys an house hold goods kept safe

  14. Christina   October 21, 2012 at 11:26 am  

    Hello. It is good to see so many people who love cats and care for their wellbeing! I have a 5 month old active male cat who showed up on my doorstep. He was obviously handled by people before he was abandoned or ran away. We keep him indoors, but I do like to take him outside on a harness for about 20-30 minutes a day. It is a great way for him to get exercise and stimulation, as well as build confidence and overcome fear. I monitor him very closely, and we live in the country, away from cars and stray dogs, and there are plenty of places for him to play and explore with close supervision. Although I can’t expect him to ‘walk’ like a dog on a leash, I think he can benefit much in the same way that a dog does.
    I was wondering if anyone has any good tips for setting boundaries for things like trees or hiding in places that are inaccessible to me or may get the leash tangled. He is not very responsive with treats, and gets anxious if I don’t let him explore something he wants. I just want to ensure his safety. Thank you.
    And please, for those of you who are against harness training with cats, I respect your opinion and agree that it is not suitable in some circumstance. However, I have considered all factors and have witnessed that for my pet, there are benefits as long as I am careful. Please don’t try and debate the issue with me. Thank you all, and any suggestions are welcome!

  15. amanda   October 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm  

    My seven month old cat runs out the door every time I leave or enter the house. He no longer runs after treats. I tried a harness and leash to take him outside but it completely freaked him out. I don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas?

    1. Maria   November 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm  

      Amanda, I just posted a link in my own comment below yours. I’d love to take my cats out but have wondered how to do it, too.

  16. Maria   November 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm  

    Jackson Galaxy himself seems to be an advocate of taking cats outdoors–safely, while collared and harnessed. Here’s a story where he showed a cat caretaker how to achieve that goal:

  17. Terry   November 21, 2012 at 7:32 am  

    I have been a cat owner all my life (now a senior) and have always had indoor/outdoor cats. It is true that their are many dangers out there for cats, but at the same time you have to give your cat a little credit for their own intelligence. They too are highly aware of the dangers out there.
    Our last two cats we had ( mother and kitten) both lived to be 21 and 20 respectively and were indoor/outdoor cats all their lives. They were always up to date on their shots but never allowed out overnight.
    I have always had dogs at the same time and the dogs seemed to always look out for the cats as well.
    I currently have four cats and a Great Pyrenees dog who considers the cats a part of her “herd” and will guard them against ALL it man or animal!
    I can understand the desire to keep a cat as strictly indoors in order to keep them safe…but I also believe that if you really want to keep them perfectly safe…but let them still be the animal they are…then build them a “secure” outdoor enclosure… as MANY cat lovers do…or as other do..teach them to walk with a harness and leash! I truly believe you will have a MUCH happier companion!

  18. Chris   December 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm  

    I’d love it if Jackson did an episode with pet detective Kat Albrecht from the nonprofit Missing Pet Partnership. All the ID in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t know how or where to look for your pet, or catch them if they are too scared to come to you. Their pet recovery tips are unique because they are species specific and behavior specific, so what techniques you use are based on your own pet’s personality and the circumstances. There is SO much more we can learn that will help reunite more lost pets with their worried families. Kat also knows about the surprising barriers to increasing the recovery rate. When we can get more pets back home, that reduces the number that end up on the street or in shelters, and reduces the number killed by animal control. It also helps free up room in rescue groups for pets who are truly homeless.

  19. Wren   January 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm  

    Two questions:

    How do you update the microchip information?
    Any advice for kitties who ninja out of their collars? All three of mine HAVE one, but they refuse to keep them on (the record escape time stands at about five minutes for the fastest collar ninja).

  20. Lili   February 21, 2013 at 3:09 am  

    Can anyone tell me what breed Roscoe is? I am usually a dog person but he seriously was a gorgeous cat and I would make an exception for a cat like him.

  21. Rebecca   April 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm  

    I can’t keep my cats in collars. They are both chipped and though they’re both 100% indoor cats, they’ve gotten out. It happens. The older of the two stayed close to the house and emerged after five minutes of looking for him (he’d been out for about an hour before we realized what had happened). The younger one’s been lost twice. The first time it was actually the lack of a collar that got her retrieved. I notified the Humane Society the morning after she disappeared (we gave her the night to return but she didn’t). Within an hour of me filing the report, some kind soul noticed a collar-less cat following families to the local school and inferred that this was someone’s lost pet. She collected my cat, called the Humane Society, and they called me. I had her home by lunch time and my cat’s rescuer got a piece of cake for her trouble. But the thing is, if she’d been wearing a collar, this passer-by would have assumed she was an indoor/outdoor cat and let her be.

    The second time my younger cat got away, it was a sadder story. This time, it was her microchip that saved her. She got into someone’s yard several blocks from our house and a dog attacked her. A neighbor rescued her and called Animal Control. Animal Control took her to the emergency vet, who found the microchip and called the company who called me. The vet later told us that if she had not had a chip, she would have simply euthanized our cat because she was in *bad* shape. So bad that we almost put her down, but she rallied and recovered. This was a couple months ago and her fur is still growing back where they shaved her, but she’s otherwise the exact same cat she used to be. We’re thinking she spent two lives on that little adventure, one for the rescue and the other for the rally.

  22. anita   June 15, 2013 at 2:40 am  

    In the UK, which is where I am from, no cat carer is allowed a cat, from a rescue centre, unless you can give it outside access so a very different policy from the shelters in the US. I am a cat behaviourist in the UK and am I strong advocate of allowing a cat to go outside and lead a natural life. Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a garden, and live on a main road or have breeds of cats that would get stolen in your area, the next best thing is to cat proof your garden which still allows the cat outside access. A cat is no different from humans in that they need stimulation, fresh air, and freedom to choose what they want to do and where they want to do. Imagine yourself locked in forever with good books and a computer – equal in stimulation to your cats toys and climbers etc. Would you never wish to go outside? Jackson Galaxy sees cats and owners with problems. Some cats are going mad being kept in and need to go outside and he comes up with a safe solution for all concerned which is lead walking. Every case is different. To keep a cat confined for its whole life is cruel and I will never understand humans who do this. You will find most cats confined to this lifestyle spend most of their time sleeping due to boredom and THAT is heartbreaking.

  23. anita   June 15, 2013 at 2:42 am  

    P.S: Its dangerous for humans too to step outside. Does that mean we should all be kept indoors LOL

  24. ara01   July 3, 2013 at 7:42 am  

    My husband and I just adopted our first kitten together. I plan on checking with the shelter we got him from if he has a microchip (we go back to the vet for shots and a neuter in about a month). However, I didn’t like the collar they sent him home with because although it was elastic, it was not a breakaway collar. It’s already gotten caught in his jaw and started choking him so I have removed it and am looking for another one. I’ve never had a problem with them falling off before (except on the rare occasion which for me is a good sign that they will work when needed). However, I have no idea what brand I’ve used before–most likely, something from Petco, but we only have Pet Smart where I live or private places. He’s only 13 1/2 weeks so I want something that will fit him as well. Any recommendations–something that’s available somewhere online (Amazon would be great because with prime shipping, I can get him one to start wearing right away) or local (in the Bronx). While he’s pretty safe inside our apartment since he’d have a hard time making it through 4 doors to get outside, by the time he’s ready to go to the vet next month, I want to make sure he has a collar when he goes out (even in the carrier). Thanks everyone.

  25. Kim Freeman   July 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm  

    There’s a great search guide available if YOUR cat is an Escape Artist… Explains best method for each type of situation:

  26. Topper Fox   October 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm  


    We could do with some advice. We’re in the UK and have fallen in love with a 3 year old cat at our local shelter but he seems to be an outdoor cat. The shelter staff say he wants to be out. However, he’s been caged there for a few months now. We’d take him like a shot but live by a really busy main road and need him to be an indoor mog. What’s the chances of him adapting to an indoor life, do you think? Fortunately, we have a very big houses so there’d be plenty of rooms, corridors and stairs to explore and run about on and in.

    If he’s been locked in a cage for weeks do you think that he’s likely to be a little adjusted by now and would be okay being kept in?

    We could do with someone who’s had some experience of this sharing their stories as we’d love to go to fetch ‘our’ little boy. He needs someone to love him and give him a home. He’s already marked as the longest stay resident. Poor chap.

    Thanks, Topper.

  27. K   June 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm  

    I’d love some advice on how to deal with my escape artist. She is a “recovering” feral, but she is 9 years old and still cannot be contained inside under any circumstances. I took her with me when I got divorced, since she is my cat, but I had to move into a very small apartment (with a very large yard). I live in San Francisco, where we have no A/C, and my house is 300 square feet. I have no windows- only sliding doors. She claws through screens easily and will happily leap from second-story windows to escape. So my options, as I see it, are a) status quo, b) declaw and install screens (no way) or c) try to rehome a nine-year old cranky cat with no guarantee she will be kept inside at her new home. People get really judgey about how cats “should” be kept inside but they tend to have either easy cats or really nice big homes with lots of rooms. Some of us don’t have that luxury.

  28. Louise Percival   August 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm  

    My cat Ninja Bob, neutered & microchipped, has been missing 15 days. On the day he disappeared, there was a very loud noise made by 2 aeroplanes, and workman making a noise, laying new gas pipes. My cat does not like noise, he is fearful of it, and will bolt & hide. He has been registered on 2 missing pet sites, his vet has also been informed. I have knocked, on people’s doors, and asked them to check sheds etc, put up posters, put it on Facebook & Twitter, friends have looked for him, but to no avail. Ninja Bob was always in by 19.30 – 20.30. Before he was neutered he still was in at night, so when he disappeared & didn’t come back, I was very concerned, just want him home xx


We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *