Here’s some behind-the-scenes commentary on Season 4, Episode 2 of My Cat From Hell.
These cases both involved cats that seemed to constantly be in “attack mode.”
- Ozzy was intent on attacking fellow house cat Lily
- Allie was intent on attacking her 95-year old guardian
Jackson uses what he calls “Cat Mojo” — observing and interacting with the cats in order to understand their world and their motives — to help him solve the most difficult cases.
In this post, he’s talking about some really in-depth mojo here…
Quotes from the episode:
…I’ve had this happen with litter mates before. They’re sitting in a window and they see something going from over there. And one goes, “*GASP* What’s that?!” and the other one goes, “Ah! What’d you just do?!” nd they beat them up. And the second that happens, I don’t know who the hell you are anymore. It’s called redirected aggression. With redirected aggression, if the traumatized cat can’t lash out at whatever was making them crazy in the first place, they’re gonna turn that aggression onto an innocent bystander. In this case, Lily.
Ozzy and Lily were not only one of the more severe cases of redirected aggression I had worked with, but Deborah’s strain from the frayed relationship was affecting her in so many ways, causing a vicious stress-induced downward spiral. One of the things that we ran out of time to talk about was how when I first arrived, the place looked like a storage locker. It seemed nothing was unpacked, boxes everywhere. The cats and the human were manifesting this state of “neither here nor there.” Spiritually, physically, this small space had to be home before any behavioral action plans took place. That was our big starting point and Deborah knocked it out of the park!
One of the components of Allie’s treatment plan was the placement of those flags around the living/dining room. At first glance, it could be construed that they were placed just so that Callie and Pam could be reminded to “steer clear” of the area. That exercise serves no real purpose. The [real] purpose in this case was to identify territorial “hot spots.” By just seeing the patterns behind Allie’s actions, not only can we determine the “why” in her behavior but also we gain a deeper understanding of this cat that moves her past the rough tag of being just “a cat from hell.”
The key to every case is engendering empathy towards the cat.
No cat pees, poops or draws blood for sport; they do so because of deep seated fear and/or anxiety.
By uncovering those, we can feel for the cat, become more invested, and act on their behalf in trying to solve the issues.
For more about Ozzy and Allie, and how Jackson uses holistic remedies as part of his behavior work, check out this post here.
Tools (Toys) of the Trade
Now, here are just two of the many toys Jackson uses with his cat clients for dealing with things like play aggression or redirected aggression.
One of the new favorite toys with the cats of #TeamCatMojo!
The Kattipede is a double-body centipede-like cat toy with long, wiggly, jiggly legs. It comes with a 42″ long string with a swivel clip for easy attachment to a rod.
This one has been a long-time favorite with #TeamCatMojo.
This feather toy is at the tip of a durable, flexible 36″ rod.
Because it’s on a rod, not a string, you can easily make it disappear and re-appear from under hanging doors or along walls…and cats love it!
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.