A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Cat from Hell is a show about quirky real-life animal behaviorist Jackson Galaxy as he travels the country solving cat-related problems in a variety of households. It often features cats who are feral or suspected to be feral, who act out with frequent hissing, scratching, and biting. Cat owners sometimes argue with Galaxy or with their spouses, but the conflicts generally end happily, with a happy cat as well. Note that caution should be exercised around aggressive animals and that the actions undertaken on the show shouldn't be attempted by the untrained viewers at home.
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What's the story?
Cat rehabilitation expert Jackson Galaxy -- whose rock-'n'-roll look and goofy moniker bring to mind "alternative magician" rather than "animal behaviorist" -- visits with cat-owning families who are at their wit's end dealing with a variety of problems, from food stealing, biting, litter box troubles, and more. Galaxy interviews family members, meets and assesses the problem cat(s), and then gives each family homework to complete before his next visit. He checks in on the families throughout the rehabilitation process to he can see how his advice is being implemented and to offer further tips and tricks to help turn these bratty cats into model citizens.
Is it any good?
As with most animal rehabilitation-themed reality shows, there aren't a lot of surprises afoot here. Most problems folks have with their pets seem to stem from a lack of knowledge regarding how to treat and train their animals, not an inherent flaw in the pet's personality. There always seems to be one stubborn family member who thinks Galaxy's suggestions are "crazy," and the faux-dramatic reality-show editing sets things up to make it seem as though the family won't follow through with the trainer's advice, but lo and behold things always seem to wrap up neatly in the end. The issues explored can get a bit monotonous, as there are only so many ways for them to explain that an unfixed cat is going to want to wander outside and/or pee all over the house. That said, it's still a genuine pleasure seeing these grumpy felines adapt to a cuddlier and happier way of life with their human companions. It's also interesting hearing Galaxy interpret and explain the different ways cats express themselves so that humans can better understand their signals.
Talk to your kids about ...
What kind of responsibility does a family owe a pet once they've adopted it?
Why is it so important to spay or neuter cats?
When an animal grows up on the streets without human contact, how might their behavior be affected? Do animals like this make good pets? Can these kinds of animals be rehabilitated?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love animals
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