When Lux, the 22-pound cat in Oregon that trapped its owners in a bedroom, became an international sensation, Animal Planet therapist Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” decided to intervene.
Galaxy suggests five ways to deal with aggressive cats:
- Never leave a young child unsupervised with a cat.
- Take it to a vet at least once a year. If a cat is acting suspiciously, the owner needs to pay attention. “Know what suspicious looks like,” Galaxy said. “If they’re not feeling well, cats will socially withdraw themselves, or they will lose weight, or they will gain weight, or they’ll be howling in the middle of the night when they never did before.”
- Make sure cats can literally climb out of a situation. Having a space up high, like a cat condo, to get away from children and other pets is crucial, Galaxy said.
- Timeouts are good things. “We associate timeouts with punishment, but in the world of cats, timeout is not a punishment.” They can go to a designated place where they can settle down, come back to a peaceful moment or ground themselves, he said.
- Stop fights between felines with “timeout drills.” Shove a piece of cardboard between two fighting cats to block their vision so they can’t see the target of their aggression.