Jackson Galaxy: Litter Box Wizard

Jackson Galaxy, My Cat From Hell

Courtesy: Jackson Galaxy

A couple of months ago, I posted about cat behaviorists and the wonders they can do with cats who experience litter box problems. For the post, I interviewed a handful of behaviorists to learn more about the profession. One of those experts was Jackson Galaxy, the star of the new Animal Planet hit show, “My Cat From Hell.”

I’m super excited to share that Jackson has agreed to be one of The Happy Litter Box “Litter Box Wizards” and answer reader questions every Friday, right here.

You’ll love hearing from Jackson. He’s thoughtful and intuitive and truly gets to the root of the issue.  You will see this right away if you tune into the premiere of the second season of “My Cat From Hell,” which kicks off tomorrow – Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m. EST on Animal Planet. You  don’t want to miss it. Stay home with a bottle of wine and your cats or DVR it if you must, but don’t miss it because you’ll definitely learn something.

On each show, Jackson helps humans get to the bottom of their cat’s behavior issue; be it a litter box problem (!!!!), aggression, hiding, fighting or other things. Through his thoughtful “investigations” into the cat’s world and perspective, Jackson ultimately pinpoints the issue and helps the family – and the cat – work together towards a solution. I love it.

I especially love that Jackson’s goal is aligned with ours here at the Happy Litter Box: to help prevent more cats from being euthanized by keeping them out of shelters to begin with. Behavior issues are among the biggest reasons cats are relinquished or abandoned.

When I asked Jackson about the most surprising thing that he got out of the season he answered honestly that, even though they had crews and cameras invading each cat’s space, they were still successful. “We taught the entire crew to approach cats and be around cats. They learned to be aware of how they walked across the room, not to stare, to take their shoes off and how to come down to the cat’s level.”

I envision a whole crew (sometimes up to 12 people at a time) “pussyfooting” around each home, while Jackson worked his magic. It makes me smile.

So, stop back here each Friday and see what nuggets of insight Jackson has to share. If you have a question you’d like answered, please email me at caroline (at) highpaw.com and we’ll do our best to get it answered for you.

And, watch tomorrow night’s show and come back here and tell me what you think! I am confident you’ll love it just like I do.

Leave a Comment

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

isilwath January 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

I have a 22yr old cat. She was dumped at a kill pound when she was 20 and I adopted her through a rescue. She is in no danger of being surrendered again. I’ll keep her until she dies, but if there is something I can do to help with this issue, I’d like to know. She is declawed. She will sit on the edge of the litter pan and pee off the edge. I think this is because scratching litter is painful for her. I am using fine, no-dust, unscented, clumping cat litter. I have taken to spreading more litter around the pan to absorb the urine, so the issue is “handled.” Is there a litter that is, I guess for lack of a better word, softer? One that is less painful for declawed, old cats? Is it too late, and even if I do switch litters, will she still pee off the edge because she associates the litter with pain?

Like I said, she’s in no danger of being dumped or euthanized because of this, but if there is something I can do, I’d like some advice.




LuAnn Hamilton July 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Jackson,

Question for you. We have two male cats and two “clean” catboxes on a tarp in a walk in closet however one of our males quite often has decided to pee in front of the box even when the boxes are clean. He will use it one day and then just pee around it the next day. We do scoop out the boxes as soon as they dirty it so its pretty much always clean. Do you have any idea why hes doing this? Thanks for your help! P.S. Love your show :-)!


Tina August 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

We have four cats (and a baby). The oldest will be 9 in October the others are 6 mo younger than him. There are 3 males and one female. All fixed. One of the males likes to stand up when he pees. This presents a problem with the litter box as he oversprays and leaves urine surrounding his litter box. We have tried many litterboxes. My husband even built a custom made enclosure to try to contain his “mess”. Unfortunately this wasn’t the solution as it smells badly from the urine and I hate to clean it! Do you have any litterboxes you would recommend for this problem?


Laura August 26, 2012 at 1:13 am

Hey Jackson,
I have two adult cats, Izzy and Sophia, we recently added a new female kitten, Nucky Thompson, to our family. The kitten is being a typical over active, constantly stimulated kitten. The Izzy and the kitten have a good understanding. She understands that Izzy is in charge and will go submissive (show her belly). But when it comes to Sophia ,who is scared of anything and everything that moves) the kitten is a lunatic. She charges the Sophia, jumps on her back and rides her like a horse, and constantly bites her while Sophia screams and cries out. Sophia tries to stand up for herself which lasts for a few seconds but that’s about it. Nucky is relentless and continues to attack her. Any ideas of how to get the kitten to respect Sophia like she respects Izzy?

Thanks for any insight you might have,


Kathie McCarty September 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

On one of Jackson Galaxy’s shows there was a declawed cat that was not using the litter box. The cat in this episode was going near the litter box but not in the litter box. Jackson said that declawed cats have sensitive paws and it hurts them to walk on the rough litter. He recommended a finer litter for this particular cat, but did not say what it was. I am having similar problems with one of my cats, and I would like to know what kind of litter Jackson recommended.


Elizabeth May 5, 2013 at 2:23 am

I am in the same boat. I had bought a new corner litter box that was over sized. I figured maybe since my cat had gotten large the other was too small. I also had two boxes before that and upon buying the new one took the other out. The problem was the small pan I took out was the one he urinated in. He never adapted to urinating in the same box that he evacuates his stools. I have added the second box back (he uses it when he feels like it). I am now thinking of trying new litter, possibly sand box sand if nothing else(hoping to tap into what I think would be his natural first choice). I am not overly thrilled to be cleaning his urine from my carpet. I too wish he had given a bit more information on the product he had success with. I am not looking forward to trying sand box sand due to odors, but it if keeps it off my carpet, I’ll scoop twice a day. I am a veterinarian technician and have ruled out medical issues. There is a great recipe I found on line for removing cat urine smell. The bacteria is the culprit of the awful smell. Peroxide is my best friend (diluted/test carpet). I even had to separate the carpet from the baseboard so that I can get it down into the padding. Also, make sure your cleaner is ammonia free, if its not your inviting them to revisit the spot. I don’t think him being de-clawed had all that much to do with it being this issue began at 8 years old. Good Luck to all. If the sand box sand works, I’ll pass it on.


Diana May 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I would really like to know what kind of litter Jackson recommends for declawed cats?


Linda Kowlaski June 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

My cat is 3 years old for the last year she poop’s on the floor next to the box I have done everything to stop this. I have taken her to the Vet and had her check out nothing is wrong there. I put more boxes out I have tried different litters. She will go up to the box get in acts like she wants to use the box then jumps out. At time she well poop on the floor next to the litter box and then kick litter on to the poop on the floor. The cat will pee in the box but won’t poop in it. I don’t know what to do she is a great cat please help I don’t want to give her up please help!!!!


prendie August 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

My cat is 6 wks old and pees and poop on carpets .How do I train her to go in litter box?


Deb May 27, 2014 at 12:23 am

I have 3 cats. 2 are declawed and one has claws. One of the declawed cAts pee on the carpet and pees on my husband when he goes to bed. She is the only one that pees outside of the litter box.. Do you think if I change the cat litter to the one listed above it would help her stop payment on the carpet and him.


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