Cat Pawsitive with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation

My guess is that if you’re reading this blog, you probably know who Jackson Galaxy is…but I suppose there is still a chance that you’re a cat lover and you’ve never heard of him. So just in case, Jackson Galaxy (a.k.a. America’s Cat Daddy) is best known for hosting the Animal Planet show “My Cat from Hell,” where he helped cat owners work on their cats’ behavioral issues. But before that, Jackson started his career with animals in the 90s at a shelter in Colorado. And while there, he found his calling – working with cats.

In 2014, he founded the Jackson Galaxy Foundation (JGF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that improves the lives of animals who are at risk by transforming the places they live and helping the people who care for them.

Jackson Galaxy FoundationThis past month on April 19th, the Jackson Galaxy Foundation launched the Cat Pawsitive initiative, which is a positive reinforcement training program debuting in nine shelters throughout the U.S., with the following goals:

  • Increasing the adoptability of cats in shelters
  • Keeping the cats in the shelter engaged, and behaviorally and physically active
  • Empowering and inspiring shelter staff and volunteers through increased knowledge
  • Showing people both in and out of the shelter that cats can be taught using positive reinforcement training methods
  • Raising the public profile of shelter cats and the great work being done at Cat Pawsitive shelters
  • Capturing both qualitative and quantitative results
  • Demonstrating collaborative efforts through modelling (source)

I asked Sandra Monterose, Executive Director of the Jackson Galaxy Foundation, about her experience with the program so far. “It has been very exciting to watch cats in the program and see them learning with each step. In many of the videos, you can just see the cats coming out of their shells. What I find just as gratifying is the boost for the staff and volunteers who are learning as well, and developing new relationships with the individual cats. These programs will change the future for the cats, the people, and the organizations involved.”

I am personally excited to be one of the JGF volunteers helping with the Cat Pawsitive initiative. My contribution will be to help compile the results upon the program’s completion. It will be interesting to see the outcome, but you can already read about how the program is going at the participating shelters. Visit the JGF website or follow them on Facebook to keep up-to-date on the Cat Pawsitive program and be inspired by the great strides these shelter cats are making!

I was going to show the shirt that I bought to support the Cat Pawsitive initiative, but the kitties decided to investigate (and of course that turned out for the best). It’s always better to have a cat in the photo!

Dexter's toesies get comfy on the JGF shirt
Dexter’s toesies test out the shirt’s softness. (He approves!)
Olive demands attention in the background.
Sophie claims the JGF shirt as her own
Sophie claims the shirt as hers!

What do you think about the Cat Pawsitive initiative? Have you ever tried clicker training with cats before?

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52 thoughts on “Cat Pawsitive with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation

  1. We adore Jackson, and many of the cat bloggers are friends with him and have met him. I haven’t met him yet but one day I hope to! Love his foundation and recently blogged about it, great to keep spreading the word!!!!

  2. Mom Paula has learned a lot about kitties by watching Jackson on TV. We aren’t cats from h*LL, but we do tend to get into trouble at times and the hints he shares really helps.

  3. Jackson Galaxy is great and this program is going to help so many. I love how cats always think everything is for them- even t-shirts.

  4. Looks like Sophie was at the forefront of it all, as usual MOL!
    We love Jackson Galaxy and how he has spread awareness about how cats can be trained and about cats in general. He has helped make cats ‘cool’ again. Well, us cat people always knew they are cool, but he has helped convert many a sceptic. I have been clicker training my cats and it’s amazing how they actually want to learn and they learn so fast too. It’s a challenge though, to clicker train multiple cats at a time but still possible. With the right treats, your fuzzballs will do anything! :)

    1. I love the video of you clicker training with your cat. It’s so fascinating to see little minds at work! Out of all three, I’m pretty sure Sophie would be the most receptive of my group, but I have to find a good treat she can have with her sensitive tummy. Olive loves treats, so she would probably do well, too. Dexter would just be afraid of the clicker and run away. MOL!

  5. What a lovely informative post-never considered clicker training. My tabby is very clever and will respond to certain requests, but my son has had real success in training our Siamese. The two black cats just look at me :”What? Are you nuts? I’m a cat!” and wander off!

  6. Who doesn’t love Jackson Galaxy? Love the work he’s doing with and for cats. I’d love to be on his Cat From Hell show but Pop refuses to let anyone film here. That t-shirt is great and I see it’s comfy too. Heh heh, TW actually bought a clicker. As if. Our friend Robin has videos of her clicker training her cats.

  7. We adore Jackson and everything he does for cats! That is pawsome that you’re volunteering with the program!

  8. My favorite thing about Jackson Galaxy is that he doesn’t blame the cats for their misbehavior. He puts the blame where it belongs – on their human keepers!! When my cats misbehave its usually because of something that I’ve done – or neglected to do!

  9. This is so exciting! I love the idea of boosting the profile of shelter cats. So, so many of the kitties I see in my shelter are just shut down and in need of a little TLC. And so many members of the community want to help and don’t know how. I hope this has a ripple effect! (And I so wish my shelter in Salem, Oregon was a participant!)

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  10. It’s amazing to see how far Jackson has come since My Cat From Hell launched five years ago. The foundation is the crowning achievement. I was actually the first cat blogger to interview Jackson and we spent the day my house being filmed for the Daily Show. It feels like a million years ago but it was exactly five years ago!

  11. Dat’s pawsum. We luv Jackson here and watch every show. Or at least we DVR ’em. MOL Mommy says she has no troublesome kitties and is grateful fur dat.

    Luv ya’


  12. That is such a great initiative! I believe that most people have issues with cats because they don’t understand them and if people in shelters are better prepared, then it will certainly increase the number of cats being adopted.
    As to your question, I have never used a clicker on my cats. The only thing that I have taught my cats to understand is when I whistle it’s because I’m calling them. I started doing during food times and expanded to any other situation. It works quite well, especially with the cats that are in my mom’s huge house.

  13. This is a wonderful idea that fills a void in the world of abandoned cats due to erratic/odd or unpredictable behavior. As pioneer cat bloggers we have witnessed the evolving science of cat behavior and this is much needed solution. Congratulations on being volunteer and part of this new advancement! We look forward to the results!

  14. Great post guys, and what a great cause!

    As for clicker training in our house, we’ll get back to you on that!!!! MOL. The PA does however use a water squirt thingummybob for crowd control in extreme circumstances MOL


    Basil and co xox

  15. This is a fabulous initiative and your new volunteer role sounds fascinating! I just checked out the JGF website and am excited to explore it in depth and learn more. BTW-Sophie and Olive are great models!

  16. How cool that you are going to be helping compile the results of the Cat Pawsitive initiative. I would love to learn more about some of the techniques and try them with the shelter cats where I volunteer. Maybe I will even try them with Rosie …who is kind of the poster child for feline misbehavior. Fortunately, she has me well trained and knows she can do whatever she wants around here. LOL

  17. This sounds like a great idea and anything to get more cats good homes is good. My cat didn’t need training because she is perfect. :) Basically, whatever she does is perfect.

  18. What an amazing program! And, no, I’ve never heard of clicker training for cats. How cool is that?! I owned a kitty once that could have benefited from it though! :)

  19. Absolutely love this initiative and Jackson Galaxy is awesome!

    Thanks for spreading awareness about this ❤

  20. I am in love with this initiative! I didn’t know that this type of training was being done with shelter cats, really with any cats and I am so excited to read more about the initiative when you post about the program results. Very exciting to see this kind of program put into action :-)

  21. I think the Cat Pawsitive Program sounds wonderful! Congrats on getting to be a part of it. :) That is such a cool experience to be a part of. Cats are a lot more trainable than people give them credit for. You just have to learn how to communicate cat style and leave all of the human/dog stuff out of it. Cats are different and that is beautiful.

  22. Jackson Galaxy is so much fun to watch! I have never tried clicker training with my cats but I’ve been wanting a new kitten, in which case I’d probably try clicker training. I adopted my Edison when he was 8 weeks old and I actually had him trained really well. I’d like to get some hands on experience with clicker training cats.

  23. What a great initiative! It’s great that you will be helping out. Congrats on your role! I’ve seen my cat from hell a few times.

  24. So very cool! I was not aware of this foundation and am so glad I am now! What a great initiative!

  25. Love it!!! Good on you!!! Next month, the rescue I photograph for, Seattle Area Feline Rescue, will be their #MonthlyMojo shelter for June, and I’m just so excited!! I met Jackson when he debuted his new Catification book not too long ago, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for all the great work he is doing for kitties (and our rescue). I’m a HUGE fan.

Any thoughts to share?

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