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Animal behaviorist Jackson Galaxy speaks about Lux, Portland's 'attack cat'

Jackson Galaxy hopes that Lux doesn't get thrown into a shelter or put down for his behavior. He said the behavior could be caused by medical problems.
Jackson Galaxy hopes that Lux doesn't get thrown into a shelter or put down for his behavior. He said the behavior could be caused by medical problems.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In the 48 hours since the story of the family that called the police on their cat first broke, hundreds of thousands of people have heard about it, shared it, and given their opinions on it. Now, famous animal behaviorist Jackson Galaxy has weighed in as well.

Jackson Galaxy, who is known for Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell," has not visited the Palmer home or met Lux, but he said, "If you watch my show, you know that within five minutes, the human component is really identified," according to "The Oregonian." He went on to say, "We realize this behavior doesn’t occur in a vacuum. That’s really the important thing, is that there’s always a context."

While many people on the Internet believe that Lux suffers abuse in this household, Mr. Galaxy put forth another possibility. There's always the chance that Lux's behavior is due to medical problems. Mr. Galaxy said that cats in pain tend to act out, and that it's important to get such a cat to the vet to rule those problems out.

Another potential medical problem that may not be painful, but can still cause aggression, is hyperthyroidism. Cats whose thyroids are overactive can act cranky, restless, and even aggressive. Given that Lux weighed 22 pounds, he didn't likely have this particular problem. However, it's important to keep it in mind anyway.

There's also the possibility that environmental changes could have produced Lux's aggressive response to having his tail pulled. A new baby is certainly an environmental change, and cats don't always recover from anxiety the way that we do. Perhaps Lux was stressed because they hadn't properly introduced him to their baby. The best way to do it is slowly, with minimal changes to the cat's routine. They could also have had more high perches in their house for Lux, so he had a lot of escapes from the stress of change.

Lux may even be a good candidate for "My Cat From Hell." Because of how popular the story has gotten, and the variety of opinions flying about on the web, Lux and his family may well appear on the show at some point.