Animal behaviorist Jackson Galaxy is heading to Oregon to see if he can help out Lux and his family. Last week, after Lee Palmer kicked Lux for scratching the family's seven-month old child, Lux flew into a fury and trapped the family in their bedroom. They called 911 in a panic, unsure of what else to do.
When Jackson Galaxy first weighed in on the situation, he said that it was possible that Lux had a painful health condition, like an abscessed tooth. He also said that people who watch his show understand that there's always a human element to situations like this. He couldn't say with any certainty what happened with Lux, because he hadn't met Lux or the Palmer family.
In an article by Associated Press writer Sue Manning, Jackson Galaxy reiterated the possibility that Lux is in pain, or otherwise not feeling well. He also said that he's worried about people's response to the situation. Manning quoted him as saying, "Every parental site on the Internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family." He said that something is definitely wrong there, because cats don't act out this way for no reason. However, he believes everyone needs to back off from the hysteria.
One of the things that Jackson Galaxy suggests is annual vet visits, and he's right. The ASPCA agrees with him that aggression can be a troubling symptom of a medical problem. It can also signal a complication with a known medical problem. When the cat is older, aggression can also be a sign of confusion. The effects of something like feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome can be very frightening for a cat, which can prompt it to act out.
If the problem isn't medical, and the cat hasn't known abuse, the ASPCA recommends that you do consult with a behaviorist. Aggressive cats are dangerous. They're capable of inflicting serious injury, despite how small they are.
DVM 360 says that vets should never suggest that treatments will prevent any future aggression. Vets should also suggest re-homing an aggressive pet. The site lists the different types of aggression, which are:
- Fear-induced aggression (defensive "attacks")
- Play aggression (when your cat bites or scratches you because it's playing)
- Redirected aggression (when a cat attacks someone or something other than the source of their upset)
- Petting-induced aggression (when petting suddenly becomes too much for your cat to handle and it bites you)
- Territorial aggression (fighting between two pets over territory)
- Intermale and maternal aggression (males trying to claim territory or fighting over a female, and a queen protecting her kittens)
- Pain-induced aggression (different from defensive aggression, this happens when the cat is in pain)
Pain-induced aggression can come from tail-pulling, and will almost certainly result from getting kicked. Since the Palmer family said that Lux had a history of violence, it's still possible that this is pain-induced aggression from a medical condition. It's still more likely, however, that his rage was defensive.
Jackson Galaxy's work with Lux and the Palmer family will be filmed for "My Cat from Hell." The new season starts on April 26.