NEW YORK — Jackson Galaxy the cat fixer of Animal Planet fame is out with a new book that urges humans to meet their felines halfway.
The host of "My Cat from Hell" and co-host of a new show that premiered Saturday, "Cat vs. Dog," Galaxy offers up the A-to-Z of what it takes to truly understand the cat-human relationship in "Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat."
So what, exactly, is cat mojo, and how can their humans help out with that?
"It's that inner confidence thing," Galaxy told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "You don't have a cat. You are in a relationship with an animal. That's important to remember."
The book covers how cat owners can establish routines and rituals, track patterns of behavior and act accordingly, such as how many and where to place litter boxes, and how to help cats get their mojo back when things go wrong.
A good place to start, Galaxy said, is with the biggest mistake he sees among cat owners, the idea that cats aren't cats at all.
"It's the concept of looking at cats through dog-colored glasses," Galaxy explained. "It's the concept that you want cats to act like dogs, to come and seek your approval, to treat you like you're the moon and the stars. That's not who cats are. If we expect certain things from cats we're going to be disappointed. If we look at them on their own terms we won't be."
Those terms, he said, involve recognizing the "raw" in your cat.
"The key is to see them as what they are, which is a prey animal, an animal that is conditioned to kill or be killed, to always be on guard of possible friend or foe," Galaxy said. "You have to present yourself as a non-threat."
Among his tricks is the slow blink, which is pretty much how it sounds.
"Watching them return that gaze to you is that Rosetta Stone, it's that in, that way of saying wait a minute, we can speak together," he said.