Cover Story

Five ways to manage your cat’s mood

By Beth Teitell
Globe Staff / May 21, 2011

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Tips from Animal Planet’s Jackson Galaxy

Have fun together: “Your cat needs ritualized play—to hunt, catch, kill, and eat every day,’’ Galaxy said. “That’s what they are built to do. If you facilitate that, you help ensure that their energy doesn’t peak and valley so much.’’

Get him a Netflix subscription: “Keep him occupied when you’re not there,’’ Galaxy advised. Put up a bird house outside a window, or turn on a nature DVD.

Serve meals: Cats thrive on the daily ritual of meals, Galaxy said, “and having you be the provider of food will also enhance [your] relationship.’’

Be positive: “You can always say ‘no,’ but there has to be a ‘yes’ directly behind it,’’ Galaxy said. “Basically, cats are energetic balloons. All they do is cat nap during the day and look out the window. Their energy is expanding all day long. If you don’t release the air out of the balloon constructively, it can come out destructively.’’

Understand your cat: “If your cat attacks your ankles when you walk through the room, that’s play aggression, and that cat is saying, ‘I need to hunt something,’ ’’ Galaxy said. “The key to a happy long-term relationship is not necessarily mood control but energy management.’’