Angry cat to get therapy

Last updated 11:29 20/03/2014

A crazed cat with a history of violence attacks a family, forcing them to phone police for help.

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The ferocious fat feline that attacked a baby and trapped a US family in a bedroom is to get a visit from the Cat Whisperer.

Cats don't become ferocious felines that turn on their families for no reason, US cat behaviour expert Jackson Galaxy.

The star of Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell is heading to Portland soon to work with the four-year-old part-Himalayan named Lux.

He'll film the visit for his show's fifth season.

"Every parental site on the internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family," he said, adding that something is wrong if the cat is acting out.

"We need to step away from the hysteria. There is a story behind all this. Don't assume anything."

Lux became a worldwide phenomenon after owner Lee Palmer called emergency services and said the cat had cornered him, his girlfriend, their baby and the family dog inside a room.

Palmer says his seven-month-old pulled Lux's tail, and he kicked the animal after it scratched the child. Then, the cat "just went off over the edge", Palmer told an emergency dispatcher after the family barricaded themselves.

"He's charging us," Palmer said, as the cat was heard screeching in the background. Officers arrived and caught Lux with a dog snare.

Palmer said the cat had a history of violence but the family kept Lux until Monday, when they turned him over to a Portland-area shelter. But the family assured Animal Planet they were going to keep the cat and agreed to therapy with Galaxy.

Galaxy said he was going to Portland to act as Lux's advocate and find out what's wrong.

"I have no idea what made Lux aggressive," he said. It could be a chemical imbalance, a history of stressful environments or because he was kicked.

"If you want a blanket statement on how to deal with aggression, how about, 'Don't set the cat up for failure'," he said.

The Cat Whisperer, who has worked with tens of thousands of cats, said the thing that bothered him most about Lux was his continued aggression the day Palmer called police, including the animal's ongoing assault on the door even though the threat was gone.

But the word "attack" doesn't sit well with Galaxy because 75 per cent of the time, it's tied to a grouchy mood or a warning, he said.

"If I have a headache, I won't be the nicest guy in the world. I may snap at you," he said. "This may have been Lux's way of snapping. Hypothetically speaking, someone pulling his tail may have been the last straw."

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- AP

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