‘My Cat From Hell’ Goes Global
Cat behaviour expert (and regular Modern Cat contributor) Mieshelle Nagelschneider was offered a unique opportunity—to host My Cat From Hell in Asia. What she learned is that cats—and people—are the same everywhere.
“The cats have all the same behaviour issues I’ve been helping my clients with around the world for over 25 years as a cat behaviourist,” says Nagelschnieder. “From Singapore to Chicago, same, same: Urination and defecation issues, a lot of inter-cat aggression issues, human-focused aggression, urine spray-marking, and excessive vocalization.”
What she didn’t anticipate is the impact the show would have. In China alone, the second episode in Season One reached a viewership of 125 million and was one of their top seven shows—that’s more than any television show in the United States.
Cat behaviour issues are watered down with spaying and neutering. Without it, it can really be unliveable.
She shares the screen with her co-host, Nicholas Tse, who is her translator and protégé. “One of the reasons the show was so popular and watched by so many was because Nicholas is a huge celebrity, like our Brad Pitt,” she explains. “He is also a huge cat lover! Luckily, cats all speak the same behavioural language anywhere on the planet, so language barrier wasn’t an issue,” she laughs.
But the real dream come true was how many cat’s—and owner’s—lives were positively impacted. One couple featured on the show had several cats, along with one social-media famous cat with 500 million followers, but they were discouraging spaying and neutering to their millions of cat-loving followers due to their belief it was bad for the cat. It took Nagelschneider several hours to convince the couple to spay and neuter their cats if they expected everyone to live in peace and harmony. “I mentioned the many behavioural benefits of spaying and neutering, but the serious health risks of not spaying and neutering, I think is what caught their attention, and they quickly scheduled the surgeries,” she recounts. The couple promised to spread the word to their millions of followers that they must spay and neuter. After the surgeries, the cats no longer fought with one another or marked with urine. Following the first season airing, the vet clinics were overrun with spays and neuters because it was covered so heavily on the show.
The Power of Love. Cat Love, That Is
“Something very amazing and indescribable happened on the show. Even with all the differences and tensions between people and countries in the world today, the love everyone had for cats literally brought us all together in one profound moment—this cat show,” Nagelschnieder says. “We had forgotten about all our political, religious, and cultural differences for a bit of time and realized how we all were very much alike in our hearts—all due to our love for the most interesting and mysterious creature, the cat.”
*Watch My Cat From Hell on Discovery Plus China and South East Asia. It’s translated into different languages for each country.
This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Cat magazine. Subscribe today!
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