It is not uncommon for our feline pets to be hit with pangs of jealousy. If you are a cat parent, you must have noticed your pet presenting odd behavioral tendencies. It might have happened when you tried to pet another cat along with your own only to have your cat throw a hissy fit. It might have even happened when you were laughing along with one of your friends who had come over.
Is it common for cats to feel jealous when their owners show affection towards other cats and dogs? Are cats overcome with jealousy towards humans as well? Read on to know more.
Do Cats Feel Jealous?
Experts still haven’t agreed on a common opinion when it comes to the behavioral aspects of cats. Some experts attribute these tendencies to “social hierarchy.” Well, what does “social hierarchy” mean concerning cats? Particular cats may feel that they enjoy a higher social status as compared to other cats. They can even feel that way towards humans. Others believe that cats throw fits to grab the attention of their owners.
Just like any other animals, cats can have a territorial or possessive nature. If our cats were to live in the wilderness, they would compete for food, water, shelter, and other resources necessary for living. In the wild, male cats would vie for attention from their female counterparts. Also, female felines would defend their kittens from other cats and animals.
What Are the Signs of Jealousy in a Cat?
Is your cat throwing a jealous fit? Here is how you will know:
Your Cat Being Unnecessarily Aggressive
If your cat is jealous, it may exude aggressive or possessive behavior. It will express their aggression in the form of biting, nibbling, and scratching. For instance, it may try to mark its owner or even another pet. It can be a huge problem, especially if you have a small puppy or a kitten and your grown-up cat is aggressive.
Cats can even show what experts call “pushy behavior.” They will continuously try and impose themselves over another cat to stop them from moving around or receiving affection.
Changes in Toilet Habits
Changes in toilet habits are another tell-tale sign that your cat is feeling jealous. Here is what might happen. Your cat will choose to poop right in the middle of the living room instead of doing in the litter tray, even though they have been well-trained for the same. Cats might even be extra rebellious and do it right in the middle of the bedsheets.
You can notice these changes if your cat feels unloved or jealous due to you bringing home a new kitten.
These interactions can work in two ways. Your cat may either be over-affectionate with you or become increasingly reclusive.
If jealous, your cat can act out by showering too much affection on you. It may continuously be in the mood to play with you or interfere with your day-to-day activities. It can cause a huge problem, especially if you are working or doing other essential tasks.
When your cat becomes reclusive, it will withdraw from you and will be unwilling to do anything that it usually loves to do.
Why Do Cats Get Jealous?
Now that we have gone over the signs of jealousy let’s move on to the reasons that may trigger these feelings of envy in your feline pets.
Feelings of Boredom
Experts believe that bored cats will often throw fits to draw their owners’ attention back towards them. Cats, just like any other pets and humans, are prone to feelings of insecurity. They don’t want their owners to spend time with other pets or humans. Instead, they want their human parents to shower them with love and affection from time to time.
Fighting for Resources
Feelings of jealousy and resentment can also be triggered by having to fight for things in a household. If you have multiple pets, then your cat may exhibit jealous behavior. It is because your cat feels the constant need to compete over things such as toys, snacks, playtime, and so on.
Poor Socialization as a Kitten
If you didn’t properly train your kitten to be sociable, it might manifest in your kitten becoming jealous and territorial when it eventually grows up to be a cat.
Please note other factors such as lack of space, lack of exercise, and stress can worsen this type of behavior in cats. However, there are a lot of cats that are naturally more reserved and possessive. You may liken it to each human being having a different personality.
What Steps Can You Take about Your Cat’s Jealous Behavior?
You can quickly bring your cat’s jealous fits to an end before it grows into an even bigger problem. Here are some tried and tested tips that can be of great help.
Be Careful of How You Behave Towards Your Cat
If you have more than one pet or one cat, you would want to check on your behavior. If you pay more attention to one pet, the other one might end up feeling left out. Make sure to divide your time equally among your different pets. When it comes to playtime, grooming sessions, and other activities, treat all your pets equally.
The tactic mentioned above applies to humans, especially if you have new people in your life and are spending more time with them.
You can easily avoid fits of jealousy in your cats if you are a tad bit more observant than usual. Please make a note of their behavioral patterns or when they are acting out. For instance, observe your cat closely when you bring home a new pet as it may exhibit certain odd behaviors.
Abundance of Resources
Your cat shouldn’t feel like they aren’t loved enough or don’t have enough things working in their favor. If you have plenty of resources, all your pets will have more than enough and will be less prone to jealousy feelings.
To Sum Up
While you may or may not agree with the fact that cats can get jealous, you can attest to your pet not always being happy. If you love and care for your cat as a parent cares for a child, you will want to find out the reasons behind your cat’s unhappiness.
It is essential to be aware of these patterns in your cats, especially if you plan to introduce your cat to a new pet. If you want a happy home filled with the purring of your multiple feline friends, make sure always to be up-to-date about how your cat is feeling. After all, happy pets ensure a comfortable home.