What Do You Think? Do Cats Get Jealous?

Jealousy does not typically become associated with cats, but cats do have an emotion center in their brains. If you have observed a cat for some time, you may see behaviors exhibited that do appear to be jealousy. So, do cats get jealous? The short answer is “yes, it is possible.”

Though a cat’s jealousy stems from different stimuli than it might in humans, he still experiences a strong, complex emotion. Consider it a behavior response in the cat, stemming in large part from his being very territorial and trying to cement his social status in your home.

Why Do Cats Get Jealous?

If kitty feels he’s been excluded because you give more time and attention to an object, person, or another pet, he can become jealous. Perhaps this time used to be spent with him, and he feels the lack. Also, if kitty has a past history of deprivation or abandonment, it could cause him to feel jealous.

Cat looking at new baby

If you have added a new pet or family member, such as a newborn baby, these could cause kitty to feel deprived of attention that should rightfully belong to him. He may become jealous. He could also react to something as simple as your cell phone, if he feels it’s taking time from him.

Some cats never learned the proper behavior for a pet, because they didn’t become socialized as a kitten. They should learn it from their mother, but that does not always happen. One reference pointed out that a good shelter has the cats interacting with other cats and people every day.

You may not give the cat sufficient time to bond because your job or school takes so many hours. Figure out a way to set aside some one-on-one time with kitty.

Changing the daily routine, including kitty’s feeding schedule, can cause behavioral issues such as jealousy. A cat wants that routine to stay the same every day.

Also, kitty needs to have personal space plus his own toys or supplies. If a cat feels he has lost any of these to another pet, he may feel threatened.

What Are Signs Of Jealousy In The Cat?

There are a number of signs that your cat may be jealous. Look at this list:

Orange cat, angry
Having a hissy-fit
  1. Aggressive behavior: It’s quite common for a cat to have such a reaction if he’s being introduced to something he does not like. Teeth and claws can come into play if his negative feelings are too intense.
  2. “Forgetting” to use the litter box: Kitty tries to establish that she is in charge with this behavior. She might use just a territorial spray or she may leave “offerings” outside the box.
  3. Giving you more attention than usual: Kitty gives much more attention to you than usual, as she is hoping you will reward her with extra time spent with her.
  4. Getting between you and the unwanted item: Perhaps kitty gets between you and your phone, or your book, or sits on your keyboard when you try to work at the computer. At least you know what the cat wants: You, and only you.
  5. Growling, hissing, or swatting an object or another pet: A little anger on the part of the cat comes into play here. If the anger gets out of hand, the cat may become involved in an escalated altercation. Time for a “time out.”
  6. Aggressive actions toward strangers: A cat does not care for the unfamiliar, and may feel that this new person will not add to her happiness. Aggressive actions may ensue.

Are There Different Types Of Cat Jealousy?

Yes, there are. Ask a cat specialist, and you will learn that kitty’s jealousy often gets defined as different types of aggression. Here are three types of aggression that could stem from jealousy:

Status-Induced aggression: This one comes up because of anxiety in the cat, because the cat cannot tell if the person actually poses a threat. The cat’s aggression represents his attempt at remaining in control of his environment.

Signs of this type of jealousy include blocking access to furniture or doorways, eyeing a person aggressively, rubbing or spraying on everything touched by a certain person, asking for attention, but biting or scratching when it’s given, or reacting aggressively when someone tries to move them.

Inter-cat aggression: Though usually seen between two male cats, sometimes it can be cats of any gender. It occurs because one cat becomes jealous of the other. This type of aggression is often hormone-related, and can be stopped by spaying or neutering the cat.

2 cats fighting over chair

Territorial aggression: Any person or animal that invades a cat’s territory, can end up hissed at or even attacked. This action could involve another cat, a new baby, or a stranger.

How To Stop Jealous Cat Behavior

First of all, determine what triggers the behavior. Once you’ve accomplished that, you can then address the problem. Do you have a new housemate, or bring home a new baby or pet? Are you occupied with something new? Has a favorite spot for kitty been disturbed?

Perhaps you need to spend more time with your cat. This method proves the best way to decrease jealous behavior in your cat. Play with him; cuddle together; give treats; in general, give kitty your undivided attention.

Perhaps the new person or animal has taken away an area that your cat thought of as “his.” If such is the case, create a new space that the cat can call his own. Move feeding dishes, favorite toys, and perhaps add a new high perch.

Help your cat to accept the change. Use treats, praise, attention, and petting when the cat comes near the object or person causing the reaction. Get your cat involved. For example, hold the new baby while petting your cat. Feed your jealous cat first, establishing priority and rank in the household.

Techniques For Dealing With A Jealous Cat

white cat jealous of phone pictures
  1. If a cat jumps on your lap and displays aggressive behavior, stand up and let the cat fall off.
  2. If a cat blocks your way aggressively, walk away, ignoring the cat, until he loses interest.
  3. Keep a distraction on hand to defuse the situation.
  4. Avoid situations that can cause aggression.
  5. Don’t give the cat any catnip.
  6. Try cat anxiety medication
  7. If two cats act aggressively towards each other, separate them, then slowly reintroduce them.
  8. Use treats to reinforce good behavior
  9. Ask your vet, if you need additional advice

It’s hoped that this information will prove helpful if you have a jealous cat. The problem can be overcome, usually by giving extrahttp://felineliving.net/do-cats-get-jealous/ attention and love. Reassure your cat that he still has an important place in your life. With care, you can solve his problem and reaffirm your love of him.

References I used for this post:


2 thoughts on “What Do You Think? Do Cats Get Jealous?”

  1. Oh yeah, Rascal is jealous. When I am on the phone he has to jump in my lap, must. If I am going somewhere when doesn’t want me to leave… it is actually really cute. This cat has grown to his full hybrid size. He is roughly 24 lbs of muscle. Sometimes he will get behind me and slap my legs. Too funny! You wouldn’t think of it much except he is incredibly strong and it actually hurts a little when he slaps. No teeth no claws but it does get your attention!! He makes it very clear that I belong to him and therefore I should be paying attention at all times! I don’t mind really. He is a gem…and always with me. Now that my son and I are doing the shelter he gets very curious about what’s going on there because he sees things that he likes at ‘his place’ (home) being placed in the shelter space. He might think he’s getting a new larger home LOL. I’m sure he will make certain his authority is understood there. He will have a large outdoor catio of his own and there will be 2 lgareas for the other cats and puppies. Should be interesting. He’s a character and very expressive of his feelings! Loving and otherwise ;).

    • So glad for your long comment. Yes, I can imagine he gets jealous. From what I’ve read about Bengals, they appear to be a handful, and a bit of jealousy on the cat’s part is undoubtedly par for the course.

      Keep me posted on your shelter — sounds interesting. I’m in the planning stage of a catio for Mocha. Have decided, because he was once feral, letting him out on his own is probably not a good idea. So it’s a catio and walks on a leash for him.


Leave a Comment