Any cat owner knows that cats all have different personalities. When it comes to exhibiting jealousy, some furry felines showing more signs than others. The manner in which a cat displays jealousy can also vary from one feline to another, and different situations will evoke different signs. It’s important, as a cat owner to recognize the signs of a jealous cat and to know what to do about it.
What Makes a Cat Jealous?
When it comes to feelings of jealousy, cats can be a lot like people. A cat tends to feel jealous when we are not paying them enough attention or our attention is on another pet, person, or object. You may notice that some cats will appear more clingy or needy, and this is down to craving attention.
A number of situations can also cause a cat to exhibit jealousy, such as a new family member coming into the home, such as a new baby. Cats love their routines, so a sudden change in a cat’s daily routine can also trigger jealous behavior, such as a change in their feeding schedule. Another reason is cats that were not properly socialized as kittens, which can lead to them becoming overly dependent on their owners.
If you have other pets and your cat doesn’t have their own personal space, a bed, or something that brings them a sense of comfort when they feel threatened, they will also exhibit displays of jealousy. Paying more attention to things like your phone or TV can be another trigger. Any situation where you used to spend time and play with your cat that suddenly changes, resulting in less time being shared with them will trigger jealous behavior.
What are the Signs of Jealousy in Cats?
Cats can exhibit jealousy in a number of ways, with the most obvious being a sudden change in their behavior. Some of the more common behaviors are growling, hissing, or trying to swat at whatever it is that is making them jealous, for example, trying to swat your mobile phone out of your hand. It’s their way of letting you know that they feel you are spending too much time with something other than themselves.
Another way a cat will display jealousy is by intruding your personal space, for example, sitting on your laptop when you are trying to do work, trying to jump up into your arms while you are holding a new born, or sitting in your lap when you are spending time with your significant other. Basically, they will try to get in your face as much as possible to get that attention they are craving.
Some cats will exhibit behavior that is more aggressive when feeling jealous, such as biting, scratching, or urinating in places other than their litter boxes, which can not only be frustrating but is one of the most problematic behaviors a jealous cat will display. Urinating outside of their litter tray is usually a big clue that something is not right with your feline friend.
Spraying is another issue because it’s quite difficult to clean, with eliminating the odor where the cat has sprayed being most difficult to get rid of. Cats will usually spray on vertical surfaces, such as walls. Other cats will urinate on the offending item that has caused their jealousy, such as shoes, mobile phone, or a baby’s crib. Other common areas a jealous cat will leave puddles of urine on your couch, bed, plastic bags, or just outside of their litter tray.
Another sign of jealousy in your cat is destructive behavior that they do in order to get your attention. Behaviors, such as scratching or shredding your furniture, walls, or curtains are some examples. Biting and chewing on things are other examples. They may even knock things off of your table, counters, or bookshelves, such as decorations or a drinking glass.
Can Jealous Behavior in Cats Be Stopped?
It may feel a bit impossible to manage jealous behavior in your cat, but you can do things that will help alleviate or eliminate these displays of jealousy.
First, you need to figure out what it is that is making your cat so jealous. Think of when this behavior began and see if there were any major changes that occurred at that time, such as a new person moving in, a new baby coming into the home or a new pet. Also look at whether the amount of time you used to spend on your cat has changed due to a new situation, such as a new job that takes you out of the house all day, spending too much time on your phone, changing their feeding schedule, or focusing on someone else like a significant other.
Now that you have figures out what is causing your cat’s jealous behavior it’s time to look at how to address the issue. One of the simplest ways to alleviate jealous behavior in your cat is to just spend more time with them. Buy some new toys and spend time playing with them. When you come home, make a point to look for them to give them treats or play.
If you are in a situation where you aren’t able to completely avoid the object of their jealousy, such as another pet or a person, then you will need to help your feline friend adjust to the situation. You can do this by praising them, giving them attention, rewarding them with treats, or petting them when they are around whatever is making them jealous. One example would be to pet your cat while you are holding your new born or a new pet or having the person, they feel jealousy towards be the giver of treats and feeding them. This way they will associate something good with that person.
Another simple way to lessen jealous behavior is to make sure your cat has its own or a personal space, such as their own bed, or their own food bowls, something that is solely for them. Every situation will be different, and you can try a number of things once you know what is causing the issue, but rest assured, there is always a way to lessen or eliminate jealousy in cats.