Do cats get jealous of other cats? This is a question that has been asked by cat owners for years. The answer, however, is not so clear-cut. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the topic of feline jealousy and try to answer the question once and for all. We will also explore the reasons why cats may become jealous and what you can do to help alleviate any feelings of envy your pet may have.
Do Cats Feel Jealous?
It seems like everyone has a pet cat at home, loves them dearly, and treats them as if they were their own child. But do cats really understand how love works? Do they really feel emotions such as jealousy? The jury is still out on this question. Some experts believe that cats are capable of exhibiting jealousy-like behaviors, although the level at which they express this kind of emotion is most likely very different from what humans experience.
For instance, cats may become more vocal or act more aggressively towards rival animals in the household when their owners show favoritism. They may also seem over-obsessive with certain objects or activities whenever there is competition from another animal for these resources. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that cats can sometimes demonstrate signs of possessiveness and discontentment – two traits closely associated with envy and jealousy.
What Situations Could Make Your Cat Jealous?
Now that we know cats are capable of being envious and jealous, what kind of situations could trigger these emotions? Here are a few examples of scenarios that could make your cat jealous.
#1 – Lack of Attention
Attention is an important aspect of life that all creatures desire. This is particularly true for animals, and cats in particular. While cats get jealous of other cats is a popular anecdotal assertion, research indicates that cats can assess their environment and recognize when they are not receiving the expected amount of attention from their owners or other felines in the vicinity. Such a lack of attention may cause a noticeable decrease in affection or even hostility directed at the responsible animal, leading to unease and insecurity throughout the house. It’s always worthwhile to be mindful of how much attention you give your pets, as they do expect some level of engagement from their human companions.
#2 – A Lack of Treats
It’s no secret that cats love their treats, some more than others. However, do cats get jealous when other cats get treats and they don’t? Recent studies suggest that cats do indeed display jealousy, although less complexly than other mammals do. Cats can perceive the situation – if another cat is receiving rewards such as treats and attention from the same person or source, then the “jealous cat” may exhibit behaviors like vocalizing to alert the treat-giver of its presence or trying to push away the “rival” cat. Understanding your cat’s emotional needs and making sure they feel included can go a long way in reducing potential feelings of jealousy.
#3 – Having Less Than The Lion’s Share of Food
It is natural for cats to feel jealous if they do not get equally as much food as their fellow feline companions. Studies have shown that cats may do certain behaviors, such as bunching up together and singing, when their counterparts are enjoying a higher portion of food than they are. Furthermore, cats react differently to different situations. Even though there may be the same amount of food available for each cat, if the other cats seem more hungry or eat quicker than them, this could trigger an emotion of jealousy in some cats. It’s important that all cats receive equal shares of food and attention so that no members of your feline family end up feeling left out or neglected.
#4 – Being Relegated From Their Usual Resting Spot
It is not uncommon to find cats reclining in a favorite spot, seemingly possessing the ability to doze off anywhere they please. What do they do when another cat encroaches on their space and sends them packing? Do cats get jealous of other cats if they are relegated from their usual resting place? It is possible that cats may experience some form of jealousy when this happens and have difficulty returning the feeling of warmth and contentment which accompanies the purr-fect nap. They may become defensive by swatting or hissing at an interloper interrupting their slumber. If left unattended, cats may even direct their anger towards the furniture in or around the area or unassuming passersby, leading to unexpected surprises for unsuspecting bystanders! Thus, it appears that an alternative spot should be sought out for a cat’s afternoon siesta when it discovers its usual spot has been occupied.
#5 – A New Furry Family Member
Bringing home a new furry feline family member can be both exciting and anxiety-provoking. Cat owners may worry whether do cats get jealous and how existing cats will react to the strange cat in their domain. Studies do show that cats do exhibit jealousy, but not necessarily towards other cats. Instead, they may become jealous when an owner shows any type of preference towards something else or someone else such as another animal or another person. When introducing a new kitty into a multi-cat household, ensure that plenty of playtime, petting, and treats are available to all the cats so that the existing one doesn’t feel left out. If done properly, adding the extra love and companionship of another feline family member can enrich your life – and theirs!
#6 – Being Left Out At Playtime
Playtime is important to cats, as it helps them to stay fit, act out natural behaviors, and have fun. Though some might assume that cats do not understand the concept of being left out at playtime, they do have keen senses of social hierarchy and can feel jealousy when they see other cats having more fun than they do. It might even lead them to be more vocal or aggressive during playtime in an attempt to get the attention of their owner. The best way to combat this kind of behavior is by making sure each cat gets plenty of one-on-one time with their owners throughout the day. That way no cat feels neglected or jealous in comparison to the others.
How Can You Help Your Jealous Cat?
All cats show an occasional sign of jealousy, such as hissing or growling at a new animal, but it’s important to make sure these behaviors aren’t becoming excessive. For cats who are more prone to jealous outbursts, redirecting the jealous energy is key. Provide plenty of toys and interactive activities for your cat — such as scratching posts, puzzle cubes, and even feather-on-a-stick toys — so they can express their emotions in a positive way.
If there are other animals or humans vying for your attention, don’t just ignore them but instead spend equal amounts of time with each creature where appropriate. Also, consider providing extra treats and comforting actions so that your cat feels appreciated when you’re paying special attention to someone else. It may not be easy to connect with a jealous cat, but with patience and understanding, you can cultivate a healthy relationship over time.
What Are The Signs That Your Jealous Cat Might Be Stressed?
Stress in cats can be caused by a variety of things, and one of the most common signs is jealousy. If your cat is displaying aggressive or destructive behaviors such as scratching furniture, hissing at other pets, or acting aloof from you, those could all be signs that she feels threatened by something. Additionally, she may start showing strange behaviors like over-grooming or vocalizing more than usual.
Changes in sleeping patterns, appetite and sudden weight loss are all possible signs of stress as well. It is important to keep an eye on your cat so you can identify any changes in behavior that could be a sign of stress caused by jealousy. Pay attention to the way she interacts with other animals and people so that you can help her get back to feeling secure and content in her home.
Researchers seem to think that cats may be jealous because they form attachments with their owners much as dogs and babies do. And when they feel threatened, they can lash out. If you’ve ever felt like your cat was giving you the cold shoulder after you paid attention to another animal or even a human baby, there’s a chance your kitty was just feeling a little jealous. Of course, every cat is different, so it’s always best to ask your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your pet’s behavior.