4 Signs of a Jealous Cat & What to Do

Cats like to make you think that they are aloof and don’t care about the household goings-on, however, if you aren’t giving them the attention they believe they deserve, they will be sure to let you know in the form of jealous cat behaviour!

Has Mr Whiskers turned into a green-eyed monster lately and is driving you to pull your hair out? Like humans, cats have different personality traits and one of those may just be jealousy. Or at least, what we make out to be jealousy.

If your kitty is displaying jealous behaviour, he is likely displaying competitive or aggressive actions to get what they want; whether it’s an extra serving of catnip or chin scratches. This jealous behaviour can be frustrating and lead you to resent your cat’s actions, however, we are here to help you nip the bad behaviour in the bud!

Read on to learn some steps you can take to stop your jealous cat’s behaviour.

Signs of a Jealous Cat

There are common feline behaviours associated with jealousy, which makes this bitter behaviour easy to spot. If your kitty cat is doing one (or all) of the below, it is likely your cuddly cat is feeling envious!

  • Hissing, scratching, or growling at the object or person your cat is jealous of.
  • Pushing themselves in between you and the object or person that they are jealous of (and not in a subtle way). You may find your kitty stepping in front of your laptop or iPhone or trying to sit on your lap whilst you’re holding your new baby. This is a clear tell that your cat wants more of you and less of whatever you are paying attention to!
  • Marking their territory around the house or spraying is a common jealous behaviour, especially when you have a new housemate (whether it’s a human or furry roomie!).
  • Playing hide and seek more than usual. There are many reasons why your cat is hiding from you, but if it is paired with one of the above behaviours, your cat is likely feeling jealous.

Your feline friend may display their jealousy in several different ways, but you know your cat well and will know when they are acting differently from their usual cuddle-cat self. If you notice your purr-fect pal acting out of the ordinary, stop to think if any of the above changes have taken place.

Related: 8 Strange Cat Behaviours and Their Meaning

Possible Reasons for a Jealous Cat

There are many simple reasons why your cat might be green with envy, here are a few reasons why your cat’s showing jealous behaviour:

  • If you pay more attention than usual to an object, person, or animal, especially when you used to give this attention to your kitty cat.
  • The arrival of a new baby, a new four-legged family member, or a simple object, such as a new phone, can cause your cat to get jealous. There’s definitely truth behind the saying “All visitors need to be approved by the cat!” – and if Mitten doesn’t approve, you’re going to have a grumpy feline friend on your hands.
  • A sudden change in your furry friend’s daily routine. Cats are usually very routine-orientated and appreciate stability in their day-to-day lives. So, when there is a sudden change, such as moving houses or changing feeding times, this can lead to stress, jealousy, or destructive behaviour.
  • A sudden loss of personal space or belongings. When a new baby or pet joins the family, your cat might lose its usual bedroom or favourite toy, and this can trigger jealous behaviour.
  • If your precious furry friend was not regularly socialised as a kitten, they are more prone to this jealous behaviour as they are used to having you all to themselves! Ensure to take your kitten to meet different people and experience new places to prevent this envious behaviour in the future.

Discover: 3 Essential Things Every First Time Cat Owner Needs

How to Stop Your Jealous Cat’s Behaviour

Now that you have pinpointed the reason that your furry friend is showing envious behaviour, here’s a few tips to put a stop to the jealousy:

  • Show your kitty cat some love! The main reason why your cat is feeling jealous is that they miss the attention that was usually given to them. Be conscious to carve out some quality time spent with your cuddly cat. You can spend time with Mr Whiskers by playing with a new, interactive toy, rewarding good behaviour with yummy treats, or cuddling on the couch.
  • Giving your cat their personal space back. If you have welcomed a new pet or baby into your home, your cat might have lost their usual feeding spot, or their favourite blanket might have been stolen. It is important to give your cat a secure, comfortable bed and toys that are safe from being taken by the new hands or paws in the home!
  • Teach Mittens that he is just going to have to accept it. This sounds like tough love, but it can be done in a loving, caring way. You can praise and treat your kitty with treats to reinforce and encourage good behaviour, for example, when your cat is playing with the new addition instead of hissing or growling at it, give them a catnip treat!
  • Most importantly, incorporate your cat into the change wherever possible. For example, be sure to pet your cat whilst holding the new baby or download a cat game on your new iPad. This will show your cat that there is no reason to be jealous of the new object or person because it doesn’t mean that they are being pushed to the sidelines.
  • Lastly, if you are battling and have tried just about everything you can think of, talk to an animal behaviourist. They will be able to guide you and assist in getting your cat back to its usual sassy, loving self.

Try to avoid getting frustrated with your cat’s jealous behaviour, after all, it just means that they want to spend more time with you!

Read next: Why Being Called a “Cat Lady” is Actually a Compliment!

Yours in Not-So-Average Pet Advice,

The Petinsurance.co.za Team