Jealous cat

Cat owners often feel that their pet is jealous when a new pet or person comes into the household. While cats are capable of having emotions, it is unlikely that they feel jealousy like humans. Their behavior is usually due to anxiety generated by a change in their environment or habits.


Can cats be jealous?

We often hear that cats are jealous. For example, owners think that their pet is jealous when it hides and refuses to cuddle with them when a new pet arrives. It also happens that cats urinate in the house following the arrival of a new person in the home, a new animal, etc...

But are all these behaviors due to jealousy?

You have to know that cats are endowed with emotions (fear, joy...) but it does not seem that they have feelings (jealousy, love, etc...).

Jealousy is a feeling of envy towards someone who has something that we would like to have. Jealousy therefore involves the cognitive abilities of individuals, it implies a capacity for construction and mental representation. No study to date shows that cats are jealous. It is therefore an anthropomorphism to think that cats are jealous.


How can we interpret their behavior?

There are often simple explanations for cat behavior.

Cats are sensitive to any changes in their environment. The arrival of a new animal or a new person in the home (baby, spouse) can be responsible for anxiety and undesirable behaviors (uncleanliness (the cat urinates in the house, on clothes, on beds, etc...), aggressiveness, etc...).


What are the possible solutions?

To avoid the appearance of undesirable behaviors, it is important to change your cat's environment and habits as little as possible.

When a new animal arrives, it is advisable to proceed gently so that your cat gets used to its new companion gradually. Indeed, cats are very attached to their environment and the arrival of a new cat can be experienced as a real intrusion... Cohabitation is generally easier when it is a kitten.

When a new person arrives in the home, you must try not to upset your cat's habits! Try to keep the moments of games, cuddles. Leave him his sleeping areas, do not change the place of his litter boxes...

You can give your cat a stress-relieving food supplement to help it cope with changes in its habits or environment.

There are also pheromone or essential oil diffusers that can be beneficial. Finally, don't forget that play is an excellent anxiolytic for cats.