Does a Cat Get Jealous: Reasons for Jealousy in Cats and How to Deal With It

Yes, it is possible for cats to feel jealousy, although not all cats will exhibit this behavior. Jealousy is often associated with territorial behavior, and cats can become possessive of their owners, toys, food, and sleeping spots.

For example, if a cat sees its owner petting or playing with another cat, it may become agitated, hiss, or swat at the other cat to regain its attention. Similarly, if one cat gets more attention or treats than another, the less-favored cat may become jealous and try to assert itself.

However, it’s important to note that cats have a wide range of personalities and behaviors, so not all cats will exhibit signs of jealousy similarly. Additionally, it can be difficult to discern whether a cat is experiencing jealousy or simply reacting to a change in its environment.

Reasons Cats Get Jealous


Cats are social creatures and form strong bonds with their owners. And enjoy being around their owners, playing with them, and receiving affection, but they may become jealous if they feel they are not getting enough attention.

Cats are observant animals and can detect subtle environmental cues and changes. For example, they may notice when their owner starts spending more time with another person, pet, or object and interpret this as threatening their bond with their owner. This can trigger feelings of jealousy and insecurity, manifesting in various ways.

Cats may meow or cry loudly to get their owner’s attention. They may also his or growl at the person or pet they perceive as a threat. Jealous cats may become more aggressive towards other pets or people in the household. They may swat, scratch, or bite to assert dominance and regain their owner’s attention.

A pet cat may try to get its owner’s attention by jumping on their lap, rubbing against their legs, or following them around the house. They may also like knocking over objects or scratching furniture to get noticed. Some cats may become withdrawn and avoid their owner if they feel they are not getting enough attention. They may hide, sleep more often, or refuse to play or interact with their owner.


Cats are territorial animals who can become very possessive of their space, toys, food, and other resources. When a cat feels that its territory is being invaded, it can trigger feelings of jealousy and aggression.

Cats have a strong sense of smell and use scent markings to establish their territory. They may rub their face or body against objects or furniture to mark them with their scent. They may also scratch surfaces to mark them with their scent and visual markers. When a new pet, object, or person enters their territory, they may see it as a threat and become jealous.

Jealous cats may become aggressive towards other pets or people in the household. They may hiss, growl, or swat at the intruder to assert dominance and protect their territory. If the cat feels threatened, it may hide in a secluded area or avoid the new pet, person, or object altogether.

A cat may become possessive over resources like food, water, or toys and guard them aggressively against other pets or people. Sometimes, a cat may mark its territory by urinating or defecating outside the litter box to show its dominance and ownership of the space.


Cats can become very attached to their owners and often view their owners as a source of comfort and security, and as such, they may become jealous if they feel that their bond with their owners is being threatened.

Cats are creatures of habit and routine. They thrive on predictability and stability in their environment. When a new person or pet enters the home, it can upset the cat’s sense of security and cause them to become anxious. They may feel like their territory is being invaded, which can trigger a territorial response.

Any significant changes in a cat’s routine, such as changes in feeding or playtime, can cause stress and feelings of insecurity. In addition, if a cat is experiencing pain or discomfort due to a medical condition, it can become more irritable. In addition, it may display jealousy towards other pets or people in the household.

In addition, cats may become jealous if they feel they are not getting enough attention or affection from their owner. They may feel like they are being replaced by someone or something else, which can cause them to act out in various ways. They may become more demanding of attention, vocalize more often, or even be aggressive towards the new person or pet in the home.

Furthermore, cats are sensitive animals capable of picking up on their owner’s emotions. The cat may also become anxious if their owner is stressed, anxious, or upset. This can lead to insecurity and make the cat more likely to become jealous and possessive of their owner’s attention.

It’s important to note that not all cats will react the same way to environmental changes. Some cats are more laid-back and adaptable, while others are more sensitive and easily stressed. So owners need to be aware of their cat’s personalities and behavior and take steps to ensure they feel safe and secure in their homes.


Cats, like humans, can have unique personalities shaped by various factors, including genetics, early life experiences, and socialization. Some cats may be naturally more outgoing and social, while others may be more reserved and independent. These personality traits can explain why a cat may become jealous.

For example, a naturally more outgoing and social cat may become jealous if it feels like it is not getting enough attention or affection from its owner. They may be more likely to demand attention and become vocal if they feel like they are being ignored. On the other hand, a more independent cat may be less likely to become jealous and may be more content with having their own space and alone time.

Additionally, a dominant cat may become jealous if a new cat or pet enters the home, disrupting its sense of hierarchy. They may become territorial and aggressive towards the new cat or pet to maintain their position in the household. On the other hand, a more submissive cat may be more accepting of a new cat or pet and may not become jealous or territorial.

Cats can also become jealous of their owner’s attention and affection towards other humans or pets. For example, a cat with a more possessive or jealous personality may become upset if their owner spends too much time with another cat, dog, or human. As a result, they may become more demanding and even engage in attention-seeking behaviors, such as meowing or rubbing against their owner.

How to Deal With Jealousy in Cats

One of the most common reasons cats get jealous is because they want attention. Spend quality time with your cat, playing with them, cuddling them, and grooming them. This can help them feel more secure and loved. For example, if you have more than one cat, ensure they have food and water bowls, litter boxes, and toys. This can help reduce competition for resources and prevent jealousy.

If introducing a new pet into the household, do it slowly and gradually. Give your cat plenty of time to adjust to the new pet, and make sure they have space to retreat if they feel overwhelmed.

Also, cats need mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy. Ensure your cat has plenty of toys, scratching posts, and places to climb and explore. They thrive on routine and consistency. Stick to a regular feeding and play schedule, and try to keep changes to a minimum.

If your cat’s jealousy is causing behavioral problems or if you are struggling to manage it, consider consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide additional advice and guidance on how to address the issue.