Do cats get jealous of each other?

Cats are solitary animals. Cats are known for their independent personalities. Unlike dogs that would really demand the owner’s attention, cats can find ways of keeping themselves amused. This is why cat owners are seldom concerned by unwanted behaviors that develop due to the boredom of the pet. However, this is not to say that cats would not appreciate having another cat in the household. The other cat would be a playmate and a grooming buddy. Unfortunately, cats tend to get jealous if a new cat is brought in. The owner’s good intention of getting another cat to provide the resident pet with a playmate can turn into a problem when the cats start fighting. What should an owner do to prevent the cats from getting jealous of each other?

Having two cats in the household can result to a lot of hissing, growling and pawing. Cats fight not only with dogs but with each other as well. Fighting cats would not avoid the priceless heirloom vase or the valued Waterford crystal collection of the master. The chasing around the house of the screaming cats can leave a trail of broken and destroyed possessions. Of course, not all cats would manifest jealousy in this manner. Cats with sensitive personalities have the tendency to sulk…to stay away from the human family. It is also possible for the jealous cat to totally refuse food. A jealous cat would have the tendency to manifest unwanted behavior like aggression and inappropriate urination. Cats make delightful and rewarding pets. Cat owners that want to ensure the well being of the pets would want to understand where the jealousy stems from. Cat owners would want to prevent the pets from getting jealous of each other.

Insecurity is the common reason why people would get jealous of other people. This holds true with cats as well. The new cat will be viewed by the resident pet as a rival to the food, to the toys and especially to the attention and affection of the owner. A new pet would usually get all the attention of the family. A new cat, especially a kitten will be played with and will be cuddled and petted by the owners more often. The new pet will be provided with toys as well and it is not uncommon for pet owners to take the toys of the resident pet and offer them to the new comer. Pet owners do not realize that the attention showered on the new pet can make the established pet jealous.

Jealousy among the pets can be prevented by introducing the cats slowly. Allowing the new cat to use the bed, to play with the toys and to eat on the food dishes of the old pet is one sure way of antagonizing the cats. Cats are territorial animals and the resident cat will surely object to the newcomer’s use of his things. If a new cat will be brought in, the owners must make sure that the new pet is provided with its own bed, food bowls and toys. It is also recommended to keep the cats in a separate room at least during the first few days. The attention given to the new cat must be received by the old pet as well. Favoritism must never be shown to any of the pets. If one cat is petted, the other must be petted as well. It would be a good idea to play with the pets at the same time. The cats can be prevented from getting jealous of each other if both pets receive equal amounts of attention and affection from the owner.