Can Cats Get Jealous Of Other Cats, Dogs, Or Humans? Signs And Behavior

Pet parents all over the world tend to give their cats human-like traits. Anthropomorphizing our beloved feline furballs is a common pastime!

We say that cats love us, that they can understand us, and that they have human-like emotions. So the question might naturally arise–can cats get jealous just like human beings?

Yes, Cats Can Get Jealous.

It’s not uncommon for a feline to feel  territorial. The predominant feeling for many cats is “MINE!” when it comes to their living area and/or pet parents. You may experience the same feelings toward your own house or loved ones!

Felines can easily get jealous of cats, dogs, and other animals. They can also get jealous if their owners are being more attentive to daily tasks or to a house guest. This could result in a cat sprawling across your keyboard, for instance, to demand its quota of daily cuddles.

Some breeds, such as the Pixie Bob and the Maine Coon, are quite laid-back, easy-going, and tolerant of strangers. They typically don’t mind sharing their owners’ attention with other pets or people. Of course, each cat is unique. As a result, even a notably tolerant feline breed can show excessive jealousy.

Why Do Cats Get Jealous?

Why do you, as a human, get jealous, while others may not? Some humans and felines are simply made that way.

For example, one particularly jealous cat breed is the Oriental Shorthair. These furballs adore being the center of attention and they’ll do anything to achieve that. They aren’t happy when their owners are being more attentive to other humans, animals, or even inanimate objects while carrying out their daily tasks.

Feline jealousy depends on the cat’s personality and temper, as well as on its upbringing, level of socialization, and overall interaction with its pet parent.

There are, however, several common reasons behind your kitty’s jealous feelings.


If your beloved furball isn’t convinced of your unconditional love, it may jealous for seemingly no reason at all.

Insecurity usually comes after the cat has experienced a heartbreaking moment such as a parting with its previous owner or a similar unpleasant memory. The kitty may feel unconvinced that it won’t also lose your affection, so you’ll have to prove yourself (potentially over and over.)

Lack Of Proper Socialization

Cats which lack enough socialization with other animals or humans easily experience jealousy. When faced with a social encounter, they may act out improperly because they’ve never been taught better.

Lack Of Enough Bonding Time

Whether it’s studying, working, watching TV, or doing house chores, people have daily tasks. Much as you might like to, you can’t engage in training sessions or play time with the kitty 24/7. But when the cat feels like it’s not getting enough bonding time with its owner, it becomes a problem.

What Happens When Cats Get Jealous? Meanings And Signs

You’ll spot behavioral changes, which will indicate that something’s wrong with your cat. Your fluffy pet won’t act out each time it gets jealous, but when it does, you’ll definitely notice it.


Aggressive behavior such as hissing, scratching, biting, and attacking you or the other person/ animal/ inanimate object which triggered the jealousy is common. The cat may also pee on the carpet or try to scratch the furniture. Basically, your furball will try to get revenge for the way it’s feeling. And that means attacking whatever it thinks will make a clear point.


The kitty may start acting lethargic, shy, and depressed because of basic insecurity. For any number of reasons, it may feel like your love is about to be withdrawn permanently and this can set it into a tailspin.


A common type of jealous behavior is fawning. Purring, rubbing against you, pleading with excessive meowing, and so forth are typical signs of fawning. This is basically your cat’s way of obtaining your attention.

If you encourage the cat by teasing it on purpose, laughing at it, or purposely not showing it attention when the jealous behavior seems amusing, your actions will only worsen the situation. Kitties do get hurt feelings!

If you can’t devote your time to attending to your kitty’s needs, think twice before adopting a cat. You can also opt for a more independent and laid-back breed. Another option is to stock up on interactive cat toys to keep the kitty entertained and exercised. Nevertheless, every cat out there needs love and attention, so don’t neglect your furball’s needs.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

7 thoughts on “Can Cats Get Jealous Of Other Cats, Dogs, Or Humans? Signs And Behavior”

  1. Hi
    I have a 12 year old female tabby. She has never been nice to other cats. We had another 10 year old female who has since passed.
    we know have a one year old male..arrived in january 2018 and a recent kitty 3 months old arrived in last month.
    12 year old will just not be nice…she hisses at new kitten and will his and pounce near male. She was abused by a male human…
    She is an Alpha Cat . She only jumps up on our laps when alone or with encouragement by husband …

    • Hi Marguerite –

      That sounds frustrating, sorry to hear about that.

      Did you take the time to introduce the cats properly when they were brought home? Specifically, did you give them a private space to get used to the house, and even more importantly, for your more aggressive cat to get used to the smell of the new cat?

      It could be from the abuse you mention, or the feeling of her territory being invaded.

  2. We recently brought my daughter’s cat to our home because she’s moving. My own cat doesn’t seem to like her very much, she tends to spend a lot of her time in the basement and is not socializing with us much, we I try to hold her and show her my love she pulls away. Please advise.

    • Hi Vera, I bet that once your daughter takes her cat back, things will return to normal. It can be pretty stressful for a cat to have a new housemate, and is certainly not abnormal.

  3. Hi! I’ve recently moved in with a friend of mine. I have two young girl cats, both under a year old. Within a month of living here, my friend got a dog. The dog is also female and stop young (a little over a year old). I’ve followed all of the steps with introducing cats to new dogs and it has been going alright. My cats have the entire upstairs of the house to themselves, which is blocked off with a gate so the dog can’t go in that area. Neither the dog or my cats have acted aggressive towards each other until recently. The dog tries to chase the cats but we’ve put a stop to that. She now just sits and stares at them whenever they are around. The cats are very cautious of the dog. Recently, one of my cats has taken to randomly hissing at the dog. She will get near the dog and just look at her for a moment and then hiss at her. She’s even taken a swipe at her once. Any suggestions? I’m not sure why she is suddenly having a bigger issue with the dog.

    • Hi Payton, I’m sorry you are having this issue.

      My best guess is that it is simply a territorial thing, even if the behavior has just recently started. There’s a new energy in the home and your kitty is still adopting. You could give the situation more time and monitor and see if it resolves on its own as it very well could. Or if you wanted to try something, one thought would be to give your cats some “new” space downstairs as well that would be their own. Cats like height so you could create what is sometimes referred to as a cat highway (or superhighway). It’s basically a path that your cats can walk on in a room that provides them height and the ability to move around the room while feeling safe. It may allow all your cats to feel less threatened in the territory where they were queens before. You can keep it simple or get creative and fun with furniture or shelving to create a unique design.

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