If you are one of those who thinks that cats, because they are independent animals, are alien to jealousy, you are very wrong. There is no doubt that domestic cats are more social than stray ones, but they all share a particular law of the strongest that, when broken, causes jealousy, disputes and discomfort.
Therefore, any change that alters the order of things to which your pet has become accustomed will generate in him a feeling of inattention and of being relegated to the background. More if possible, if it has been the only animal in the house. If you want to discover how to reverse jealousy in cats, keep reading, we have the solution.
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What is jealousy?
We can define jealousy as the emotional response to what is perceived as the threat that can take away what is our own. Cats are not exempt from experiencing it when, for example, we welcome a new pet at home, we change partners or we are parents.
As you can see, they are situations that are part of the natural evolution of human life, that your cat may not fit in with the same naturalness if you do not follow certain precautions, aimed at preserving its role in the family as before.
If his dethronement is generated by an animal of the same species, jealousy will be more evident, especially if the other cat is the same age or if he is not neutered. Seeing that another feline is playing with his toys and sharing his space will only aggravate his feeling of helplessness .
How does jealousy manifest itself in cats?
The symptoms that warn that your cat is jealous have to do with behavioral changes that can compromise his health if, for example, the lack of appetite is prolonged over time.
In turn, the accumulated stress can trigger urinary and / or gastrointestinal disorders that will require the intervention of the veterinarian.
Among the most obvious signs of jealousy in cats are the following:
- Your kitten hides from you and avoids your gaze.
- He is always irritated and grumpy. Reacts to any stimulus loudly.
- Stop eating.
- He snorts or attacks his opponent, be it animal or person.
- He begins to urinate outside the sandbox to mark his territory.
- He seems to enjoy scooping the litter out of the litter tray or doing any other mischief.
In short, they are behaviors that remind us of an enraged teenager, with the need to desperately defend his territory when feeling insecure.
What to do to avoid jealousy in a pussycat?
At this point it is convenient to discriminate if the origin of your pet’s jealousy has to do with a human, or with another pet with which he is forced to live .
The actions that you will have to implement are different, but they share the same spirit: make him see that there is no such threat and that he continues to preserve his status in the family.
If your cat is jealous of a human
Ethologists coincide in pointing out that this supposed adversary must spray his clothes with feline pheromones to stop being considered a threat, or with your perfume in order to associate him with someone familiar and worthy of his affection.
You can also take advantage of the time of the food to dispense it or reserve a time daily to play with your cat. At the end of each “session” it will be very effective for you to reward your pet with his snack or his favorite treats .
In this way, positive reinforcement will help you build a positive association of that moment and the adversary. After several days repeating this tactic, the opponent will stop being an opponent and your cat will begin to approach him.
If your cat is jealous of another pet
This situation is more complex, but it is not without solution. Of course, you must arm yourself with patience and plan a routine so that both animals smell, see each other and finally have direct contact, always supervised by you.
There are several theories that, precisely, we developed in the article How to add a second cat to the home? to address the inclusion of a second trauma-free cat . The priority is that you gradually expose them to the presence of the other.
Once again, feline pheromone diffusers will help you create a favorable atmosphere. If you smell each other and be aware of each other, you must go to the visual phase to conclude with the most decisive phase, that of the physical encounter, always in your presence.
The first face-to-face meeting
Most likely they will snort and play cornering, it is totally natural and it tells you that everything is going well. In the event that that first physical meeting has gone smoothly, you should gradually increase the time you spend together. You will be surprised to see how they get along better and better and even sleep together.
An unforgivable mistake on your part would be to pay more attention to the new pet , assign it the favorite space of your primal cat or lend it its toys. Given their accused territoriality, each of them must have an exclusive space provided with a feeder, drinker, bed, sandbox, scraper and their own toys.
In short, jealousy in cats is as common as in people and few experiences are more frustrating than feeling ignored. Luckily for you, your cat does not have to worry if you follow the guidelines that we have provided in these lines.