Your female cat acts decisively rude to another female. She hisses, spits and generally disses the other cat. What’s up with that? Could your cat be jealous? Scientists disagree on whether animals have human emotions. Your cat might not like the other female, but it might not be from jealousy.
Two Female Cats
Most cats don’t like any change to their environment. If you bring a new female cat home, the female you already own might not like it. You might interpret your cat’s unwelcoming attitude as jealousy, but that is probably not the reason. Your cat most likely doesn’t want another cat moving in on her territory. The most difficult match-up is two unrelated, unneutered males. But it is also unlikely to expect two unrelated females who are not spayed to become BFFs right away.
If your female cat is a new mom, she probably won’t welcome any feline who approaches her, whether it’s a new cat or an old pal. She might even show aggression by hissing, swatting or trying to bite. She is not doing this because she is jealous of the other cat; she is protecting her litter. Avoid future maternal aggression by spaying your cat after she has weaned the kittens.
If a man tried to bring a younger woman into the home, it is likely his partner would become jealous. Your adult female cat might prefer it, however, when you bring in a younger female cat, especially if your cat is maternal. This gives her a chance to mother and teach the younger cat some social skills. Pairing a kitten or an adolescent cat with a mature cat usually makes a good match, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Just Likes Your Attention
If one of your cats reacts badly when you show attention to your other cat or cats, it might appear to you that she is jealous. Some cats butt in, coming between you and the cat to which you were showing affection; other cats might try to attack the other cat. What’s really going on instead of jealousy is that your cat simply values your attention, said Dr. Emily Weiss, Senior Director of Shelter Behavior Programs, in the ASPCA website. Solve the problem by giving your problem cat a food dispenser filled with treats when you want to spend time with your other cat.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.