Jealousy is not just a human trait. It is common for many cats to gradually or suddenly become possessive of their human handlers. Although some people consider this a simple sign of attachment, a possessive cat can actually pose a danger to itself, its owners, and those around it. This is especially the case when possessiveness turns into aggression. It can lead to behavior problems when visitors enter the house or when a new family member is not properly introduced into the cat’s territory. This can make healthy cohabitation almost impossible.

Have you noticed that your cat is jealous when others give it attention? Does it behave inappropriately when others are in the room? If so, AnimalWised will help you understand why your cat is so possessive and what you can do about it.

You may also be interested in: Why is my dog possessive of toys?

Why are cats possessive of their owners?

To answer this question, it may be helpful to think a little about human behavior. When a person feels jealous of someone, it is usually a sign that they are afraid of losing attention or of being replaced by someone or something else. In other words, when a new person enters a situation, it is not seen as an opportunity to have new experiences together, but as a possible threat to the stable relationship that existed before the newcomer.

Like humans, cats can become possessive of their caregivers. They may not want to share their affection and fun times with others. However, the reason for this jealousy is not as complex as what happens in the human psyche. The most common cause of this behavior in the animal world is defined as resource protection. In reality, cats are routine creatures to maintain their well-being and avoid dangerous or unpleasant situations. This routine is not only about knowing when to eat or where to go in their environment. It is also about the people and animals they interact with throughout the day. If a cat is used to living only with its owner and another person enters the picture, it may perceive this as a threat to its well-being and become possessive.

The presence of a new person in a cat’s life can threaten its stability and cause instinctive rejection. Therefore, it is not out of jealousy that he feels an attack on his ego or emotional insecurity. It is not out of malice or rejection of a person’s character. This is because another person can threaten a cat’s relationship with his guardian since it is his resource for food, shelter, and security.

Possessiveness due to fear of losing resources usually occurs when a cat has not been properly socialized as a kitten. They have not had the opportunity to learn to build positive relationships with other animals, people, or even toys. When they are suddenly exposed to the presence of a strange being, they don’t know how to deal with it and act accordingly. They feel that their space has been invaded and the things they want and need have been taken away from them.

A cat may also feel out of place when its human friend stops paying attention to it. This is especially the case when there is a new person in the family, and perhaps even more so with a new pet. Unfortunately, this can be very common in couples who decide to have a child. Because a child requires constant care and attention from the new parents, the cat may experience an understandable reduction in attention.

Also, cats that have previously experienced trauma may exhibit possessive behavior. When you welcome a cat into your life and spend all your time together, you will often feel a strong bond. The cat will move from a stressful situation to a loving situation and become dependent on you. If you introduce someone new into this situation, he may feel even more threatened because he fears returning to the stressful situation. This can be made even worse by sex. For example, if a person has been abused by a man and moves into a new home with a woman. When a man enters the relationship, the cat may have a natural aversion and become more possessive.

How to recognize a possessive cat

Cats use their body language to express their feelings and perceptions. So when they feel possessive of the overprotective guardian of their resources, you can tell by their behavior. Look for the following signs if you think your cat may be overly possessive:

– Mood swings: A cat may become depressed if it feels abandoned by its caregivers. It may react with hyperactivity and try to get its owner’s attention.
– Hiding: Your cat may come out and hide as soon as a new person enters the frame, trying to get him to look for you or run away in fear.
– Restlessness: possessive and jealous people often act out physically, and cats may do the same. They may start attacking the new person or even attack you to get your attention. Especially if there is a new pet in the family, a possessive cat may attack you (although it is important to distinguish between attacking and playing).
– Depression: Your cat may become depressed and lethargic if they feel threatened by someone. They may become less receptive to petting or playing and spend all their time sleeping instead of engaging.
If a new cat is entering your home, check out our article on introducing a new cat into your home to see what you need to do for a smooth transition.

What to do if your cat is very possessive of you

As with many illnesses, it is better to prevent obsession than to treat it. Make sure your cat is socialized early if you want to prevent it from becoming possessive in the future. During adolescence, kittens learn the nature of cohabitation, but for this to happen, it is also very important that they are with their mother and the rest of the litter for at least 8 weeks. After their first vaccination and deworming, you can start introducing them to other people, other cats, and other pets. If you have adopted an adult cat, you may need help socializing an adult cat.

If you decide to bring a new cat into your home, you must prepare your existing cats for their arrival. It is also important to prepare your home to welcome this new family member. A cat should have its own toys, food bowl, drinking water, and even its own litter box. Remember not to spend any more time with another cat and let it monopolize your attention. That is unless the cat enjoys a lot of interaction.

If you are moving in with a partner, getting a new roommate, or even a newcomer in the form of a baby, you mustn’t stop giving him attention and affection. Our cats need to feel that they are part of the failure, not that they are being replaced or ignored.

If you notice your cat becoming overly aggressive and you can’t handle it, you may need to call an ethologist or cat behavior specialist. Take her to the vet and ask for his advice. Some cats become aggressive for other reasons, both psychological and physical, so they will also be able to rule out any underlying pathology.

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