Do cats have good memory?

do cats have good memory

“Animals live only in the moment.” You might have heard this statement. When the majority of the animals live this statement, there are still some animals such as cats and dogs who can be exceptions. Well, they don’t live only in the moments they have memories too.

Take, for instance, you might have quite nicely bonded with your friend’s cat on one of your visits. When you visit it back after a long time, it might still recognize you. So, do they really have that good memory? Let’s find out.

Do cats have a good memory?

Cats do have a good memory. They can remember the things regarding their food, prey, and other things that happen in their life. Well, they might not remember all the things that happen throughout their life process but do certainly remember the things that have affected them to a great extent.

Okay, cats do not remember everything but do they remember their owner, let’s find out…

Can cats remember a person?

Cats have excellent long-term memory. They could distinguish the people who were good to them and the people who treated them badly. They remember the one who feeds them or the one who abuses them. They also remember their companions and other animals.

For instance, your loving cat would leap into your arms even if you are months away from your home. In a similar way, cats hold a grudge against the one who abuses them. They would flee from the one who had once abused them and even attack them when it comes to the worst scenario. So never think of misbehaving with cats, they may be dangerous too.

Cats generally remember the things which are beneficial for them, they are very selective regarding their memory. However, they could recognize and differentiate between human faces as they can remember their owner and the people who are usually around them.

So, your cat will certainly remember you, as you are the one to feed them and also play with them. It may or may not remember your friends too, well it totally depends on its selective memory.

How long is the memory span of cats?

Just like humans cats do remember some things for a short span of time and other things for a longer span of time and also something for their lifetime. How long do these memories last and what kind of memory do cats store for a short time or for a long time?  So let’s know about the different memory spans of cats.

Short-term memory of cats

We do not remember everything that happens in our daily life, but we do remember the things that are necessary to be remembered for a short interval of time. A good example is a period when you have read for your exams. It is easy to remember your lessons while attending your exam but would forget it as time passes. We can relate this to our short-term memory.

Cats do have short-term memory. It includes the one that cats remember about their foods, their prey, and where they had kept it. They are supposed to remember the food you have kept in which corner of your house. They even remember when they are supposed to eat their food.

According to the study, cats have short-term memory that lasts for 16 hours. They usually remember the things for the day but they are selective regarding their short-term memory too. They tend to remember only the things that benefit them.

Your feline buddy would have a good remembering power as early as the event has taken place. The more seconds it passes, the more it may forget about the event. Thus, short-term memory in cats is an interesting thing to know about, you yourself may observe that.

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Long-term memory of cats

Your cats may prefer someone while despising the other one. This may be due to the long-term memory stored in their brain. They may show a welcoming attitude toward the one with whom they had bonded very well previously. It would certainly dislike the one who has treated them badly even after certain years of meeting with each other.

The long-term memory of the cat is generally the memories that were created when they were younger, and the cats remember them in their adulthood. Not only people, but cats may also be prone to trauma to certain noises or any actions.
For example, they may not like the hissing sound you might have used to scare them during when they were kittens and they become very afraid of it. When you again produce the same noise while they are adults, the sound may trigger their memory and make them afraid till now.

Cats generally have excellent long-term memory. Some experts have suggested that their long-term memory could last for 16 years. This includes remembering their masters or any traumatic situations they have faced.

If you are planning to adopt cat to your home, be cautious of any kind of trauma it had to face due to its past experiences. Making sure to be aware of your fears and giving them a favorable environment would make you an awesome cat person.

Life-long memories of cats

Cats can remember things even for a lifetime. The study has shown that the lifelong memory of the cats is stuck in the most positive things or the averse things that had happened to them. If your cat and you have an extremely good bonding with each other and shared some very good memories, your cat may remember it throughout its whole life.

Also, cats would remember the one who has adversely abused them. If someone has maltreated the cats when they were kittens, they are likely the abuser during their adulthood too. Thus cats remember the traumatic situations throughout their life.

Well, the memory power may differ from cat to cat. Also depends upon various factors. Let us have a glance over those factors too.

Factors affecting the memory of cats

There are various factors affecting the memory of cats. As we are already aware that different cats have different memory power. The environment where cats live has a huge role in their memory. Their memory is going to be affected by how you treat them and how much time you spend with them.

Their certain past experiences may also have an impact on their memory, They may have a traumatic past whose memory may still be alive in their minds. Hence how you treat them now also has a huge impact on their present memory.

The memory of your furry buddy also depends on their age. Young cats are more likely to have good memory power than old cats. The cats are also prone to suffer from the cat’s dementia as they age which results in the loss of their memory power.

The memory of cats becomes weaker when they are sick, They may lose their appetite and also may forget the placement of their litterbox. In this case, you are the one who has to support your buddy.

Who has better memories, cats or dogs?

Dogs or cats, who can beat the next one in terms of memory power? They have different memory capacity which obviously differs from humans. Now to get a specific conclusion about their memory capacity, we have to overlook their short-term as well as long-term memory power.

According to the researcher, a cat’s short-term memory power may long laster than a dog’s. Dogs may have short-term memory power last for only a few minutes while in cats it may last up to 16 hours. Remember the time when the cat had to hide its prey a day before and still remember which corner it had kept the next day? This is how cats remember things for a short interval of time.

In the case of dogs, things are slightly different, they have a short memory span that lasts for a few minutes, They are selective regarding the memory they keep. They may not remember the things they kept earlier,

Now when we have to talk about the long-term memory of both of our pets, in that case, cats have a greater memory than dogs, Studies have shown cats remember things 200 times better than dogs in the long term but cats are highly selective regarding the things they remember. They tend to remember the things that especially benefit them.

When it comes to recognizing human faces, dogs are seemingly better than cats. It may be because dogs have long associations with humans than cats. It’s mere,y because of their memory power. Also, they are less selective regarding the ones they have to remember. So when you visit your friend’s dog or cat after a long time, the dog might remember you, but for the cat, well I would doubt that case.

Final thoughts,

Cats can be your best friends. With good memory power, it has it can still remember you and be your buddy for a long time. Make sure you give your buddy a most overwhelming memory that would last for a lifetime.




Picture of Arun Sapkota

Arun Sapkota

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