Most cat owners believe that their feline friend remembers them, even after being separated for a long period of time. But is this really the case?
A recent study set out to answer this question by observing the behavior of cats who were recently reunited with their owners after being away for several months. The results may surprise you!
Humans cherish the memories we have of our feline companions long after they have passed away. Nevertheless, do you suppose your cat misses or remembers you when you return from school or a trip months later?
My heart melts every time I read of cats who have been reconnected with their owners after quite a long period of separation due to various circumstances, yet the cats still remember their owners.
After hearing these stories, I decided to look into the cat’s ability to remember humans, in particular the caregivers who provided them with food and shelter.
Do cats remember their owners after being separated? Yes. Cats have been found to have exceptional memory, particularly in the long term. As a result, cats are able to retain memories of their human companions even after they’ve been separated.
Cats identify humans by their scent, not just their appearance. This is why they can remember their owners for a lifetime as long as the owner’s scent remains unchanged.
If you are a cat owner, don’t be surprised if your kitty greets you at the door after being gone for only a day or two – she will have recognized your unique smell! What do you think of this latest research on feline memory?
Cats and long-term memories
The long-term memory of cats is excellent. They are able to remember their animal companions, as well as the people that feed and irritate them.
When a family member returns from college, a cat is able to leap into their arms because of their memories.
On the other hand, it’s what allows a cat to harbor a grudge for as long as it wants. Memory also entails cats mourning the loss of other pets, family members, and other people in their lives.
Research shows that cats have 200 times the long-term memories of dogs, but they are incredibly selective as to what they recall. Cats, for the most part, remember just what is good for them.
In general, dogs are better at remembering their owners than cats, and this is true even for family members who have served in the military for long periods of time.
Researchers are certain that cats can distinguish between human faces, but dogs’ superior capacity to remember individuals presumably has more to do with their long-term relationship with people than with their brainpower.
Short Term Memory For Cats.
People can remember someone’s address for a long time if they have short-term memory or working memory. Cats rely on their short-term memory to assist them handle their challenges.
For example, a cat can recall where it raided earlier that night when it needs to find its prey.
Put your cat’s food down in a corner and walk away from it. It’s easier for your cat to remember to eat at a specific time if you provide them with a meal at that time each day.
When objects were concealed from cats, they showed some short-term memory capacity in a research published in the journal Animal Cognition in 2006. They lost track of where the thing was as the minutes and hours ticked by.
When it comes to domestic cats’ short-term memory, this data should offer you an indication of what they’ll remember.
What Do Cats Commonly Remember?
The memories that remain the longest tends to be those that are related with important positive or unpleasant occurrences, though this varies from cat to cat with their specific experiences.
How long a cat can remember another cat depends on the relationship’s length and dynamics.
friends-When kittens are separated from their littermates, they will trade odors to help them recognize one another. Cats employ this approach throughout their lives.
There is a good probability that if your cat was raised with other cats and was reintroduced to them in the future, they will recognize them.
owners-Cats retain the names of the persons with whom they spend the most of their time, including both their owners and those with whom they spend only brief periods of time.
A cat’s long-term memory is better able to retain details about a person the more time they spend together.
A cat is far more likely to remember a person who feeds them than a person who only pays attention to them when they visit.
Behavioral problems in a rescue cat may be the result of bad experiences in the past.
There are certain cats who have a strong aversion to tall guys, brunettes, or even particular scents in general.
Bad Experiences-This kind of reaction suggests that the cat is dealing with triggers, which are occurrences that the cat links with something bad that has happened years ago.
To learn more about what your cat has been through and how long it remembers events, it is important to observe these unexpected behavioral shifts.
The Most Important Places-A Persian cat named Howie, who was transported to a relative’s house 1,000 miles away from his own while his owners were on vacation, is an excellent illustration of a cat remembering where they reside.
As soon as the owner returned from their vacation, they were informed that Howie had escaped.
As one can expect, the family was obviously distraught when they failed to locate Howie despite their best efforts.
They didn’t see Howie again for another year until he appeared on their doorstep suddenly.
Howie had gone a thousand miles to get back to where he belonged!
How Long Can a Cat Remember a Person?
It’s possible for a cat to remember you for up to 16 hours after a single encounter. Because of this, cats have an excellent long-term memory (about 200 times better than that of a dog). For cats, this indicates that they can recall a person they’ve met before for a long period of time.
Anecdotal evidence rather than scientific proof is used to support this claim. It’s more important to learn about cats’ memory processes before trying to guess how long they can retain information about a certain individual.
By responding to external occurrences and stimuli, cats have associative memories.
Even if your cat doesn’t recall individual exchanges with you, she will remember that you provide her with food, affection, and a safe haven.
If you can provide these three essentials in the long-term, you’ll be remembered for quite some time.
4. Will my Cats Miss me When am Gone?
The fact that cats could remember their owners as well as other caretakers over time does not mean they will miss you while you are at work or vacationing.
Animal behavior researchers at the University of Lincoln found that cats don’t get attached to their humans like dogs do, which means they probably don’t miss them while they are gone.
Cats definitely miss their owners, according to another study by scientists at IFL Science, but they react differently than dogs do.
Despite their passive-aggressive demeanor toward people, cats nonetheless value your company and are happy to have you around.
When their human companions aren’t there, cats have been shown to alter their behavior, including damaging furniture, becoming more boisterous, and eliminating outside of the litter box.
The majority of cat owners see these activities as a kind of retribution or wrath, however this is not the case.
A cat’s anxiety might be exacerbated if it has had a frightening or traumatic experience, such as being left alone.
After long absences, I believe cats miss their owners and then become agitated, which causes them to feel angry at you for abandoning them.
When you return, they’ll scamper away and even decline to be petted. This is because of this. But don’t worry; just few cat snacks and a few belly rubs will take care of this.
5. Memory Loss in Cats
When a cat reaches old age, they are at risk for a syndrome called Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD).
Similar to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in humans, this disorder impairs the memory of cats.
Over half of cats between the ages of 11 and 15 display signs of Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD), including irritation, confusion, lack of grooming, lack of social engagement, anxiety, restlessness, and an increase in meowing. 80% of people between the ages of 16 and 20 have FCD.
A deterioration in your cat’s cognitive abilities will occur as she ages because she will start loosing brain cells.
However, certain cats are predisposed to cognitive impairment and may show symptoms sooner.
You should consult with your veterinarian regarding feline chronic diarrhea (FCD) if your cat exhibits any of the symptoms listed above.
Even after a long time apart, a cat with this illness may not even be able to tell you apart in the morning.
There really is nothing you could do to prevent your cat from losing her memory as she ages because this is a natural part of aging.
The best part is that you have the power to slow down the aging process and improve her quality of life in her latter years.
A cat’s brain degeneration can be slowed by giving him foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.