Cats have a very good memory and they are considered one of the smartest animals to keep as pets.
Your cat might seem aloof, but have you ever considered that they might just be displaying what they want you to see?
Cats are cunning and have a very clever method of getting anything they want from their owners.
There’s a reason why people say the cat runs the household, you know!
It’s very true that cat owners will succumb to anything that their cat wants when they want it.
So, does your cat remember you? Yes, they will remember you if you’ve spent enough time together.
They might only see you as the person that feeds them, but they do still have the ability to pick your face out of a lineup and ask you specifically for food.
But how long do cats remember you for? Perhaps you’re going on holiday and want to make sure that your cat will know your face when you get back.
Today we’ll be looking at how long your cat has the ability to remember you for, and why they might forget.
After One Encounter
If you’ve just been to the adoption center to meet your new pet, your cat will be able to remember you for around 16 hours. On average, this is the amount of time a cat’s short term memory lasts for.
So, if they’ve only seen you once and you’re worried about them forgetting everything about you – don’t be. Cats have a longer short term memory than a lot of other pets and will be able to remember your first encounter for over half a day afterward.
Having said that, this is only an estimate based on a study in 2014. The study also shows that the cat’s memory will last longer if you interact with them rather than just looking at them.
Playing, petting, and talking to the cat can make them remember you for longer.
Simply catching each other’s eye across the room will only allow cats to remember you for a couple of seconds up to an hour.
After You’ve Been Living With Your Cat For A While
Cats have a good long term memory that can impress their owners. They associate different things with old experiences, such as the dreaded cat carrier with a particularly harrowing experience at the vets.
It is unknown for certain how long cats remember different things, so the exact timeframe in which your cat will remember you is unknown.
However, there have been stories told about cats traveling weeks to get back to their owners once they’ve been lost. We remember reading about a cat that traveled 190 miles over two months just to be reunited with her family.
Cats are very independent but they like their owners more than they let on. If they didn’t, they’d disappear out of the cat door and never return. Having said that, there are studies that have shown that cats become more attached to houses rather than people.
A good way to look at it is that cats can remember you longer if you’ve spent more time with them. If you’ve only had your cat for a couple of days before jetting off to travel the world for six months, they might not know who you are when you get back.
However, if you’ve spent years with your cat it’s possible that they’ll remember you for years. Remember that you’re often in your pet’s life for the entirety of it, so you’re the main human that they know.
If you’re the one feeding and caring for them then they’re certain to remember you for years to come.
So Cats Are Really Sentimental?
Don’t get us wrong, your cat isn’t wandering around right now thinking of happy memories of their infancy. They don’t process memories as humans do, but they are capable of remembering instances that happened to them in the past.
Cats tend to remember their owners, their friends, locations, and traumatic experiences the most. That being said, we don’t think that cats sit staring out the window reliving all of your time together while you’re away from them.
Will My Cat Miss Me?
It’s hard to say whether they will miss you or not. Cats don’t seem to become as attached to their owners as dogs do, but this is different for every cat. While every single dog seems to love their owners unconditionally, a cat’s affection can different from cat to cat.
Even if your cat doesn’t visibly show you that they’re happy you’re there, they might express sadness once you leave. If you’re leaving your cat with a friend, family member, or sitter they will be able to tell you how your cat reacted to you leaving.
Some cats meow incessantly for their owners to come back and others simply don’t care that much – just as long as they get food from somewhere. Bear in mind that if you take your cat away from their home they might be meowing to show disdain for the new environment.
To sum up, cats do remember their owners and they have quite an impressive memory. Even after your first interaction, your cat has the ability to remember your face for up to 16 hours.
Of course, the longer you spend with your cat, the longer they will be able to remember you.
Cats can remember a lot in their small heads, but they’re much more likely to remember people who feed them and interact with them regularly. If you only see your cat from time to time they’re less likely to remember you than if you were the main feeder.
Cats can remember you but that doesn’t mean that they consider you as a friend or someone that they share happy memories with. In fact, most cats see their owners as feeders, scratching posts, and petters.
If you’re planning on leaving your cat for a while, it’s likely that they’ll still remember you when they get back. Whether they show any emotion; however, is down to the individual cat.
Some aren’t afraid to show their owners a little love while others don’t want to be anywhere near you.
The joy of owning a cat, right?