How Good are cats memories

How Good Are Cats Memories? What You Need To Know!

Last updated on March 23rd, 2023 at 06:59 am

Reading Time: 8 minutes

How Good Are Cats Memories? What You Need To Know!

When you own a cat or thinking of adopting one, you often wonder how good is a cat memory. Will cats remember the time they spend with you? If you want to know the answer, it’s important to be familiar with their cognitive abilities and average memory span. So, keep reading this article to learn how long is a cat’s memory? However for those who want the answer quickly here it is.

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Cats have excellent memories, their long term memory can last up to 10 years/ Most of these memories stick to them for their entire life. When it comes to short term memory they don’t have the greatest. If they have experienced any traumatic experience, they’ll remember it for their entire life.  

Understanding On Types of Memory

Before we answer this question, it’s important to be familiar with the different types of memory. Intelligent cat breeds are recognized mainly by their excellent memories.

Sensory Memory

In kittens, this memory only lasts for a very short time period. They use it to recognize basic environmental triggers.

Long Term Memory

When cats have to recall information for a long time, like their name, facts, and details of the events, it’s called long-term memory.

Short Term Memory

This memory is generally used for a short time period. For example, what the owner was wearing when he fed her.

Working Memory

It’s somewhat similar to the type mentioned above, but the main difference is it is used to manipulate the activity. It helps cats to remember what was done already to avoid repetition.

How Great Is a Cats Memory?

It’s not easy to determine how great their memory is? Overall, cats have a good memory. But it has been observed that cats don’t have the best short-term memory. Like humans don’t have the same memories, each animal has distinct memory and personality. However, still, some research is required about short-term memory in felines.

When we talk about long-term memory, cats have excellent memories, and they can remember things for even 10 years.

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What Are The Types of Memories Cats Have? (Short Term – Long Term) 

Like humans, cats have both short-term and long-term memories. Cats are much more intelligent than humans think. People often want to know what amount cats can remember. The answer depends on the individual brain and experiences of a cat. For example, if a cat was abused in their life, they’ll have much less or more memory than other cats. Overall, cats are known to have a good memory.

Let’s discuss short-term and long-term memory for cats in detail.

Short Term Memory for Cats

It’s also called working memory, and it allows humans to remember someone’s name or address for a few minutes after it was told to them. In contrast, cats use it to solve problems. Moreover, cats use it to find their prey. For example, they can recall where they hunted their prey earlier that night.

Moreover, when you place food at some place and cats walk away without eating it, they’ll still remember where the food was. More importantly, they can even remember the time when you serve them a meal. All these examples show that cats have exceptional short term memory.

Long Term Memory for Cats

This type of memory span varies from cat to cat. When cats get old, they can still remember the events they attended when they were young. Cats store these memories in a certain area of the brain, and they can easily recall them when they want them.

When they show you they prefer someone, it means they have been around that person for a long time. Skittish cats are mostly afraid of noises, and it’s not because of their short-term memory. Instead, it’s because of their long-term memory. They were scared of noises when they were young. So, when they hear such noises again, they trigger their long-term memory, and it scares them.

Do Cats Have Lifelong Memories?

Yes, they have. For example, cats don’t like when their owners hiss at them. It might be because of the fact that you may have hissed them when they were young. Therefore, it scares them. They don’t forget what you did to them when they were kittens.

Cats have lifelong memories because anything positive or negative that happened to them gets stuck in their mind. Moreover, cats can remember a traumatic experience throughout their life.

Top 4 Things That Cats Are More Likely to Remember?

Now, you’re familiar with the different memory types that cats have. The next question is, what are things that cats are more likely to remember? Cats can remember things that they have interacted with. Cats remember lots of things, but studies have shown that they remember the following four things more than others.

1. Owners

It should make you feel happy that cats remember their owners. When you spend more time with your kitten and make good memories, they’ll be interested in spending more time with you. You can make them feel happy by regular grooming.

When cats have good memories with you, and you leave them alone for some time, they’ll still recognize you when you come back. The best thing about cats is they remember a cat sitter and groomer who occasionally come to feed and groom them.

2. Other Cats

Cats lick each other and use scents to become familiar with other cats. Cats remember other cats even after separating from them. Due to their interaction with other cats, they remember them for a long time.

3. Trauma and Other Bad Experiences

When cats have a bad experience of any kind, they remember it for a long time. When cats had bad experiences when they were young, that will make them afraid of things like a dog barking outside and shopping bag noise. Even if they had bad experience years ago, they’d still remember it.

4. Locations

When you take them outside for walks, they’ll remember where the home is. Moreover, they don’t forget locations where the safe and food spots are. Ability to remember location is almost the same in all cats.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Memory

After reading the below-given questions and their answers, your lots of queries about cats’ memories will be cleared.  

Do Cats Have a Good Memory?

Yes, they do have good memories. Studies have shown that cats can remember things for more than 15 years which is exceptional. But it’s not true for all cats. Generally, a cat’s individual intelligence and age majorly affect a cat’s memory.  

What Is The Memory Span Of a Cat?

When we compare the memory span of cats and dogs, cats have a better memory span than dogs. Short term memories of cats last for 16 hours, and they do have long-term and lifelong memories as well. More importantly, cats can have selective memories as well.  

What Memory Issues Can Cats Have?

When cats are sick or dying, they have some memory issues as well. They might forget to use their litter box, or they lose appetite. Most often, this behavior change directly impacts the cat’s memory.  

Some More Frequently Asked Question About Cats Memories

What Types of Memories Can Cats Have?

When you take care of your cat when they are young, they’ll remember it for a long time. When you adopt cats that were mistreated earlier, they’ll not forget their past. So, cats can make both good and bad types of memories.  

Do Older Cats Have Good Memory Spans?

Like humans, the mental faculties of cats also get affected when they get old. Their brain loses some of its functions when they grow old. Due to a decline in cognitive ability, their ability to remember things is also affected.  

Short term memory in older cats seems to be affected more than long-term memory. It is mainly because of the loss of brain cells. It means older cats still remember their owners, but they forget less important things.  

How Good Are Cats Memories? What You Need To Know!

What To Do If Your Cats Have Memory Loss Issues?  

As mentioned earlier, older cats suffer from memory loss due to a condition known as Feline Cognitive Dysfunction. More care is required to prevent this issue in cats. Immediately consult a vet whenever you suspect the following symptoms in your aging kitty. Otherwise, it will become difficult to treat the condition.  

  • Confusion 
  • Falling more frequently 
  • Erratic sleeping patterns 
  • Obvious behavioral changes 

Can We Boost Cats’ Memories?  

Yes, you can use some supplements to boost your furry friend’s brain activity. You can use the following options to boost a cat’s memory: 

  • Dietary Supplements 

You can boost the brain performance of kittens by feeding nutritious and high-quality cat food. Ensure that your kitten’s diet is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, selenium, and taurine. These ingredients have strong antioxidant properties, and they prevent brain cell aging in cats.  

You can get brain supplements from online or physical pet stores. Although these supplements contain dosage instructions but the best approach is to consult your vet before using any of these supplements for boosting brain health. More importantly, these supplements are affordable.  

  • Natural Stimulants 

If you don’t want to use dietary supplements, you can boost your cat’s brain and memory by using natural stimulants. Cat training can be an excellent way to stimulate their brain. For example, you can teach them simple commands like sit down or complex ones like leash training.  

Whenever cats learn something new, it boosts their cognitive performance. Avoid your cats from gaining weight. It will make your cats lazy and result in other health issues as well. Lazy kittens prefer napping instead of using their brain.  

  • Puzzle Toys 

You can purchase lots of toys that can help stimulate their brain. Puzzle games and food hiding toys are the best examples of these toys. Moreover, look for new things and ask your cats to explore them.  

Wrap-On on How Good Are Cats Memories 

After reading this article, one thing is clear that cats have good memory spans. More importantly, they have both short-term and long term memories. They can remember things for 15 years. Therefore, if you want your cat to make good memories, treat them well. Generally, intelligent cats have excellent memories.  

You also need to consider other factors like the cat’s age, past experiences, and traumatic conditions they have in the past because all the factors affect the cat’s memory. When you notice any issues with your cat’s memory, please consult your vet immediately because it can be due to any other health issue as well.  

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.


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