Do cats have good or bad memory? Cats are animals popularly considered suspicious or not very affectionate, without a great need to receive and show affection for their family. Although some behaviors invite you to have these thoughts, the reality is that felines provide a lot of company in a home and, in addition, they express feelings like any other animal, although they do it in their own way.
If you have sometimes called your cat by its name and it has not paid attention to you or you try to teach it basic aspects of coexistence that it does not comply with in the following days, you have probably questioned the functioning of feline memory. If you want to find out if you really cats have memoryhow it works, the time intervals in which they retain information and if they have the ability to miss their owners, at OneHOWTO we recommend that you continue reading this article.
How is the memory of cats?
The memory of people and animals is in a section of the brain, and in the case of cats it is also like that. So, YES, cats have memory.
The brain mass of felines is less than 1% of their body mass, but the most important aspect to determine the intelligence and memory of any living being is the number of neurons in its brain. The cat neurons add up to a total of 300 million. They almost double the number of neurons that dogs have (160 million). These data allow us to affirm that the memory capacity of felines is much higher than that of dogs.
In the short term, the memory of cats reaches about 16 hours, so they have the ability to remember the most recent experiences. Even so, for this memory to last over time or throughout your life and become part of long-term memory, the experiences must be very important: so your brain will be able to select them more easily among all the things he has lived and preserve them as useful learning.
Another of the curiosities of cats related to memory is its condition of being episodic, which in fact is known as episodic memory: they have the ability to remember where certain objects, people, events or routines are. Having lived those experiences that have given them knowledge, they manage to retain this type of information, especially if they have been especially intense experiences.
Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats
Felines, just like people, lose memory and cognitive ability as they approach old age. This cognitive dysfunction appears in cats from the age of 12 of life, although not everyone suffers from it.
Do cats have good or bad memory?
How long does a cat’s memory last? Despite the lack of studies confirming the real duration of memory in cats, a maximum of 3 years such as the ability they have to remember the most important aspects of their lives in this space of time. Some really intense events that can influence your survival behavior, such as a very bad trauma or experience, you can remember much longer, because it is stored in your brain as a very relevant memory for survival.
Even so, you should always take into account the two factors explained above about feline memory, that is, episodic and selective. Therefore, do not expect your cat to remember everything he has experienced in the last three years, but only those really important experiences and that he has managed to preserve in his brain.
Another thing to keep in mind is the spatial memory of cats. They will easily learn where certain objects scattered around the house are located, especially those of interest such as food and bed. In this way, they will immediately notice any novelty that you add to the furniture of the home, since it will be an unidentified element and that they will want to explore, or even any change in the order or location of these objects.
For all these reasons, cats are capable of learning many things for convience in your house, their survival on the street or in nature, etc. Thus, you can teach him things, better if it is from a young age because his memory will retain them better. For example, here we explain How to teach my cat not to get on the sofa and How to teach my cat to sleep in his bed.
Do cats miss their owners?
Having seen that cats have memory, it is easy to say that they may miss the people they live with and they have a close relationship. In just a few days they are able to adapt to a routine, so they suffer stress if they constantly experience new things, even if they are insignificant to you.
By having the ability to quickly recognize an environment and its family, as well as loving people, your cat will miss you and home in the event of any kind of separation or relocation. They are animals that do not usually tolerate moving well or live without their family in some periods, such as vacations.
Just so you are fully aware of the degree to which cats can miss their owners, sometimes they don’t mind letting go and dying when they are abandoned. Many protective associations that welcome cats have verified this: despite picking them up from the street or from a bad situation, the sadness of not being with their family invades them and they become depressed until the moment of death.
Of course, not all cats reach the point of death if they are abandoned because each one has its own personality, but a large percentage suffer so much stress that stops eating and drinking leaving your body weakened until get sick and die. Therefore, if you really consider adopting one or more felines at home, try to have a very marked routine and leave them alone for as little time as possible so that they do not suffer from depression or inconveniences of this type. Also, if the complicated point of not being able to take care of him anymore for forced reasons, always leave him with a family you trust that wants to adopt him, never leave him on the street.
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