9 Things Your Cat Will Remember

If you have been away from your cat for a long time, or if you have recently reunited with a cat who was missing for a while, then you will probably be wondering how much do cats remember?

There is still a lot we do not know about animal cognition, but we have come a long way when it comes to understanding the way cats’ brains work.

Studies have shown that cats have good long-term and short-term memory. They can recognize people even years after they have met them. It is currently believed that cats can recall events from up to ten years ago. Cats are more likely to remember emotionally charged events, such as positive or negative interactions.

For a long time, cats were assumed to be significantly less intelligent than dogs, possibly due to their reluctance to obey commands.

However, more recent studies show that cat cognition can compare to or even rival the mental capabilities of dogs!

Read on to find out if your cat remembers more than your dog!

How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Remember?

The Maine Coon is a huge cat breed that became famous for its love and devotion towards its family members.

More recently, Maine Coons have also become known for their incredible intelligence and doglike personality.

Many believe that Maine Coons are among the smartest cat breeds in the world. Click on the link to learn why this is the case!

As intelligent as Maine Coons are, you might still wonder, do cats have good memory?

Overall, scientists have determined that cats have good short-term and long-term memory.

While it is unknown whether their long-term memory is as good as dogs, studies have shown that dogs have better short-term memory.

Determining just how much do cats remember and for how long is a tricky subject, though, especially when it comes to long-term memory.

Although studies have shown that cats can remember things as long as ten years ago, their memory certainly is not perfect!

Memories that cause strong positive or negative emotions are more likely to stick in a cat’s memory, just like with humans.

Cats also tend to recall things that are important to their survival.

For example, they are more likely to remember meeting someone who pulled their tail than meeting someone who petted them for a few minutes and then left.

Many cats can remember where they live.

There are countless anecdotal stories of cats being taken miles from their homes only to return a few hours or days later.

In one project, cat owners tracked their outdoor cats’ movements for ten days and discovered that some cats would travel nearly two miles a day before returning home.

Cats are also shown to have good memory, even when it comes to language.

If you have ever wondered do cats know their names, the answer is yes! However, they may not understand the concept of names the same way humans do.

Instead, they tend to notice that a certain sound and inflection means they will receive attention from their owners.

Studies have also shown that many cats “know” between 25 and 35 words. Dogs, on the other hand, tend to know about 100 words on average.

However, cats tend to remember words based on tone and inflection more than the word’s pronunciation.

If you want to know do cats remember people’s faces, you might be surprised to learn that they can do that, too!

In one study, cats were more likely to approach a photo of their owners’ faces than photos of strangers.

Overall, there is no way to know exactly what an individual cat will remember or how long it will remember it (source 1,2,3).

1. Do Cats Remember Their Owner?

If you are about to go on a trip, you might anxiously wonder, do cats remember their owners after two weeks?

This can be an even more pressing question if you have been deployed overseas or if you are unable to see your cat for a year or even more.

So, do cats forget their owners?

Cats can remember their owners for many years, and some believe cats can recognize owners after up to ten years.

However, whether or not a cat remembers you will depend on how long you have known the cat, how long it has been since you have seen the cat, and the cat’s relationship with you.

If you want to know does my old cat remember me, that will depend on a lot of factors.

For instance, if you fostered a cat for a few weeks before sending it on to its forever home, it is unlikely the cat will remember you years later.

However, should you save a cat from starvation or a dangerous situation, however, it will likely remember you for a long time.

So, if you want to know do cats remember previous owners, the answer is sometimes.

Cats are more likely to remember people who were kind or abusive (source 1).

2. How Long Before A Cat Forgets You?

If you have to leave soon and you are anxious your cat will not recognize you when you get back, you are probably curious, do cats forget their owners after three months?

Thankfully, they can remember their owners for much longer than three months.

It is believed cats can remember things, events, and people for up to ten years!

3. Do Cats Remember Other Cats?

Cats are capable of remembering other cats, especially if they have known the other cat for a long time or if their first encounter was especially positive or negative.

However, one odd trait among cats is that they rely so heavily on scent they may not recognize another cat if their smell has changed significantly.

For example, it is common for cats to become hostile to one of their companions if the other cat is taken to the vet for a week or so.

The cat will no longer smell recognizable, and it can take a few days or even a few weeks before the cat smells safe and familiar again.

4. Do Cats Remember Where They Live?

Many cats can remember where they live, and some can even find their way home even after they have been taken several miles away from it.

One common theory is that cats use magnetic geolocation to find their way home.

In 1954, scientists conducted a study by placing strays, indoor cats, and outdoor cats in a large maze.

All of the cats were more likely to exit the maze near their home.

Once the scientists attached magnets to the cats, however, they were not able to get home as reliably (source 1).

5. Do Cats Remember People’s Scent?

Cats rely much more on scent than they do on sight.

Even though humans tend to change how they smell with perfumes, colognes, lotion, and hair care products, cats can recognize their owner’s unique smell regardless of whether they have switched products (source 1).

6. Do Cats Have Long Term Memory?

If you want to know do cats have short-term memory or long-term memory, the answer is both!

A cat’s short-term memory, also known as working memory, lasts about 16 hours.

This means they can recall spatial details, events, other animals, and objects for about 16 hours, but after that, information that is not useful is discarded.

So, how long is a cat’s long-term memory?

A cat’s long-term memory is believed to last up to ten years, but it could be even longer!

If you want to know do cats remember their old homes, the answer is probably yes.

Cats are known to grieve previous owners who have passed or abandoned them.

While a cat is unlikely to return to its old home if its owner is no longer there, it is almost certain it can recall where it once lived since it can remember the person it lived with (source 1).

7. Do Cats Remember When They Were Kittens?

Likely, cats do not remember when they were kittens, although we still do not know for certain.

Kittens can recognize their mother and their siblings at a young age, but once they are weaned, they often stop treating their mother and siblings like family.

However, this may be attributed to a survival mechanism rather than memory problems.

Cats are strongly driven to reproduce often, and they do not discriminate between relatives when choosing a mate. Instead, mates are chosen opportunistically (source 1).

8. Do Cats Remember Their Siblings?

If you got your cat as a young kitten, it is unlikely it will recall its siblings years later.

Like humans, it is believed that cats have a rather poor memory of their early life.

If a cat lives with its sibling for a long time and the two are close friends, however, then it may be able to remember its sibling for up to ten years after their separation.

9. Do Cats Remember Abuse?

If you are wondering do cats remember traumatic events, the answer is yes.

Cats are more likely to remember things that are important to their survival, so they are more likely to remember humans if they are especially kind or unkind towards them.

Like humans, it is also possible that cats can feel the effects of trauma without necessarily remembering it.

Although many cats do not remember kittenhood, cats who experienced a tumultuous life at a young age or who were separated from their mothers too early are more likely to suck on objects while kneading.

This is believed to be a form of self-soothing that is often associated with difficult kittenhood.


If you want to know how much do cats remember, the answer may surprise you!

Cats can remember owners, events, and even other cats for as long as 10 years.

They also have a strong short-term memory that lasts for about 16 hours.

Cats are more likely to remember things that are important to their survival or particularly emotional.

While a cat probably will not remember its home as a kitten, they do remember and recognize owners with whom they have close bonds for many years.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 10 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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