Just like humans, cats are known to hold a grudge against other animals and even humans. However, the real question is, how long does a cat hold a grudge?
Well, the answer to this question depends upon the age of your feline friend. If it’s a kitten, you don’t have to worry because they are notorious for their long memory. Therefore, you need to correct your young cat multiple times for the same thing. Compared to kittens, older cats can hold a grudge for more than 2 days.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about cats and their grudges:
Cats and Their Memory
To hold a grudge against someone, you have to remember their actions. So, it’s rational to say that the duration of a grudge depends upon your memory. When it comes to cats, they are not famous because of their long-term memory.
Just like humans, cats have two categories of memory: long-term memory and working memory:
In this category, a cat or person can remember events that occurred a long time ago.
When it comes to long-term memory and cats, there are no rock-solid studies available out there. According to a study disputed in 1964, cats only have 16 hours of long-term memory. However, according to modern studies, this category contains memories for up to 2 days in cats.
Furthermore, the long-term memory of your feline significantly depends on the environment, age and breed. So, don’t assume your cat will forget bad behavior after just two days.
Working memory determines how much you can remember in a given time period. When it comes to working memory, cats are not that bright. Many studies have shown that cats don’t have much working memory.
For instance, in some studies, people put toys in front of their cats and ask them to pick that certain toy from a pile of toys. The majority of kittens were not able to pick a toy from the pile, meaning they didn’t have a good working memory.
Do Cats Hold Grudges?
So, if cats are not good when it comes to memory, do they hold grudges? Well, grudges are defined as traumatic events that occurred in the past. The capability of holding a grudge depends upon the intelligence and memory of an animal.
For instance, we humans can carry a grudge for decades. Other than humans, raccoons, minks, leopards, lions, jaguars, weasel, orcas, zooplankton, and even dogs carry a grudge for years. However, when it comes to cats, they cannot hold grudges for long.
According to a myth, cats can carry a grudge for more than 16 years, but that’s just a myth. We, humans, hold a grudge to hurt someone. However, for cats, a grudge is like a lesson to avoid an action. For instance, if you scold your feline for breaking something, your cat won’t do those certain activities in the future.
However, if you beat a cat because of your anger, it will surely carry a grudge against you. With this kind of grudge, a feline will avoid you as much as possible. Unlike humans, your cat won’t try to hurt you but will fear you.
What to Do if your Cat Holds a Grudge Against You?
Cats holding a grudge against their owner is not that rare. Even though cats are attention seekers, they don’t like being scolded or beaten. If you shout at your feline friend because of anger, he/she might carry a grudge against you for some time.
If your feline has a grudge against you, he/she may:
- Hiss Or Growl at You
- Puff Up the Tail
- Swipe With Paws
- Stare At You with Dilated Pupils
- Hold Ear Low
- Swish Tail Rapidly
- Avoid You by Leaving the Room or Hiding When You Enter
What should you do if your cat holds a grudge against you? Well, if your feline friend is angry with you because you scolded them, you can offer some treats or new toys to regain their trust. You can also get your cat some of its most favorite cat food to eliminate this grudge.
In contrast, it’s not that simple if that certain grudge is a result of physical harassment. You should never beat your feline friend. Cats are quite fragile, and even a slap can cause internal bleeding or other health issues.
If you have slapped your kitty, give him/her time to recover. She might attack you in self-defense, so don’t push your luck. Give them their favorite food and earn their trust day by day. Slapping your feline can cause stress, depression and anxiety. So, treat them nice and show love and respect to earn their trust back.
Do Cats Remember Traumatic Events?
When it comes to the cat’s memory, there are no rock-solid results. However, many scientists believe cats can remember things for more than 16 hours. In comparison, dogs only have a memory span of five minutes. Not only dogs, cats also beat orangutans and monkeys in memory!
What about traumatic events? Do cats remember traumatic events or forget them after 16 hours? Well, unlike remembering a toy, traumatic events stuck with your feline friend for years. For instance, if a dog attacks your cat, your feline will be traumatized for years.
The good thing about cats is that they learn from these traumatic events. Once a dog attacks your feline, your little furball will never go near a dog in the future. Furthermore, if it’s a positive experience with someone like a dog or human, your feline might approach others without fear.
How long do cats hold grudges? According to their memory span, cats cannot hold a grudge for more than 2 days. However, unlike humans, cats learn from their negative experiences. Instead of hurting a person, your feline friend will try to avoid that certain person.
If your cat has a grudge against you, invest your time and try to earn his/her trust. Cats usually follow their stomach, so offer them their favorite cat food or treat to get their trust back.