Do cats have a good memory?

One of the biggest fears cat owners have is the possibility that they would no longer be recognized by the pet. This is a common concern of cat owners that have lost a pet. Do cats have a good memory? Can the pet still remember its owners even if it has found another home? Cats have a good memory. Did you know that your cat has the kind of memory that is about 200 times more retentive than the memory of dogs? Surprised? Studies have proven this fact.

Dogs are known to have a high level of intelligence. Dog owners would take pride of the fact that their pets can learn tricks. They believe that dogs can easily learn tricks because these animals have retentive memories. Cat owners know that it is rather difficult to teach the pet tricks. Cats don’t learn how to fetch. Neither would this animals obey the “roll over” or “play dead” commands. However, this does not mean that cats have poor memories. Cats tend to remember only the things that are significant in their lives. It appears that cats have a different motivation in remembering things.

A study was conducted where a cat and a dog where guided to exit a maze. Treats at the end of the maze were used to motivate the animals to find the exit. The dog has found the exit in record time. The cat lagged behind and altogether stopped looking for the exit. Instead of trying to find the exit, the cat investigated corners and when its curiosity was satisfied, it sat down and started grooming. Apparently, the cat did not remember the left, right and forward directions it has gone through before.

The cat miserably failed in the intelligence/memory test. However, this does not prove the fact that cats do not have a good memory. It must be remembered that cats have a different social structure as compared to dogs. Being pack animals, dogs, by nature would want to please the leader of the pack. These animals’ inclination to learn tricks can be associated to its eagerness to please the owner. Cats are solitary animals with independent personalities. Cats have honed the trick of manipulating their owners. A cat has a good memory too but they are not very cooperative when trained. Cats have selective memory. These animals also have a different motivation for remembering things. Cats would only remember things and events that have made significant impacts in their lives. The memory of cats is generally associated with pleasurable and painful or distressing experiences. A cat owner can’t fail to notice how the pet would scamper and hide when it sees the owner taking out the carrier or how the cat would jump with glee when the owner takes out the leash. The carrier will be associated to the distress and the pain the cat has to go through every time it is brought to the vet’s while the leash is associated with the pleasurable jaunt in the park. These instances attest to the excellent short time memory of cats. But what of long time memory…do cats remember experiences that happen long time ago?

Cats really do have amazing memory. Cats have the extraordinary ability to find places where they have been happy. Cat owners would recount how the pet would manage to return to the former homes the family has left years ago. A cat that was taken by the owner to live in another country still remembers where its toys and food bowls are kept when it was returned home after several years. Cats are fascinating animals. Cat owners should never have the apprehension that the cat will not remember them. If the cat owner has given the pet wonderful memories, the owner will not be forgotten.