Do cats remember their owners?

Does your cat know you? If you leave the pet to a sitter for a few weeks would it still recognize you when you return? Being forgotten by the pet is one of the nightmares of cat owners given that it is common for pet parents to treat the cat as their baby. My cat would still remember me. I have proven it countless of times. Cats would remember their owners but in most cases, the kind of memory the cat would have will depend on the kind of interaction the pet had with its owner. Contrary to the common notion, cats are intelligent and blessed to have good memories. Cats would certainly remember their owners.

Cats have amazing memories. Dog owners would scoff at the idea that cats’ memory is much better than dogs. This can be due to the fact that dogs can learn many tricks…a feat that is seldom seen in cats. However, cat intelligence and memory was proven by countless studies. The structure of a cat’s brain is pretty similar to human brain structure. It was therefore concluded that just as with humans, cats too have the capability to map emotions. The intelligence and the memory cats have is similar to what a 2 or 3 year old kid has. Although rather hard to believe, cat’s memory is 200 times more retentive as compared to dogs. Studies have noted that cats have a memory span of about 16 hours while memory span of dogs is roughly 5 minutes. With this kind of memory and intelligence, training cats should be easy. However, cat owners are often heard complaining about the pet’s failure to remember to use the litter box. Cats would also appear to have no recollection of their names so that they would not come when called. Animal behaviourists have an explanation for the cat’s behaviour. By nature cats are independent animals. Cats are highly self-sufficient thus they can exist without human intervention. This kind of personality was largely modified with domestication. Cats are now accustomed to living with humans…to accepting the attention and affection of the owners but the innate independent and aloof personality of these pets would surface from time to time. Although the cat has formed a strong bond with the human family there are times when it would ignore its owners…cats may appear not to remember the people that care and provide them with their needs.

In spite of having this kind of personality, there is no doubt that cats remember their owners. Recognition of the former owners would still be shown by cats that have found another home. It is possible for a cat owner not to recognize the lost pet especially if it was gone for a long time. This is not so with cats especially if it has formed a deep attachment with the former owners. Once reunited, the cat would show signs of recognition. The cat may even jump into the owner’s lap and give the long lost friend cat kisses. The kind of memories cats have will be retained for life. However, some cats would not remember a short time owner especially if the person has not bothered to interact with the pet. The owner may be providing the food and all the other needs of the cat but the feeding, the grooming and the affectionate attention is given by another family member. Operant conditioning is the process by which cats learn. In the eyes of a cat, the owner will be the person that provides its basic needs. The person that will be remembered will be the one that interacts with the pet…the person that plays and provides the cat with affection.