Do Cats Remember?

Cats are dumb! Training cats would be next to impossible because these animals have poor memories. Cats cannot remember. People that have observed cats from afar, people that never had the chance to live with cats have this kind of notion. However, cat owners think differently. Cat owners know that their pets have excellent memories. Cats can remember. However, these animals have selected memories. Cats would choose to remember only the things, situations and activities that would benefit them.

It is common for pet parents to brag about the abilities of their pets. When it comes to learning tricks, dogs would win hands down. It has been a common joke among pet owners that when intelligence was distributed among animals, cats were not in line. Elephants are noted for their good memories thus it is believed that elephants were able to make the first choice on the brains being handed out. No one can doubt the intelligence of dogs. Cats bore the brunt of the joke. Cats receive the brains that were left after all the animals have chosen. Cats have poor intelligence…cats cannot remember because the brains these animals received were defective and malfunctioning.

Of course these are only jokes. Studies have proven that cat’s memory is much better than the memory of dogs. Compared to dogs’, the memory of cats are about 200 times more retentive. Cat’s intelligence is much more than what people credit them with. Studies have found out that cats have a memory span that lasts for 16 hours while dogs would retain the memory for only about 5 minutes. Studies have further discovered that cats’ memory is comparable to the memory of a 2 or 3 year old child. Additionally, a cat’s brain structure is similar to the structure of human brain. Cats have memories…cats can remember because just like humans, their brains have the same emotional mapping.

The cats’ solitary and independent nature is the reason why these animals are attributed with poor intelligence. Cats would only choose to remember things and situations that would benefit them. This is the reason why cats are often perceived as opportunistic pets. A pet cat ignoring the calling owner may appear to have no memory of its name. However, the pet would immediately remember that the clang of the food bin lid means dinner or that the rustling of a paper bag means a treat. Once these sounds are heard, the cat would come without being called. Cats really do have selective memories.

The cat’s failure to remember the location of the litter box would bother the owner. These animals though have excellent long term memory. Memories that are associated with pain and pleasure would be deeply imprinted in the cat’s brain. The cat would certainly remember the pain inflicted by cruel hands. The person inflicting the pain would be remembered as well so that when the person is seen, the cat would run for cover. Vet visits are stressful situations for cats. The cat would remember the thermometer stuck on its behind or the shots given by the vet thus the cat would tense up as soon as the car approaches the vet facility. The cat would certainly remember pleasant memories. The affection bestowed by the owner, the loving cuddling and petting…the treats or the home cooked food will be remembered by the pet. Spatial recall is a special ability of cats. These animals that have roamed and wandered farther away from home can find their way back. The ultrasensitive senses as well as the famed spatial recall will enable the cat to locate its home.