Cats have memory?

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3 years ago

Cats are animals popularly considered suspicious or unloving, without a great need to receive and show affection for their family. Although some behaviors invite these thoughts, the reality is that felines give a lot of company in a home and, in addition, they express feelings like any other animal, although they do so in their own way.

If you have sometimes called your cat by name and she has ignored you or you try to teach her basic aspects of coexistence that she does not comply with in the following days, you have probably questioned the functioning of the memory of felines. If you want to find out if cats really have memory, how it works, the time intervals in which they retain information and if they have the ability to miss their owners.

How is the memory of cats

The memory of people and animals is in a section of the brain, and in the case of cats it is also like that. So YES, cats have memory.

The brain mass of felines is less than 1% of their body mass, but the most important aspect in determining the intelligence and memory of any living being is the number of neurons that its brain has. The neurons of cats number a total of 300 million. They almost double the number of neurons dogs have (160 million). These data allow us to affirm that the memory capacity of felines is much higher than that of dogs.

In the short term, the memory of cats reaches about 16 hours, so they have the ability to remember the most recent experiences. Even so, for this memory to last over time or throughout your life and become part of long-term memory, the experiences must be very important: so your brain can more easily select them among all things who has lived and preserve them as a useful learning.

Another of the curiosities of cats related to memory is their condition of being episodic, which in fact is known as episodic memory: they have the ability to remember where certain objects, people, events or routines are. Having lived those experiences that have provided them with knowledge, they manage to retain this type of information, especially if they have been especially intense experiences.

Cognitive dysfunction in cats

Felines, just like people, lose memory and cognitive ability as they approach old age. This cognitive dysfunction appears in cats from 12 years of age, although not all suffer from it.

How long does a cat's memory last?

Despite the lack of studies that confirm the real duration of memory in cats, a maximum of 3 years is established as the capacity they have to remember the most important aspects of their life in this period of time. Some really intense events that can influence your survival behavior, such as a trauma or a very bad experience, can come to remember it much longer, because it is stored in your brain as a very relevant memory for survival.

Even so, you should always take into account the two factors explained above about the memory of felines, that is, episodic and selective. Therefore, do not expect your cat to remember everything it has lived through in the last three years, but only those really important experiences that it has managed to keep in the brain.

Another element that you should keep in mind is the spatial memory of cats. They will easily learn where certain objects scattered around the house are located, especially those of their interest such as food and bed. In this way, they will immediately notice any novelty that you add to the home furniture, since it will be an unidentified element and that they will want to explore, or even any change in the order or location of these objects.

For all this, cats are capable of learning many things for the convenience in your home, their survival in the street or nature, and so on. Thus, you can teach him things, better if it is from a young age because his memory will retain them better.

Do cats miss their owners?

Having already seen that cats have memory, it is easy to say that they can miss the people with whom they live and have a close relationship. In just a few days they are able to adapt to a routine, so they suffer stress if they constantly experience news even if they are insignificant for you.

By having the ability to quickly recognize an environment and its family, as well as love people, your cat will miss you and home in the event of some kind of separation or transfer. They are animals that do not usually tolerate moves well or live without their family in certain periods, such as vacations.

For you to be fully aware of the level to which cats can miss their owners, they sometimes don't mind letting go and dying when abandoned. Many protective associations that take in cats have verified this: despite picking them up from the street or from a bad situation, the pain for not being with their family invades them and they become depressed until the moment of death.

Of course, not all cats reach the point of dying if they are abandoned because each one has their own personality, but in a large percentage they suffer so much stress that they stop eating and drinking, leaving their bodies weakened until they become ill and die. Therefore, if you really consider adopting one or more felines at home, try to have a very marked routine and leave them alone for the shortest possible time so that they do not suffer from depression or inconvenience of this type. In addition, if the difficult point of not being able to attend him any more for forced reasons arrives, always leave him with a family you trust who wants to adopt him, never leave him on the street.

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I have a cute cat

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