One of the saddest moments of our lives is leaving our pets for some time. Sometimes, even one day can feel too long. But, if for some reason we need to leave for a longer period of time, we can’t help but ask ourselves “Will my cat forget me?“
If you’re like me, then you were probably so scared to search for the answer, because you’re afraid it might say that your cat will forget you. So if you’re here and you’re looking for the truth, I need to tell you that you are braver than most people.
Truth can sometimes hurt us, but I don’t think that this one will. Scroll down and find out everything that’s going on in your cat’s head when you leave her.
Do cats remember people at all?
One of the reasons you might be worried your sweet little cat is going to forget you is that you don’t think cats remember people at all. Don’t lose sleep over it though, because cats have a substantial capacity for memory recollection.
Well, kind of. You see, cats don’t exactly remember your face or your voice. They use scent to distinguish you from other people.
In case your cat ever scratched itself or chafed against you, it means it left a distinct scent that she can recognize any time you’re around. It’s their method of putting a stamp on us, so they feel more comfortable when we’re around them.
Cats possess exceptional long-term memory when it comes to remembering their animal counterparts, too. So if you have more pets, you can trust that your cat will remember them even if they have to leave for a noticeable amount of time.
Just be reminded that cats are picky about who they want to keep in memory. They have a tendency to remember people who benefit them much better than those who don’t. So taking care of your cat can take away your worries about them forgetting you!
How good is a cat’s memory?
Now we know that cats do remember people and their fellow animal companions. Now you are probably wondering – for how long can they hold on to those memories? And will your cat forget you after some time?
It’s important that we distinguish between long-term and short-term memory capacity. Although it’s very difficult to test this, some experiments showed that cats remember people who they met just once for up to 16 hours.
Studies have shown that cats have stunning long-term memory, but they are very picky when it comes to what (or who) they choose to remember.
If you have been present in your cat’s life for a significant amount of time, and if you have taken care of her – given her treats, petted her, given her love and affection, it is possible that your cat remembers you for as long as it is alive. Even if you depart from her!
Another variable that comes into play is the age of the cat. Cats tend to have better memory recollection early on, after which it starts to degrade. So you have a better chance to make an impression on a kitten than you do on an older feline.
Do cats remember their owners when they’re gone?
This is a question you’re probably asking yourself any time you go on a trip without your fluffy buddy – will my cat remember me when I’m away? If you have been a good cat owner and you spoiled your feline friend, chances are your cat will remember you when you’re gone.
A lot of factors come into play though, because cats can have positive and negative associations with their owners. Cats remember mistreatment and neglect just as well as they remember pampering and love.
Basically, the way you take care of your cat is the way she will remember you even when you’re apart from her.
What also makes a difference is how long have you been away. You see, cats are attention seekers. If they feel like you’ve abandoned them for a period of time, they won’t hesitate to hold a grudge.
When you do come back, their behavior might be cold towards you at first, but try not to worry because it usually wears out over time.
Can cats recognize their owners after being separated for some time?
Maybe you went on a long trip, maybe you moved away to college, maybe you have left your cat at your mother’s house so she has a companion. There are plenty of reasons you could be separated from your cat for a significant amount of time.
Once you do get to see her though, a question lingers in your mind: will she recognize you?
Although you can find some people that tell you otherwise, it’s a rare occurrence that your cat doesn’t recognize you. They remember scents for an astonishingly long amount of time, so if you have spent enough time with her in the past, she will remember it.
It’s also easy to mistake a cat’s cold and distant behavior for a lack of recognition, but those two things don’t have to be related. Felines love to pout if you’ve left them for some time, so don’t necessarily think to yourself that your cat didn’t recognize you.
She probably did; she just wants you to know she’s not happy with your absence. Not to worry though; they ease off pretty quickly. And you can expect your fluffy pet to be clingy in no time.
What does your cat think when you leave her?
It’s obviously pretty hard to know exactly what cats think when you leave them to go somewhere. But some educated guesses have been made. And they can help us understand our fluffy buddies even more.
We all know that cats are very independent animals. Unlike dogs, who form very strong bonds with their owners, and even get sad and anxious if they are not around for a long time, cats aren’t really like that.
Of course, they will miss you and notice that you’re gone. However, their miss their routine and the comforts of home even more than they’ll wish for you to come back.
Your kitty will also miss having social interactions. And also having you around to talk to her or cuddle, play, and pretend to fight.
However, each cat is unique and every one of them reacts differently to their owner leaving them for some time.
Some cats are very skillful when it comes to hiding their feelings. While the rest of them visibly get very upset, and anxious, they stop taking care of themselves, refuse to eat, and play.
What I can tell you from my experience is that my cat definitely missed me. I found some of her hair on my pillow (a place where she usually doesn’t go). That meant she was sitting there and probably waiting for me to come back. Or the smell from my pillow reminded her of me.
It’s nice to know that your cat thinks about you when you’re gone and that she’s waiting for the moment you’ll open those doors and play with her again.
Will my cat forget me after a year?
Everybody who has to leave for a longer period of time asks themselves “Will my cat forget me?”. If you’ve been gone for a year, it’s still very likely that your cat will remember you when you come back home.
It’s true that the bonds between dogs and their owners, and cats and their owners are different. The one with dogs is stronger as they can also remember you much better.
So yes, your cat will probably remember you, but she won’t be as excited to see you or be as attached to you when you return as she was before you left.
I know it sounds scary and sad, but it can change! If you spend enough time with her, the two of you will get close again. And she’ll be happy that you’re back.
Here’s another comforting fact for you. Several studies suggested that cats are likely to remember people who they loved for as much as 10 years. Even though they haven’t seen each other for all those years!
So even if you’re gone for a year or two, your cat will most likely still remember you. You’ll just need some time to get her to trust you. But also love you as much as she did before you left. Don’t worry, you’ll get there soon!
I hope that the question “Will my cat forget me?” won’t worry you anymore. Now you know that no matter how long you’re away, your cat will still remember you. Maybe not by your face, but your smell will always help them recognize you.
It’s sad that your bond won’t be strong as before, but when you come back, you’ll have more than enough time to get your best friend back. I hope this information made you happy and that you have one less worry on your mind. It feels nice, doesn’t it?
Find out more about cats and their unique behavior: The Secret Life Of Kitties: What Do Cats Do All Day?