How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge

How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge? Complete Guide

Cats, with their aggressive personalities and endearing appearances, are lovely creatures. Cats are beloved by millions of people around the world, and why not? Cats, after all, are balls of fluff sent from the skies to brighten our days.

They can, however, have a significant attitude issue. The reason they’re so fascinating and lovable is because of it. However, does a cat have the ability to carry a grudge? How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

For cat owners, this is an inevitable question to ask themselves. There are a lot of people who are puzzled by their cat’s sudden aggression. The cat’s “hateful” behaviour may stem from several things. Let’s see what we can discover together!?

The Typical Cat’s Memory Capacity…

How long does a cat hold a grudge before they forget them? Working memory and long-term memory are the two types of memory that matter in this context.

  • Working Memory: How much information we can remember at one time is called working memory. How many of the things on a shopping list could you remember if someone read them out?
  • Long Term Memory: On the other hand, long-term memory refers to how long we can hold on to a piece of information. When did you last see a friend, whether it was weeks, months, or even years ago?

Cats have been found to have a short working memory, according to research. Studies have shown that cats are more likely to chase after an object of interest if they are shown it first and then delayed before they can find it.

Delaying a cat for more than 10–15 seconds increases the likelihood of losing interest in the toy. If you wait more than 30 seconds, they’re virtually sure going to lose interest.

Long-term memory, however, is an entirely different matter. You would bring up an old grudge here & there is less research in this area. 

A typical answer appears to be “16 hours,” however, this all seems to track back to a 1964 animal psychology textbook that isn’t available online.

You found cats to retain at least 10 minutes of learned responses in a new study. It’s not clear if the cat could have survived 16 hours and still recalled the behaviours it needed to complete for a reward if the researchers had tested for longer lengths of time.

Read Also: How Old Is Candy Cat From Peppa Pig?

Although not all memories are alike, there is some information that we may forget (like your Facebook password), but there are others that we will never forget. 

The memory associated with a solid bodily or emotional response, such as love or anguish, lasts longer and is more easily remembered.

On the other hand, Cats have a short-term working memory, but they can remember some activities for an extended period. It’s hard to say what the most excellent way to describe their intelligence is.

A frustrating fact about this is that it’s a little tough to discern because cats aren’t nearly as eager to put out effort as dogs. 

On the other hand, Feline behaviourists estimate their IQ to be between the ages of 2 and 3. Using a succession of behaviours (such as pushing a box toward a window to stand on it and look out), the cat learns to attain a goal.

But what about Grudges?

Grudge is a term used to describe a deep-seated resentment of a former outcome. The animal’s memory and intelligence play a crucial role in its ability to harbour resentment. 

On the other hand, adult cats are said to have the same degree of intelligence as a two-year-old human child.

Cats have the mental capacity to carry grudges, but their long-term memory of specific events only lasts up to two days, so they can’t hold grudges for very long.

How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge

A cat’s vengeance is often short-lived, lasting little more than a few hours at most. In other words, the belief that cats harbour resentment for up to 16 years is untrue.

Traditional grudges aren’t held by cats, either. In contrast to our human perception of resentment as a wish to cause harm to another, cats see resentment as a warning about what not to do.

There is no way your cat will remain enraged at you for 16 hours by being scolded in front of you for breaking something, but he will be careful of breaking anything in the future.

Your cat may try to avoid you if they have a grudge against you. However, this will not be the case for very long at all.

Kittens have a short memory; therefore, they can’t harbor resentment.

In the same way that many cat-related questions are open to debate, this one is no different. However, the age of the cat may play a role.

When it comes to remembering, kittens are typically short-term thinkers.

Everyone who has ever had a kitten will attest that kittens require a great deal of correcting, most likely due to their inability to recall the last time corrected them.

Using this reasoning, it’s possible that kittens don’t keep grudges since they cannot remember.

What’s the Best Way to Apologize if Cats Have a Pent-Up Angry Feeling?

Your cats’ conduct will reveal whether or not they are enraged or harbour animosity toward you. As a cat owner, you have the responsibility of figuring out what’s going on. 

Once you’ve located the issues, you can take steps to resolve them. It does not, however, indicate that everything will go back to normal right away.

Cuddle and talk to cats in a kind tone when they come to your lap to help them feel normal.

Make sure that you don’t offend or upset a cat by behaving disrespectfully or harshly. You should therefore treat cats as if they were your children when interacting with them.

Does a Cat Forgive or Forget?

A common misconception is that cats will never forgive you for anything. The idea that a cat defecates on a bed as an act of revenge is incorrect. There are no resentments or plans for retaliation in the way that cats do.

You studied animal science applied to Cats’ reactions to being confined against their will at a veterinarian’s office through behavioural testing. 

After the incident, cats no longer avoided certain persons or places. Not all unfavourable experiences lead to long-term resentment.

When it comes to physical or emotional pain, cats have excellent memories because survival instincts drive them. 

A cat’s memory will be permanently scarred by anything that offends its natural inclinations. Afterwards, the cat will do everything it takes to avoid a repeat of the experience.

When it comes to catfights, this is most apparent. When a cat sees another cat, it can tell which one is kind and mean. Your cat will avoid the street where your cat was attacked in the future if it has previously been attacked there. It is nothing more than an act of self-defence.

As with human-canine relationships, this is true. For cats, the people who treat them kindly and cruelly are etched in their minds forever. When a cat sees one, it will approach the other. It’s only doing all it can to protect itself from damage.

In other words, it’s not that cats don’t get angry because they have a wide variety of complicated emotions. According to Veterinary Clinics of North America, stress is a common cause of bad feelings in animals: Small Animal Practice. Agitated cats are usually apprehensive, too.

If you upset your cat, try your best to soothe it down and make things right. Leaving the cat to wreak havoc on itself will only make things worse for everyone. To put it another way, this will cause a slew of behavioural problems. Your cat is afraid of you, and as a result, he’s irritated. It’s not resentment.

FAQs – How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

Do cats forgive their owners?

If you hit your cat, it will forget about it and move on. Forgiveness can be made more accessible with an apology and a small reward. 

However, it is essential to remember that a cat’s long-term memory might be affected by frequent maltreatment. Give your cat time to forgive you in these scenarios.

How long does it take for a cat to forget you?

Cats are usually believed to have a short-term memory span of 16 hours on average. In other words, a cat may remember you for 16 hours after first meeting you. 

It is far longer than animals’ usual short-term memory span, which was estimated to be 27 seconds in a 2014 research.

Will my cat forgive me for stepping on her?

As a consolation prize, you may rest assured that your cat will forget about the mishap and be more cautious in the future where they sleep and when they walk about you


I hope that you will learn everything about How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge? Cats do not harbour resentments in the same way that people do, as they do not experience the same range of emotions.

Cats, on the other hand, have a strong sense of what is good and bad behaviour. They have diverse reactions as a result of this connection.

Cat memory, like many other aspects of feline behaviour, is a mystery.

Cats’ memories aren’t fully understood, but it’s widely acknowledged that they don’t keep a grudge, at least not for long.

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