How long does a cat’s Memory Last? This may Surprise You…

We create wonderful memories with our pets and many of them will be cherished for life.

Do our cats remember the fun times and even the not-so-fun times?

Does your cat remember certain people that arrive at your home now and then?

So many questions that we have when it comes to feline memory.

The research that I’ve done has lead me to believe that a cat’s memory works in a different way to ours.

The cat seems to remember what it needs to remember…

If a cat has had a traumatic life, the cat’s memory may be more extensive than that of a cat who has had a relatively easy life in comparison.

Overall, cats are known to have a good memory with both short and long-term memories stored a lot like we humans.


Short-term memories for humans allow us to remember a phone number or an address minutes after we’ve received the info.

For cats, this short-term memory is used for problem-solving and eating, etc… This is useful for hunting.

In a more domestic setting, a cat will remember where you’ve placed its food bowl and even expect food at certain times of the day based on your feeding routine.

A cat’s short-term memory lasts around 16 hours, however, this is on a need-to-know basis. Only important things will be remembered.


Cat’s long-term memory varies from cat to cat.

Long-term memories can be of trauma, certain sounds, animals, or people that the cat isn’t fond of.

The cat will dig deep into its memory bank to make split-second decisions in certain situations based on past experience.

The age, health, intelligence, and experience of a cat can affect its long-term memory.

An experiment was carried out and found that cats can have memories going back as far as 10 years!

However, others would suggest that cats can have memories dating back much further.

Some suggest that they have memories that will stay with them for life.


We have a black called Coco and we regard him as being highly intelligent.

The behavior that he displays sometimes is dog-like.

He obeys many of our commands and he has even played fetch with us.

His routines and play habits are so set in stone.

All of this points to a very good memory.

I think it’s natural for us to look at our pets through a human lens and assume that they think and feel like us.

As we don’t know for sure what they are thinking I suppose it’s a good way for us to make sense of our cat’s mentality.

When I see some of Coco’s behavior it does make me think, are cats so different from us?


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