Do cats remember their past?

Alldara

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To note, the research above doesn't say that cat brains work the same as human brains 100%, just that many mammals experience 'infant amnesia'.

What it means, is exactly what many are describing! It's easy to learn things during that times but also easy to forget things that don't happen regularly.
 
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Antonio65

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It must depend on how long they got to stay with their siblings and mother.

Nobel wouldn't as he was moved at 10 weeks.

I think Calcifer might as he's still young and he stayed with them until 5 months. He's never seemed to miss them though. He never cried or looked for them. I think he was happy to share significantly less.

However, cats are considered kittens until 6 months, so over time I would expect them to forget, due to infant amnesia.

Infantile Amnesia: A Critical Period of Learning to Learn and Remember


So yeah, maybe a much more scientific answer than everyone is looking for but I think for most cats, they'll lose that over time. How long they remember for who'll depend on how much time they spent together, and how old they were when separated and how much time has passed since then.
That's a great explanation. Thanks!
 
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Antonio65

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I doubt they remember their mom and siblings if they didn't stay with them past kitten hood. Cats brains do work a bit differently then ours, so as mentioned they remember smells and feelings more. Also cats do have selective memory, so they only remember and retain things that matter, like friend and foe, in their day to day life. Biological family that they don't live with or ever see again is not something that matters in their day to day life and therefore not something worth taking up brain space after a certain amount of time apart.

I think more likely things from the past of a rescue cat they are going to remember are more serious things, for example being abused by someone or attacked by another animal, they will likely be fearful of people or animals that even look or smell like the one that hurt or scared them because avoiding them could mean life or death. Likewise on the flip side they will likely retain a memory of being treated well, for example someone that regularly gave them food before they had a home, they may not remember the going hungry part but they will remember this person made them feel good/happy.
I think this is a great post :thanks:
 
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Antonio65

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My cat Coco's disappearing did make her mom very upset but soon after she was ok
Once I rescued some small kittens from their mom because they were in a dangerous location. I had to take her away from the mom too early, but it was for their own good. Their mom kept looking for them desperately for at least a week, it was heart breaking.
I promised to myself I will never do such a thing again!
 
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Antonio65

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Jackson Galaxy made a video about this very topic:
JG says that kittens that are separated from their mom and then reunited after several months, a year, they still remember their mom and siblings.
Once I had the chance to have my Freya meet her sister, after only 9 months, and they hissed to each other. Probably because they were separated when they were too young, 6 weeks?
 
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Antonio65

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IMO, this is trying to interject human feelings/memories/culture on cats. That is apparently not how they operate. We cannot know what they think, nor assume that we can. Treat each one as the individuals that they are to the best of our human capabilities.
I always say that I would like to live one day as a cat, not remembering I've ever been a human, then going back to be a human and not forgetting I have been a cat.
 
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