Do Cats Remember Who You Are

Your cat probably remembers that time you fed her fresh salmon!

Do Cats Remember Who You Are

Have you ever wondered how your feline friend recognizes your face? Or have you ever worried about your cat may forget you after a week or a month’s absence? You can relax. Your feline friend definitely know who you are and remember you!

According to The Nest, cats have a fantastic memory that anchors heightened states of mind with sensory perceptions. Research also has found that a cat’s memory is comparable to a 2 – 3 year old child. What’s more surprising is that they are able to perform complex problem solving tasks such as puzzles! They even make emotional mapping based on their memories – they will have positive feelings for those who fed and played with them and negative feelings for those who hurt or mistreated them. Keep in mind that they will learn from their experiences and this is why it’s hard to gain trust from an abused or neglected cat.

There’s no doubt that cats have good memory – at least they will remember that time their humans fed them fresh salmons!

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How Cat Memory Works?

Like other animals, cat memory works in much the same way. Past events or experiences can be stored in the neural connections that make up a cat’s brain. The electrical signals are transmitted via the nerves to the brain when information is perceived by the cat through the use of the sensory organs. This allows the cat to incorporate the information in calculating actions. Once it’s encoded into the brain, the information can be stored in the neurons that make up the brain.

However, the exact mechanism by which specific memories are stored in the brain is not yet known, but there are two widely accepted theories.

Combination of Neurons Theory

This theory explains the memories of cats are stored in a combination of neural connections, rather than just one neuron. Each neuron in the brain responds to a particular characteristic or pattern in the stream of raw information coming from the sensory organs, and certain objects or events are recognized when the right combination of neurons are all activated simultaneously.

Since the brain of a cat is smaller and less complex with fewer neurons, her memory does not work as well as a human’s memory. Cats generally can only learn to recognize a few places and objects, and can only retain tactile or visual information for 10 minutes in her working memory.

Specific Neuron Theory

This theory is used to explain on how memories are stored in the brain of a cat is that specific neurons are assigned to specific memories, which would mean that there is one cell in your cat’s brain that activates when the cat sees you, and another cell that activates when the cat sees its food bowl. In fact, if the specific neuron theory holds true, your cat not only has a cell specifically adjusted to respond to his food bowl, but another cell for each other bowl the cat has ever seen.

Do Cats Have Long-Term Memory?

Studies have found that cats generally retain information for about 16 hours or about 200 times longer. They can remember human companions they previously had a close relationship with after many years, and possibly will remember them for life – athough they may not have the most impressive short-term memory, their long-term memories are truly impressive!

Cats memories are tied to their senses such as sound, scent and sight. According to a study, the researchers discovered cats can recognize their owners’ voices, however, they most likely expected their humans to come find them. They recognize us by using their senses. The more unique combination of these things you embody, the more distinct your impression on your feline friend. Thus, face time and bonding with cats are very important. If you feed your cat, give her treats and play with her, she will most likely remember you.

Age is another factor that influences the memory. According to ASPCA, more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years suffer from feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD). FCD can affect behaviour, memory and learning – it probably will lead to deficit in memory, according to petMD.

Updated: November 10, 2017.

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