Do cats have a good memory?
Have you ever wondered about the memory of cats? Did you ever call your cat by name and he did not respond? Are you surprised how he gets back home even though he leaves every day to visit his feline friends? Is it memory or instinct?
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Many people think that animals, including those who have been domesticated, are not able to remember things that happen to them or learn new things. However, everyone who has a pet or lives with animals knows that this is not true. Would you like to know if your cat has a good memory? Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article!
How does feline memory work?
As with other animals, including humans, feline memory resides in a part of the brain. The cat’s brain occupies less than 1% of its body mass , but when it comes to memory and intelligence, the determinant is the number of neurons in existence.
In this way, a cat has three hundred million neurons . Do not you know what this amounts to? In order for you to have a comparison term, dogs have about one hundred and sixty million neurons, and biologically the information retention capacity of cats is far superior to that of dogs.
Some studies have shown that short-term memory of cats is around 16 hours, allowing them to remember recent events. Nonetheless, for these events to pass into long-term memory must be vitally important to the cat, so that it is able to make the selection and save that event as something that could be useful for the future. The exact mechanism by which this process is carried out is still unknown.
Cats’ memories of being selective are episodic , that is, cats are able to remember the location of things, certain people, routines, positive or negative events, among many other things that have lived. It is the intensity with which they live and feel certain experiences that causes them to store that information in the brain or not.
As with humans, some studies have shown that cats have cognitive abilities that deteriorate as they reach old age. This condition is called feline cognitive dysfunction , which usually affects cats older than 12 years.
Does memory allow the cat to learn?
The observation and own experience of cats are those that allow the cat to learn everything you need to live comfortably. How does the cat enjoy everything that he observes and lives? Through the memory that selects what is useful and allows the cat to react more appropriately to his interests the next time he comes across a particular situation.
The cat’s memory works this way in both domestic and wild cats. Since puppies, cats watch their mother to learn everything they need. In this process of learning are linked the feelings that the cat experience during life, whether good or bad. In this way, the cat is able to react to stimuli that relates to the time of eating and recognizes the sounds of those people or other pets that try to hurt him.
This system allows the cat to stay safe from possible dangers , to identify his guardian and to remember everything that is positive associated with him, such as delicious food, affection and play.
What the cat learns is directly related to the benefits that the cat can acquire through this learning. If the cat thinks that something is not useful, it is very likely that this information will be eliminated with short-term memory. For this reason, it is very difficult to teach a cat to stop scratching a place he likes so much, although it is possible to teach the cat to use a scratch remover .
What is the memory capacity of the cat?
There are no studies yet to determine how long a cat can remember things. Some investigations point to only three years , but anyone who has a cat can relate behaviors to situations that the cat has lived for much longer.
The truth is that there is still no absolute opinion in this regard. What is known is that cats are not only able to recall favorable or unfavorable situations to know whether or not to repeat but also store in their memory the identity of people and other pets (and the sensations that accompany the lived experiences next to them), apart from having spatial memory .
Thanks to this spatial memory, the cat is able to learn very easily the location of objects in the house, especially those that interest him most, such as bed, litter box, pot of water and food. In addition, they are the first to notice that you have changed something in the decor.
Are you surprised that your cat jumps into bed a few minutes before you? After a few days of living in your home, the cat quickly learns all his routine and so knows the time you leave, the time you get up, when you can go to sleep with you, etc.