How Long Do Cats Remember You | What Does Science Say!

How Long Do Cats Remember You

How long do cats remember you? lets find out.

While walking towards home, you found a stray kitty roaming in the streets. You buy some cat food and feed him/her.

The next day when you pass by at the same time, you see the kitty standing there, wagging its tail. You feed him again. The next, you find the kitty in the same spot but a little closer to you, meowing at you, looking you right in the eye, and waving its tail.

You buy him some food, and he eats it. Once he finishes the meal, he looks you in the eye and circles around your legs while meowing continuously; you pat him and leave.

But the next is different, you feed him, and the next thing he does, he starts following you. 

What does this story say? As everyone says, animal memories are short-termed. Does your cat remember you, or your cat remember you because of a habit formation? We don’t know the answer yet.

Let’s find out below the exact answers to your question, “how long do cats remember you?”. 

How Long Do Cats Remember You? 

According to various studies and research by scientists and animal behaviorists, animals can remember an incident for less than 30 seconds.

In comparison to this, dogs have a memory for around 5 minutes. Animals basically use association memory to keep you and various activities in their thoughts.

Associative memory means associating something or some incident or a particular smell or sound to the actual incident. Cats and other animals use memory.

They don’t remember the incidents; they just remember some flashes of the incidents like the food packets’ sound.

When you make their food packets sound, they know you will feed them even if that isn’t their actual feeding time.

The cat has associated the packet opening sound with feeding time and food. 

This associative memory helps a cat memorize the situation, and hence that dictates their next move.

They try to identify events using their associative memory of smell, sound, or shapes.

Like we described a story previously if you remember, the cat doesn’t remember you; they remember your smell, the time you passed, the love you gave, and the food you provided him.

Those intangible care and love for that you gave him have imprinted your smell with his memory.

So, once you pass that particular street, the cat can smell you and know you are there. 

How Long Do Cats Remember You – What Does Science Say? 

In various studies, it was also found that a cat can remember you for 16 hours after the interaction took place.

According to National Geography researchers, after an extensive study on cats, they found that cats do remember you for at least 16 hours.

The only thing that this study states is, they don’t remember the face, neither you shape nor your color, but all they remember is your smell and touch. According to national geography finding, cats don’t have short term memory. 

Cats and animals rather have both short term and long term memory. The short term memory is for them to remember things with associated memory.

Associated memory is called short term memory. Where they associate, but long term memory, as mentioned earlier, is selective.

Cats basically select what memory they want to keep. They choose their memory to keep it for the long term that’s beneficial to them. You can say they are selective of their memory that’s profitable to them. 

That is why, when someone comes in, you can’t remember them because they don’t like them either.

That is important for them. The person you don’t like might not have behaved well with him. Also, humans release smells, and cats can identify the good smell and bad smell.

If some don’t like them, your cat will be able to differentiate between the smells. Once they do it and understand, they keep the memory of in their short term memory section.

That is exactly why sometimes they don’t recognize the person. 

How Long Do Kittens Remember You?

How Long Do Kittens Remember You

Now that we have answered your query on “how long do cats remember you?” Let’s move onto the kitten.

Do kittens really remember you, or is it just the same process as cats, associated memory? 

Yes, basically, kittens use the associate

Memory or short-term memory process to store their information about places and people.

Kittens have instincts that come to them through their genetics. Along with that, they have the memory capturing capacity. 

Do Cats Suffer From Dementia or Alzheimer’s?

Yes! Just like human beings, cats do get dementia with growing age. It is also known to be cognitive dysfunction in cat terminology.

Sometimes the senior cats do not only exhibit old age behavior, but there are high chances that your big Biddy is suffering from dementia due to age.

Cats suffering dementia show more or less similar signs as humans.

The Major Sign of Cat Dementia Are : 

1. Roaming Around

They tend to loiter here and there in the house or enter into the territory of other household cats. And if they are free to roam outdoors, they sometimes go a bit away from your house. 

2. Sleeping Habits

They tend to sleep for long hours and really deep sleep. 

3. Change in Sleeping Patterns

You might notice that you are awake all night long but are sleeping heedlessly in the morning, even if you are around them working or doing whatever.

4. Generalized Disorientation

This might be a big sign for you to understand. There is a high chance that you see your cat staring at walls, wandering aimlessly, or looking into empty space.

They tend to miss cues relating to routined or scheduled events like feeding or going out for a walk or playing.

5. Loud Meowing

You will often notice that your buddy is meowing so loud as if they are shouting, and this can happen, especially at night.

6. Litter box

Yet another symptom that your cat might not use the litter box properly. 

Few Tips That Might Help Your Cat 

Here are some ways you can help your friend to stay comfortable.

1. Make sure they are staying indoors.

2. Avoid major household changes like shifting.

3. Try making the litter box more accessible and wide enough or their usage.

4. And make sure you add Vitamin E and antioxidants as they are critical for brain functions.

5. Keep a scheduled feeding time so that they do not miss the cues.

6. Make sure you have good lighting conditions in your house.

7. As your buddy is old, give them some good necessary items like a good bed, of course, some good warm spots just for them. 

8. And lastly, keep a frequent touch with your vet.


This article was about your question, “how long do cats remember you?” Cats and kittens, like other animals, use the associated memory technique to keep their memories intact of a person, place, or event, which is called short term memory.

But cats change their technique of memory capture when it comes to their profit and also live and care from a human.

If they find out a human loves them, they capture that touch, that sight, that gentle gesture and keep coming back to their humans again and again. 

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