Do Cats Remember Their Previous Owners After Being Separated
Cat Behaviour

Do Cats Remember Their Previous Owners After Being Separated?

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After giving up the cat for adoption, every owner misses their kitty. However, do cats remember their previous owners after being separated?

Do Cats Remember Their Previous Owners After Being Separated?

If a pet owner is separated from their cat, they may question if their pet would remember them. Many people regard cats to be family members. But, on the other side there are cats detached from their owners. 

After being moved from their owners, do cats remember who they used to be with? Yes. Cats have exceptional memories, especially long-term recollections, according to studies. It enables cats to recall individuals even after they have been removed from them for a long time.

Georgia researchers have studied cats’ long-term and short-term memory to see what they recall and how long they remember it.

After being died from their owners, do cats remember who they were? Yes, according to my personal pet experience: four years after wandering away, my family cat found us, despite the fact that we had moved down the block. So, what does a cat remember?

Cat’s Memory (Short-Term)

As per a study by vets in 2015, most animals don’t have a short-term memory. Experts surveyed about 25 species of different animals ranging from dolphins to small insects like bees in the study. In the study, they found out that the average short-term memory of those species was 27 seconds.

A dog’s memory span was two minutes, which was extremely impressive. But what about cats? Do they also have a very small short-term memory or lack it like other animals?

Luckily, cats do have a short-term memory. The associative memory is used by cats and other animals to store information that helps them survive. It, predictably, entails recalling the locations where they obtain food and shelter. 

These short-term associative memories help the cats stay intact and help them keep a check on themselves.

For example, even if it’s not their typical mealtime, cats will rush to the kitchen when they hear the sound of an electric can opener.

Your cat’s associative memory is most likely how he recalls you. Although he may not recall individual exchanges with you, he will identify you with food, shelter, and affection. Providing these three essential elements makes you quite memorable.

Long-Term Memory Of Cats

It’s usual for cats to act gloomy or dejected after they’ve settled into their new home and the initial fear and anxiety have passed.

Many rehomed cat owners claim that their cat spent several days, if not months, searching around and crying out for their previous owners. They may appear alone and aggressive, and dislike the attempts to console or amuse them.

Since cats can form extremely close bonds with their caretakers, it takes longer to adapt to the loss of such bonds. It can take time for cats to recover and stop mourning about the loss of the bond with their prior owners, just as it can take time for people to get over and move on from their previous relationships.

The bottom line is that your cat can recuperate and go on if you’ve found a wonderful new home for them with someone who will look after them and help them adjust.

Can Cats Recognize Their Prior Owners?

Cats do recall their prior owners in most of the cases. It is similar to whether cats miss their prior owner, but we’ll go a little farther. After  the days and weeks after being rehomed, cats still recall and miss their previous owners.

When their old owners come to visit, we’ve seen cats that are ecstatic. They can remember and respond with unconditional love to their original owners for months or even years after being rehomed, even if they haven’t seen them in that while.

Of course, this isn’t the case for all cats. Some cats may be unhappy with being rehomed, or they may not feel the same strong bond they formerly had. It is especially true for cats that create an extremely tight bond with their new caretakers.


So, do cats remember their owner after being separated? Yes! However, if your old cat doesn’t particularly love when you meet them again, it’s critical to remember to respect their sentiments. 

Your senior cat is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation, and it’s not fair to be angry or wounded if they do not want to be cuddly or affectionate with you after being rehomed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It True That Separating Cats Makes Them Sad?

Cats can create very close feline friendships, thus going through the downfall of such bond can be challenging. When cats who are connected for a long time are separated, they may experience depression or behavioral difficulties. That’s why animal shelters that take in a pair of bonded cats try their hardest to reunite them.

Will My Cat Forget About Me In Two Weeks?

No, if your pet cat isn’t a newborn yet an adult, they will remember you. Your adult cat can remember you for a long while, so 2-3 weeks are very minimal. If you have shared many memories with an adult cat, then there are high chances that they will remember you.

How Long It Take Cats To Forget Who They Belonged To?

The average short-term memory of cats from various species is up to 16 hours; hence if you have interacted with a cat only once, then they will forget you after 16 hours.

Related Post: How to Tell If Cats Are Bonded?

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