Do Cats Remember When They Were Kittens?

When you give a cat a new name, it may be the first time they encounter the word. Cats have several different types of memories. Some of these include Associative memory, Long-term memory, and Imprinting. These different types of memories can be triggered by anything from a new scent to a change in temperature. These memories are stored in the cat’s long-term memory, which can be months or even years long.

Long-term memory

There are two types of memories that cats can make: the implicit and the explicit. The latter is responsible for storing a cat’s emotions. Its implicit memory contains events and circumstances that are associated with certain emotions. Cats associate experiences with a particular emotion with the event itself. This is why cats often exhibit uncontrollable behavior when they are feeling deeply felt emotions. Likewise, cats may associate events with negative feelings.

While the latter type of memory is much longer lasting than the former, it’s still not a perfect one. Research has shown that a kitten’s memory is more than 200 times longer than that of a goldfish. Compared to dogs, kittens are able to remember a person for years. Some cats are able to remember tricks, too. And some of these tricks are permanent. Despite the short-term memory of kittens, this does not mean that they are more intelligent than their dog counterparts.

Associative memory

Associative memory is a form of memory in cats. The process of association helps the animal to recall specific locations and events. It can also remember information such as the location of prey, shelter, or times of abundance. The ability to recall this information is crucial for a cat, and it is the basis for a variety of ongoing behaviors. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn more about this memory and how it helps your cat.

Associative memory is the ability of a cat to make links between events and people. It may associate the sound of a packet with dinnertime, or the jingling of a bell with playtime. Although it is unlikely that a cat will have specific memories of specific events, it will remember people or places it associates with food, shelter, or love. It may even remember the smell of a scented candle.


Did you know that cats have long-term memory? It depends on the way they acquire information. They tend to store information about their position or movements in their associative memories. They also tend to remember things that they have interacted with. Cats also have long-term memory for important information. This kind of memory is not as accessible as the short-term memory, but it can still help your cat if it needs to remember something urgently.

While some scientists don’t agree with this theory, it is possible for a cat to remember its past. Cats can form a strong bond with a new owner if they are reunited with their original caretakers. Interestingly, cats have memory comparable to that of a toddler. When they lose their mother, they can imprint on their new owner, and they may hold grudges.

Memory capacity

Although many people think that cats have limited memory, research suggests that they actually have superior long-term memories. Compared to humans, cats can retain information for over 10 years. Cats can retain information about the identity of a person and other emotions associated with an experience. They also have spatial memory. However, the amount of information a cat can remember depends on its age and experience. The more traumatic a cat’s memory is, the more it may remember.

Scientists have shown that cats’ short-term memory lasts about 16 hours. They only retain memories that are useful to them and discard those that are not. Cats’ long-term memory is much more powerful than that of dogs. It can last for years or even their entire life. The duration of a cat’s memory depends on the source of the information. Objects and movement are stored in the memory longer than sight.