Cat Lovers: What Do Cats Remember?

can’t remember what i had for lunch yesterday, so i’ll say it depends on the cat…

stupid coding! <grumble>

Make that Airzooka

I don’t know how much is conditioning and how much is ‘remembering’ but my two cats know the water bottle, Mr. Mister, is a Bad Thing.

Also, as a shameless hijack, here are some pics of my two kitties, Ferguson and Echo. (Don’t forget to click the ‘kitty porn’ link to see them licking each other.)

That’s hilarious. At this exact instant, my cat Dick is staring sadly at the computer wall where I often shine the laser pointer for him to chase. He loves the red dot!

IDBB: In my experience, if the food shows up at a regular time, they can handle most of the rest of the routine on their own. If they’ve figured out that the Facilities Managers (aka Humans) don’t follow a regular schedule, they’ll just develop their routines around daily sleep times and prowling their turf. One thing I have observed from the several cats I’ve grown up around is that they’re highly adaptable.

And mostly loony. But each in their own special way. :slight_smile:

(There should be a cat smiley! Someone get to work on that!)

Cats rememer everything, and they hold a mean grudge.

My kitties remembered after the first time that fire radio going off during the night meant covers and kitties thrown hastily back and Daddy’s rapid departure. They always scrambled fast after that.

Max learned that when my travel bag came out of the closet, I was leaving on business for a few days, and he didn’t like that. Once when I was starting to pack, I caught him peeing on my bag.

He also learned that he couldn’t hold his booze at all. A few slurps of red wine and he just fell over and lay there, purring and purring. Kinda like me when I get wasted. :smiley:

Panda remembers exactly what cabinet the Temptations cat treats are kept in. She will try to claw it open. She will meow pathetically in front of it. When the cat treats are all gone, we’ll shake the bag in front of her and say “all gone”. She doesn’t remember this, though, and will gaze longingly at the cabinet, wondering why the humans are holding out on her. She will also jump into the refrigerater. She remembers food is kept in there. My son once opened the fridge to get a snack, left the door open for a bit, and while his back was turned she hopped in and slithered behind the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass. He closed the door. If Panda could talk, she’d probably be able to tell you for sure that the light goes out when you shut the door. A few minutes later, we are all trying to find the source of her plaintive wailing. “It’s coming from the fridge, Ma!!” Open the door…out pops Panda, shivering. A horrible experience. Does she remember that it’s cold and dark and scary in the fridge? Nope…she remembers that there’s often leftover ribs or chicken in there. I guess that’s something. What does my other cat, Pippen, remember? That he detests Panda and that crunchy kitty treats got nothing on a nice, fresh bag of weed. (Catnip, that is.) I think cats remember exactly what they want to remember. No more, no less.

danceswithcats said


We had a cat named Precious that did that on a nice,semi-expensive piece of luggage.She became upset that we decided to change from her normal litter to a differernt,cheaper (although similar quality)litter and she peed on our suitcase. It was un-useable after that.:frowning:

ladydisco–Precious and Rumpleteazer used to lick each other all the time.I don’t know if it was more a social grooming thing or if they were just lesbo-kitties(though I’m not sure how THAT could be since they were(are) both fixed).


That’s so strange what you mentioned about a doorbell. My home has NEVER had a doorbell, but when my dog hears one on TV she runs to the front door. She’s 2 1/2 now and I got her at 8 weeks. There is NO way she’s remembering something from puppyhood! She can’t remember basic commands…although she does have selective hearing :smiley:

I’ve just never understood the doorbell thing, not ever having one. She also will come running and and cry like Lassie, then I have to say “What’s the matter girl, did Timmy fall down the mine shaft again?” Then I’m to follow her to the balcony, which I do. This means the deer are running through the backyard. They always are, she hasn’t lied to me yet!

My “Mommy’s Boy” of a cat, Charlie, always knows when it’s about time for me to come home from work, even with my frequent schedule changes, and begins pacing in front of the door until I come in. Hasn’t been seen all day long, until it’s close to time for my arrival - then, there he is.

My “midget” kitty (Boots is 3 years old but never got bigger than a 9 month old kitten) apparently remembers her horrific trek through the desert to our house and refuses to go outside. Ever.

Twitch, the Alpha Male, quite obviously remembers my son’s ex-friend who abused the poor cat, until I rescued him, because everytime that dickweed shows up at the house, Twitch goes straight for his eyes with fangs & claws a-flashin’.

Sissy can’t remember where her food dish is, where the litter box is, and frequently enters a room with this quizzical look on her face - “now, what did I come in here for?”. She’s apparently suffering from CRS.

My older cat, Dot, knows when I grab a paper towel and a shiny metal thing, it’s time to clip her nails. She totally freaks, and the chase is on. She also remembers the closet door means vacuum, and she’s under the bed.

The other one, Bit, knows what the evil travel box is, and refuses to get near it when it sits out. Other than that, she pretty much has a brain full of fuzz.

Something I’ve noticed from the above anecdotes - a lot of the things people have said cats remember are sounds. Perhaps cats have a better auditory memory than a visual?

Another memory from childhood. Growing up, we had a very anti-social white cat who wanted nothing to do with the humans, unless there was food or chasing a marble involved (she’d fetch a marble almost endlessly). My little sister, being a… well, let’s say “precocious” three-year-old bothered the poor kitty constantly. One day, while we were watching TV, the cat casually hopped up on the couch, strolled across the back to my sister, and leapt on her head, claws and fangs bared, to punish her for all the unwanted attention.

My sister was much less interested in being around the cat after that.

Oh, heck, my former roommate’s cat used to pounce on my head all the time (I had long hair at the time). I’d just be sitting around, reading or something, and five pounds of warm cat body and claws would wind up on my head.

My parents have a cat, who as a kitten, had her paw smashed under a door i was opening (no permanent damage, thankfully). at the time, i hadn’t known whether I’d broken her paw, or what… just that she ran ‘screaming’ from the room, and hid under a bed. I chased after her, finally managed to pull her out from under the bed and examine her paw, to at least be sure I didn’t need to get her to the vet hospital, and let her go. since then, however, she absolutely hates me. When I walk into a room she’s in, she hisses and leaves, or at the very least, growls.

She’s starting to mellow with age though… now she only growls a little, and stays put. She’s let me pet her a few times when she has been in someone else’s lap, but she’s not happy with it, she usually meows complainingly and growls a little, then, too. Nothing has broken her fear of me; not my feeding her frequently, sneaking her bits of tuna, or anything else.

She doesn’t care for many people in any case, so I don’t take it too personally :slight_smile:

My cat has the IQ of a celery stalk. She tries to fit in shoeboxes, yet she is fat so the sides split open. She also frequently drools and falls off of things. She used to love this certain toy, sort of a cat fishing pole with a catnip toy on the end. Except one day I brought it out and she bolted like I had pointed a gun at her. No one has ever hurt her with it, yet today a few years later she hides under things whenever someone gets out an umbrella, because it is kept in the umbrella stand. She also remembers:

Where the food dish is
Where the litterbox is
Windows are nice
Human feet are good to chew on
The young male is evil
Food good
Dogs bad
Food very good


The location of their food bowl

The sound of the can opener

Every single little wisecrack, slight or teasing they have ever received

When I moved back home after living out of state for 7 years, I wondered our old Moggie cat would still remember me, since I used to be her favorite human. She did, and, after a few days, I was. She died a few years ago, but our nextdoor neighbor’s cat still looks for her sometimes, even though she was just a kitten when Moggie died. Oh well, I suppose that makes two of us who miss her.


When I was a freshman in high school, I adopted a kitten named Daisy. Daisy was an ornery cuss but she loved me. Then I went away to college, and when I came back, she hated my guts with a passion, so much so that she attacked me on sight. I don’t know if that means she forgot me, or that she was mad at me for leaving her.

** ladydisco**re: kitties licking each other-- Excellent hijack. I have 5 cats and they ALL lick each other’s faces. It’s so cute. What usually happens is one will kind of sidle up to the other with his head down and lay down in front of the other. Then the licker will go to town all over his face, inside the ears, on the neck, etc. Dolphie usually licks Achmed and Maceo (and me-- she’s the only one who will lick me, usually on the nose or forehead. Yuck–catfood breath and rough tongue!), and Harley and Shadow lick each other. I have often referred to them as a gay couple, since they seem to be in love with each other in spite of both being neutered males. Can cats be gay? Or is it rather what’s known as “homosocial” behavior rather than homosexual?

I wonder if Harley and Shadow would remember each other if they were separated for a year or so. Or Dolphie and Achmed, who have never been apart for more than an hour in 6 years?

Does anyone else ever catch their neutered male cats mounting each other? This happens from time to time around here.

This is a slight hijack, related to the pissing incident of danceswithcats’: I once had this cat Streaker (I didn’t name him) who used urine as a method of communication. He hated my boyfriend at the time (turns out he was right) and would piss on stuff like his baseball glove, his guitar, the door to his side of closet. Very specific stuff. Once he even peed on the floor next to the bed, so that when The Ex put his feet on the ground to get out of bed, he stepped right in it. IMO this shows a high degree of intelligence and planning.

Streaker was also known to stand on top of a piece of furniture so he could pee on the ceiling, and to turn on the TV so it would warm and he could sit on it. He loved to look at himself in the mirror and would strike various poses. Also, he loved guitar music and would even sit quietly next to his nemesis, The Ex, and listen, even singing along (a hideous, throaty yowling from the depths of kitty Hell).

I adopted Streaker from a lady who wanted to get rid of him, I realized later, b/c of this pissing problem. He was very depressed when she gave him to me and it took a while for us to bond. When we did, it was true love, so I kept him despite his urinary grandstanding. His former owner came to visit him about 6 months after I took him. Streaker was a gregarious bastard, but when she came in the room, he went under the bed and would not come out even for treats. Talk about the cold shoulder. That cat could hold a grudge like nobody’s business.

I could talk about my cats endlessly (and this post is a good start, I realize).