How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

How long does a cat hold a grudge? It would take your cat a few hours to become loving and affectionate. Self-preservation drives them to forgive human crimes. Provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for your cat.

How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

Do Cats Hold Grudges?

The possibility exists that cats are capable of becoming cranky (or at least appearing unhappy!) However, are our cats genuinely capable of retaliation? The answer to this question is a matter of controversy, and it may be affected by the cat’s age and health.

Correcting kittens for the same faults again is common because of their very short memory. It’s impossible for a kitten to harbor resentment at that age since its memory is as short as its physical body is. On the other hand, older cats may provide a unique set of challenges.

In other words, it’s unlikely that a cat will harbor a grudge for more than a few hours. As long as you try to befriend a cat, you will be forgiven in no time. As a result, behavioral issues may indicate a more serious condition rather than the outcome of a long-standing grudge.


In contrast, taking your pet to the vet in a pet carrier is a good idea. One interpretation of this is that it’s unpleasant. Remember that a cat’s response and changes in behavior in the conditions above might potentially disclose underlying issues.

Is My Cat Mad at Me?

Even if you’re doing anything against your cat’s preferences, it’s easy for them to get irritated. Cats express themselves clearly by their body language, which at first glance appears random. If you own a dog or a cat, you should be aware of these warning signs. Some of the most typical symptoms that your cat is upset with you include:

  • When you enter the room, the cat runs away or hides.

  • When held low, a tail that flutters fast

  • Ears that are flat and rest low on the head

  • The cat’s eyes are dilated as it stares at you.

  • The back is arched, and the tail is inflated to its fullest.

  • Hissing or groaning sounds

  • Swiping with the paws

If you observe your cat acting this way, give him some room. Allow your cat to calm down without interfering. Consider the reasons behind your cat’s aversion to you at this time. Avoid repeating the same mistakes.

How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge?

Do cats keep grudges? That’s a question you’ve probably wondered whether your cat has ever asked you. “How long does a cat keep a grudge?” is an equally relevant question. Age is an important factor when it comes to how long cats can hold onto their rage. Unlike adult cats, kittens don’t keep grudges for long since they have a shorter memory.

Cats have a memory that lasts 16 hours, as opposed to the five minutes that dogs have. As a result, cats might be irrational for up to 16 hours before they forget and forgive. Then, a few days pass before they return to being as kind and loving as before.

There are several reasons for this, including if you accidentally stomp on their tail or stumble over them, or they have been through any kind of trauma. But, despite what you may assume, they aren’t being abrasive and mysterious because of personal animosity.

But if your cat is still avoidant or aloof, they’re afraid and attempting to protect themselves from the terrible occurrence. In cats’ minds, people and items are linked to either a pleasant or a negative experience. So, they’ll either approach you or avoid you based on your previous interactions.


The good news is that cats don’t keep grudges in the same way that we humans normally do. The bad news is that feline grudge-holding behavior can last for quite some time. So even if you know your cat isn’t carrying a deep emotional animosity toward you, it may not be enough to ease your pain!

The Memory of a Cat

There are two kinds of memory in felines, like in people, namely working and long-term memory.

Short Term Memory

Working memory refers to how much knowledge a person can recall at any given time. Unfortunately, cats have a poor working memory, according to several studies. For example, a toy is shown to cats, and they are then asked to select one from a choice of toys.

To keep a cat from forgetting the toy it was shown, it is recommended that a wait of more than 30 seconds be made between choosing and displaying the toy. In this situation, most cats fail to remember the toy, proving that they lack a working memory.

Long Term Memory

The ability to recall events and details from the past is known as long-term memory. Long-term memory in cats has been studied, but the results have been equivocal. For example, even though a study from 1964 is cited as the foundation for the common belief that cats have a 16-hour long-term memory, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.


Recent studies have found Cats’ memories to endure anything from four hours to two days. A cat’s long-term memory spans a wide range, indicating that various factors are at play. Long-term memory in cats is highly breed-, age-, and environment-dependent.

Do Cats Remember Traumatic Events?

Almost every cat owner has at least one story to share about their feline companion’s ability to retain memories of unpleasant experiences. For example, cats that a dog has bitten may be afraid of dogs in the future.

Squirting a cat with a spray bottle may cause the cat to flee and hide. But on the other hand, those cats with a history of having pleasant interactions with other cats, dogs, and people as kittens are more likely to carry that positive attitude into maturity.

It’s hard to say for sure how long a cat remembers things. However, kittens weaned at eight weeks of age were found to recall the scent of their mother until maturity, showing that at least certain feline memories can last a lengthy amount of time.

Note: As a result of our incapacity to comprehend one another on a species level, we don’t know how long the average cat retains traumatic memories or how much they retain.

How To Say Sorry to My Cat?

If your cat is avoiding you, it’s only normal to want to “make up” to mend your bond and rebuild a healthy relationship with your pet.

Do not try to coerce your cat into affection. It’s easy to imagine that cuddling would make everything better, but it’s a bad idea. To make matters worse, don’t force your cat to be handled or petted.

Instead, use subtle cues to get your cat closer to you. When feeding your cat, for example, sit a few steps away from your cat’s food dish to encourage your cat to approach but not pursue the cat.

A subtle way to get your cat closer is to place a favorite bed or blanket near your normal seat on the couch. Teaser wands and other toys that let your cat play from a safe distance are ideal for energetic cats. The idea is to gently and subtly entice your cat to come up to you.

Refrain from incessantly chasing or calling out to your cat (“here, kitten kitty!”). Anxiety in your cat is likely to increase with additional attention. So instead, maintain your cool and allow your cat some breathing room.


Your cat’s comfort with you should recover as time goes on without any unpleasant interactions. First, however, you should see your veterinarian rule out probable medical explanations for your cat’s behavioral shifts and discuss treatment options if the situation persists.

5 Signs Your Cat Is Still Angry at You

If your cat is still enraged with you, she may exhibit the following behaviors:

They’re trying to avoid you.

When your cat begins to shun you, you know something is wrong. Even when you keep calling for them, cats will flee the room or hide beneath your furniture when they’re enraged with their owners.

On the other hand, some cats are more distant and may go for long periods without coming close to you. Also, if your cat is shy, you may find it takes them longer than normal to come up to you.

Changes in eating behavior

Often, cats may refuse or stop eating altogether when they’re angry as the next common gesture.

The signature look

When a cat is enraged, they give off its trademark keen gaze. Cat owners and non-cat owners alike are likely to know an irritated cat’s unnerving yet amusing expression.

They make messes everywhere.

If your cat starts urinating or defecating on your clean sheets, towels, or pillows, this may be a way for them to show their rage. They’d even bite you on occasion!

Subtle signs

Not only are the symptoms mentioned above readily apparent, but your cat may also exhibit other, more subdued symptoms that point to his or her mental state. Their physical appearance is the primary factor here.

  • First, cats flick their tails in an alarmingly subtle way. For a while, you’ll have to watch your cat’s tail wag back and forth to observe their rage subside.

  • When your cat crouches with her back arched, have you ever noticed how she gets fluffier, larger, and more intimidating? Even though you may think it’s sweet, that’s just your cat showing off its meow.

  • Another physical symptom of a cat’s rage is that its ears become more like airplane wings and are pressed firmly against the skull.

  • As part of their protective mode, they also do this when they are alarmed and perceive a threat.


It’s common knowledge that cats purr when they’re relaxed, content, or getting some attention from a person or object. However, it might also be another way for them to vent their frustration.


Some related questions are given below:

1 - Do cats forget about abuse?

In the long run, cats do not forget or forgive physical maltreatment, such as kicking or punching. As a result, trauma might stay with them for the rest of their lives. However, cats who have been abused can recover to normal if they are cared for and given a consistent schedule by a new owner.

2 - Is it possible for cats to forgive and forget?

Cats do not forgive, and if they sense that a person is giving them distress or pain, they will avoid them." Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet" author John Bradshaw, an anthrozoologist at Bristol University, writes.

3 - Can cats get mad at you?

Seeing your cat’s tail swing back and forth from side to side is one of the first subtle signals that she’s upset at you. As soon as you notice her tail quivering, stop what you’re doing and give her some space until she calms down.

4 - Do cats say sorry?

Research suggests that cats are more sophisticated and sensitive than previously thought. Perhaps not in the same sense that a person would apologize. It’s just that they do so in their manner.

5 - What’s the best way to deal with a cat that’s attacked you?

Because they are less likely to provoke fear and revenge, methods such as “hissing” or punishment equipment such as a water sprayer, compressed air can, or hand-carried alarm are preferable to physical methods.

6 - Do cats forgive?

Cats have a reputation for being forgiving creatures. If you yanked them from their perch, they might be angry at first, but they’ll soon forget their grudge and return to their routine of receiving neck massages.

7 - Can I hiss at my cat?

To be clear, you should never hiss at a cat. For your cat not to be intimidated by your hissing, you should not hiss at them. Because cats hiss to indicate discomfort, tension, or anxiety, and to avoid confrontation, it is best not to use hissing to reprimand them. Instead, employ more gentle methods.

8 - Can you hurt a cat’s feelings?

When your cat is cuddled up in your lap, yelling at the TV is a surefire way to make your cat uncomfortable. If they stand up and depart, don’t be shocked. Your cat may avoid spending time with you if you make too many loud noises, which suggests that you don’t always treat your cat respectfully.

9 - Why do cats bite your hand?

If a cat gets too much attention or is over-stimulated, it will snatch your hand and bite you. Likewise, owners should expect to be nipped by their pets’ hands if they rub susceptible areas of their bodies, such as bellies or paws.

10 - Do cats get jealous?

If you spend more time with another person or pet, your cat may become envious. To assert their dominance, they may try to squeeze in between you and your partner and hiss or growl, scratch, bite, or start urinating all over the home.


Does a cat keep a grudge, and if so, for how long? That question can only be answered by saying, “it depends.” Cats can show a grudge, although they may not have the same root causes as human grudges. Anxiety or fear is more likely to be the driving force behind cats that suddenly begin to shun their owners.

You should see a veterinarian if your cat’s behavioral symptoms continue or if any sickness symptoms accompany them. Cats don’t seem to keep grudges for lengthy periods. It would take a few hours for your kitties to return to you as loving and cuddly as they were when they left.

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