HOW DOES THE CAT’S MEMORY WORK?
How to explain that he does not answer to his name? That he can perfectly recognize his road even miles from his house?
The cat’s memory is located in a specific part of its brain. Neuronal availability plays a big role in the memorization process and in the ability to think and act.
The cat has 300 million neurons while the dog has only 160 million. His ability to remember is therefore better. In the short term, the cat is able to remember events within an average of sixteen hours. Long-term memory is formed only from information that is vital and useful for the survival of the animal.
THE MEMORY OF FELINS FOR LEARNING
From the first weeks of its life, the cat observes its mother. He already identifies certain situations that will serve him in the future.
This process allows him to:
recognize the danger,
learn to feed
trust people or animals who want him well.
The cat instinctively sorts in its memory the things with which it can benefit from and the others for which it will not be able to find particular interest.
THE MEMORY OF THE CAT OVER TIME
Researchers have great difficulty in estimating a cat’s memory capacity over time. Some studies and experiments indicate that the cat is able to memorize an event for about three years.
The greatest certainty about a cat’s memory is that it has a tremendous ability to remember spaces and its territory. This ability allows him to locate useful places such as the litter box, the resting area or even recognize his way.
HOW DOES FÉLINE MEMORY WORK?
Just like in other animals and humans, feline memory resides in one of the brain’s lobs. A cat’s brain takes up less than 1% of its body mass, but when it comes to memory and intelligence, it’s the number of neurons that make the difference.
THE MECHANISM OF FÉLINE MEMORY
Studies have reported that a cat’s short-term memory is around 16 hours. It allows him to remember what happened recently. However, in order for these events to pass into long-term memory, they must be of vital importance to the cat. He is thus able to sort and keep this information as being “useful for the future”. The exact mechanism by which this sorting is carried out remains unknown to this day.
The memory of this home-loving feline, in addition to being selective, is also episodic. That is, he is able to remember where things are, certain people, routine, positive and negative events etc.
He experiences them depending on the intensity of the sensations experienced during these experiences, whether or not they retain the memory in their cerebral cortex.
DOES THE CAT’S MEMORY ALLOW HIM TO LEARN?
Observation and proper experiences are those that will allow the cat to learn everything it needs to live properly. How does he benefit from these things observed and experienced? Through his memory which selects what will be useful to him and allows him to react in an appropriate way, in his best interest, and to reproduce it the next time a similar situation arises.
LEARNING FROM AN EARLY AGE
Cat memory works this way, for both homeowners and feral cats. Since childhood, he has been watching his mother to learn everything he needs. This process of learning through memory is linked to the sensations the cat feels during an experience, whether good or bad.
In this way, he will be able to react to stimuli that he will connect
to escape from certain things or certain people,
or facing other animals who might have tried to harm him.
This system allows the cat to stay safe and protect itself from possible dangers. At the same time, he will know how to recognize his masters and he will remember all the positive things related to them: moments of tenderness, good food and play.
What the cat learns is directly related to the benefits it can derive from this learning, if it considers that it will not be useful to it. It is very likely to eliminate it when sorting from short-term memory.
That’s why it’s so hard to get them to stop climbing the curtains, or scratching the wallpaper: because he considers it useful. While it is very possible to teach a cat to use a scratching post, sometimes it will be difficult to educate it.
WHAT IS THE CHAT’S MEMORY LIMIT OVER TIME?
No study has yet been published on the subject. It is not yet clear how far the cat is able to remember over time. As time goes by, his memory may become cloudy. Some research has mentioned the figure of 3 years. But some humans who own a cat notice that their cat adopts an attitude today in relation to a momentous event that they will have experienced years before.
However, today there is no certainty about this. The only thing that is certain is that he is able to remember situations that can serve him, either positively or negatively.
He knows if he has to:
start over or not,
react to these situations
keep in mind the identity of people and those of other animals around them.
What we can say is that he has spatial memory.
Thanks to this spatial memory, the cat is able to easily learn:
the place where the objects are in the house,
the way home,
the location of any other object he finds interesting and useful, such as his bed, litter box, toys.
Note that he will immediately notice the presence of any new object that was not there yesterday.
Always surprise you when your cat is getting ready for bed a few minutes before you do? Well, know that only a few days of living together by your side are enough for him to know when you plan to go out, get up, sleep…