Do cats have a good memory?
Do cats have a good memory? Has it ever happened to you that you call your cat by name, and does not it react? Are you surprised that your cat is able to remember how to get back home, when you are sure he has feline friendships at certain distances from home? Memory or instinct?
Many times we believe that animals, even those that have been domesticated, are not able to remember the things that happen to them and learn from those situations, but when you have a pet at home the experience seems to prove otherwise. Do you want to know if your cat has a good memory? Keep reading this article!
How does feline memory work?
As with all other animals, and with humans, feline memory resides in a section of the brain. The brain of the cat occupies less than 1% of your body mass, but when it comes to memory, and also intelligence, the determinant is the number of neurons that are present in it.
In this way, a cat has three hundred million neurons. Do not you know what this means? So you can make a comparison, dogs have only one hundred and sixty million neurons, so biologically the capacity of retention of cats is higher than that of dogs.
Studies have shown that short-term memory of cats is around 16 hours, which allows them to remember recent events. However, for these events to pass into the long-term memory must necessarily be of some vital importance to the cat, to be able to make the selection and save that event as something that could be useful for the future. The exact mechanism through which this is still done today is unknown.
The memory of these home felines besides selective it is episodic, that is, they are able to remember the location of things, certain people, routines, positive or negative events, among many others, because they have already lived them, and according to the intensity of the sensations of those experiences is which store or not in the cerebral cortex all that information.
As with humans, various studies have shown that in many feline individuals, cognitive capacity, and therefore memories, deteriorate and lose when they reach old age, which translates into a condition called feline cognitive dysfunction, which affects cats from 12 years and older. Of course, not everyone suffers.
Does memory allow the cat to learn?
La observation and own experiences They are what allow the cat to learn everything he needs to live comfortably. How do you take advantage of the things observed and lived? Well, through memory, which selects what will be useful and allows you to react in the most appropriate way for your interests the next time the same situation occurs.
The memory of the cat works in this way both in the home and in the wild, since from small they watch their mother to learn everything they need. This process of learning through memory is linked to the sensations that the cat experienced during the experience, whether good or bad. In this way, he is able to react to stimuli related to the time of the meal, such as fleeing from those people or pets that have tried to harm him.
This system allows the cat Stay safe from possible dangers, while identifying its owner and remembering all that is positive that is able to associate with him, such as delicious food, love and hours of play.
What the cat learns has to do directly with the benefits that can be derived from this learning, if he considers that it will not serve him it is very likely to be eliminated with short-term memory. For this reason it is so difficult, in most homes, to avoid doing things like scratching specific sites, although you can teach a cat to use the scraper, it is not always possible to educate him.
How far is the cat’s memory able to reach?
There is not yet a study that has determined the maximum age of the memories that a cat can store, that is, how far back in the past it is possible for its memory to enter. Some research points to just three years, but anyone who has a cat can relate behaviors of this to situations that he lived much longer ago.
However, there is still no absolute opinion on this. What is certain is that not only are they able to remember situations that may be favorable or unfavorable, to know whether to repeat them or not and how to react to them, but they also store the identity of people and other pets (and sensations). that are accompanied by that experience lived with them), in addition to having spatial memory.
Thanks to this spatial memory is cat is able to learn the location very easily of the objects of the house, especially those that most interest you, such as your bed, your bowls and your sandbox, and notice when you add to the furniture any piece that was not there before.
Are you surprised that your cat jumps into bed a few minutes before you? A few days living with you is enough to memorize all your routine, so you know when you are going to leave, what time you wake up, when you can cuddle with you to sleep, and a long etcetera.
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