It is common for cat owners to associate human reactions to the feline friend. It is only natural to ask whether a cat is holding a grudge against one if the owner somehow hurt it.
You need to understand the fact that every cat is different and has a different reaction to everything. Some cats are playful and more loving, while other cats are more conserved about their feelings.
So, it is difficult to answer the question with certainty. But it is safe to say that the cat will forgive you if it was a sudden mishap. Cats have long memories when there is constant abuse in their household.
In this article, we will understand how you can say whether the cat is upset and how to regain trust.
Will my cat forgive me for hitting her?
It is common to believe that cats hold grudges against anyone who defies it or has hurt it somehow. Cats can even tear one of the cushions or spray on the bed.
But you should know that cats do not take vengeance in that way, and it does not mean that the cat is angry at you.
So, we can confirm that one bad experience does not result in a grudge. The cat will easily forgive the owner after a treat and a little love.
However, cats do remember if there was abuse in the household. Cats have strong survival instincts, and these instincts force them to recollect abuse for a long time.
Cats will avoid being in the same situation ever. So, it may happen that it will avoid going near the owner.
For example, outdoor remember to avoid the areas where the cats are aggressive towards it, avoiding going into that neighborhood.
It is an act of self-preservation. The same situation happens with a human if the cat considers its owner to be a threat. If a cat avoids its owner, it doesn’t mean that the cat is holding a grudge. It means that the cat is afraid of one.
It is crucial to understand whether the cat is angry at its owner. Cats show these behavioral traits if it is upset –
- Avoiding one completely
- Swishing tail while keeping it low
- Hissing whenever one is around
- Ears held low and flat against the head.
- Swiping with paws
- Staring at one with dilated pupil
If one sees the cat showing any of these behaviors, give it a little space then. One can apologize to it later as it will only exacerbate the situation if one approaches the cat.
How do you apologize to a cat?
The first step in apologizing to your cat is to wait for it to come to its owner. Give it enough space so that it could understand that the cat has the freedom it wants.
Give treats to your feline friend regularly, and scatter some surprise treats to show that one is apologizing for the harm.
The anxiety caused by the painful memory will dominate the cat’s mood and behavior until it finds peace.
One should get by with the daily chores and verbalize to the cat. Cats can recognize its owner’s voice clearly, and it will respond to the calls when it is calm.
When the cat approaches you, acknowledge it in a calm and friendly manner. Modulate your voice to make it sound more caring. A little high-pitched voice should do the trick in this case.
Cats recognize its owner’s voice quite well, and it will respond to it when it feels safe. When the cat is ready for you to make amends, do these three things to make it happy again –
- Pet the cat where it likes to stay the most
- Give its favorite treat as it comes near.
- Give him the attention it needs
If the cat is still not responding to your calls and behaves in an agitated manner around its owner, it does not mean that the cat is holding a grudge.
It indicates that one is performing an act that is making the cat angry repeatedly. The cat was probably upset because of some harm in the past.
But now it is a cycle of new anger. It is also possible that the cat is responding to a threatening object in the environment. So, maintain a calm and playful surrounding in the following way –
- Stick to the same routine
- Calming fragrance in the house
- Accompany it and play with it
- Rotate the toys
- Give the cat space when it needs to be alone.
If one is unable to reform the relationship with the chat, consider going to a behaviorist. If the cat suffers from chronic anxiety, a bit of expert advice should help in dealing with the problem.
The cat should be happy and well-behaved after a few meetings, and it will move past the previous trauma.
Make a harmonious relationship with the cat. Provide a caring and understanding environment for the cat. One should remember that cats do not hold grudges.
It wants to be a pet as much as one wants to reform the damaged relationship. A little care and attention should help it to get past the trauma.
Rebuilding a relationship with an abused cat is tough, as they have lost the trust entirely. One needs to be patient with it and give it as long as it needs.
If one treats a cat well and follows a strict routine, it may surely forgive you. But it will take a long time to regain trust.
Being aggressive towards a cat should not be how one deals with a problem, and it never leads to something good. Therefore, refrain from hitting an animal if it misbehaves.
Reconstructing the relationship is possible. If one has harmed the cat by mistake or an off-incident, then follow the simple steps to remedy the situation.
Do Cats Hold Grudges?
Cats are not known to hold grudges for two simple reasons. Holding resentment is a complex psychological process that cats are not capable of having. Their minds are not as developed as the humans, making them incapable of holding such thoughts.
The second factor is their inability to keep memories for a longer duration of time. Scientists could not pinpoint the exact number of hours, but many adult cats cannot only hold a memory for more than 16 hours. This amount of time is even less for kittens as their attention span changes very rapidly.
For these two reasons, we can say that cats do not hold grudges.
How Long Can A Cat Hold A Grudge?
As we have said previously, cats are not capable of holding a grudge. If you have accidentally hurt your cat somehow, it is fair to say they will be afraid of you. They might act differently because of fear, not because of holding a grudge.
If you wonder how long they can hold that fear, it might be 16 hours or more. They can even be afraid after a few days of the accidents. You have to give enough space to the cat to heal itself and come to you.
Being patient with your cat is probably the best and hardest thing to do. But it is surely the only way you can mitigate the problem.
Will A Cat Remember If You Hit Them?
First of all, hitting your cat should not ever be the way out of a problem. You have to be patient and loving towards your cat. A small number of treats and a lot of love can help you mend your cat’s relationship. However, cats do not remember certain things after 16 hours.
However, repeated abuse in the household can have a strong effect on the cat’s mental health. Cats have a strong survival instinct, and if they sense a severe threat, cats would most likely stay away from you.
Do Cats Remember If You Accidentally Hurt Them?
Cats cannot separate deliberate hurt from accidental hurt. Hurting a cat in any manner would make them fearful of you. All you need is a few treats and lots of love.
After giving the cat enough time to adjust to its surroundings, you can offer treats and showers with as much love as possible. In no time, it would be a thing of the past.
- Learn how to keep cats off outdoor furniture from this guide
- The reason why your cat scratch the wall & how can you avoid it
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.