How Long Does A Cat Hold A Grudge? Everything You Need to Know

How long does a cat hold a grudge? Cats provide fantastic meme fodder because of their bizarre and amusing facial expressions. Don’t we all like it when a cat becomes irritable? After all, it’s charming, which is why we purposefully set it off. When your cat becomes agitated, you may be concerned about how long it will take her to return to her peaceful, serene, and normal condition.

This article will tell you how long cats stay mad at you and what to do about it. But first, let’s learn more about cats’ attitudes. There’s a lot to discover out there! 

What Does Holding a Grudge Mean?

Holding a grudge is feeling a sense of anger, bitterness, or resentment towards someone for something they’ve done, especially something you think they’ve done against you. When a negative feeling such as envy, sorrow, or fear is sensed, it is triggered by a desire for vengeance. It’s also a sensation that normally lasts for a long period.

So, when we refer to grudge, we usually refer to deeply ingrained emotional resentment. However, this is typical human behavior. In cats, a traumatic experience may cause them to avoid something or someone, but it is not out of anger or resentment. Indeed, one cannot justify this behavior by resentment because it would be anthropomorphism—attributing human traits to non-human entities. However, cats can retain memories of events that had a great emotional impact on them.

How Long Do Cats Hold Grudges?

How long does a cat hold a grudge

Kittens are infamous for having short memories,” researchers say. In other words, kittens may lack the ability to carry a grudge because they forget things quickly. According to University of Michigan studies, a cat’s memory may endure up to 16 hours. Cats are incapable of holding grudges, yet they may experience other feelings, such as happiness or sadness. If you observe that a cat is acting strangely, pay attention to its activities. When some cats are sad, they prefer to sit alone. Such behavior doesn’t mean the cats resent you, so let them play or sit alone. They will return to their regular activities when some time has passed.

The Memory of a Cat

Cats, like humans, have two forms of memory.

  • Working memory
  • Long-term memory.

Working memory

Working memory refers to how much information a person can recall at any given moment. As evidenced by several studies, working memory is not a strong suit for cats. In such tests, cats are offered a toy and asked to choose it from various toys.

A cat will most likely forget which toy it was shown if there is a delay of more than 30 seconds between the picking procedure and the showing of the cat toy. In this case, most cats cannot recall the toy, demonstrating that cats lack a decent working memory.

Long Term Memory

Long-term memory refers to the capacity to recall experiences and information from the past. When it comes to cats and long-term memory, research is mixed. Most online searches will tell you that cats have a 16-hour long-term memory, although this is based on controversial research from 1964. In recent investigations, cats’ memory lasted for four hours to two days. That is a large range, demonstrating that different elements are at play for a cat’s long-term memory.

Furthermore, a cat’s long-term memory varies greatly depending on the breed, age, and environment.

Are Strange Behaviors Normal?

Moodiness, finickiness, and independence—are the characteristics many automatically associate with cats. Unfortunately, this leads many cat owners to believe that behaviors such as aggression, withdrawal, litter box avoidance, and urination problems are normal. If you believe your cat is spiteful and the behaviors mentioned above are simply catted quirkiness, you may be mistaken! These problematic behaviors can be signs of an anxiety disorder that is making your pet suffer unnecessarily. If treatment is delayed for anxiety, the compounded stress can lead to aggression. You could even expect an increased skin condition risk, digestive issues, and heart and digestive problems.

How can you tell if a cat is mad at its owner?

How long does a cat hold a grudge? While cats may be reluctant to be around their owner via several different signs and cues, it would probably be incorrect to chalk those signs up to the cat being “mad.” Is your cat really mad at you for grabbing him awkwardly as he was about to escape the front door, or is he simply steering clear of you to avoid another uncomfortable interaction? 

Signs that your cat may be avoiding you include: 

  • Walking away or leaving the room when you approach
  • Hide behind the bed or other pieces of furniture
  • Growling when you approach
  • Avoiding petting or affection
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Holding the ears back against the head
  • Refusing to eat
  • Twitching the end of the tail

While these signs don’t necessarily indicate anger, they indicate a negative emotional state. If you have had a negative interaction with your cat, these signs could indicate that your cat does not feel comfortable in your presence. Owners often attribute feelings of anger or spite to cats that urinate on their clothing or belongings. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that these actions indicate malice. Urinating outside the litter box can have several different medical or behavioral causes, and this urination can occur on various surfaces. Even when a cat’s inappropriate urination is behavioral, it’s more likely to be caused by anxiety than anger.

How To Read Your Cat’s Body Language?

How long does a cat hold a grudge

How long does a cat hold a grudge? If your cat seems angry or annoyed with you, he may leave the area you are in or sit and look at you from across the room, just observing your movements. Sometimes it’s best to give your cat some room to calm down, especially if something is stressing him out.

Your Cat Is Stressed

A worried or terrified cat will hide because its nature is to escape unpleasant or novel surroundings. If he cannot conceal himself, his body language will speak for itself.


Its back is arched, and its hairs are raised. He tries to appear “bigger” to intimidate his potential enemy.


His hair appears fluffier, and it is constantly moving.


His pupils are dilated.


Cats that are stressed may urinate and defecate outside the litter box. They can walk with their backs flattened and their ears, heads, and tails down.

Your Cat Is Angry

Cats’ fury and violence are often overlooked until it’s too late, and the cat has already scratched or bitten someone. Cats may have short tempers, and their rage can flare up rapidly when they’re anxious or terrified, yet they show symptoms of their distress:


His whole body is stiff and immovable; an assault is about to happen.


The tail is either arrow-straight or continually moving.


The look is fierce and focused.


The ears have been pushed backward.


The cat hisses and growls, its ears are completely flattened, and its nonexistent brow appears to frown.

Leave your cat alone and exit the room if you notice these signs. Your cat needs to calm down, and he is very good at doing it independently, without you adding to his anxiety. Indeed, your animal uses its body language to express to you very clearly that it is about to bite and scratch. However, if your cat regularly shows these signs of aggression, fear, and anxiety, he may be hiding some disease. Therefore, you should contact your veterinarian so that he can detect any issues underlying this abnormal behavior.

Are Pet Anxiety Disorders Common?

Nearly 60 percent of pet owners relate to having one pet experiencing anxiety issues, while 40 percent say they have more than one pet with anxiety problems. This would suggest that anxiety issues with pets exist and are quite common.

What to Do?

There are always appropriate training methods to change or curtail unwanted behaviors. Still, you should check with your veterinarian for the newest ways to help your pet overcome these anxiety disorders.

Conclusion: How long does a cat hold a grudge?

How long does a cat hold a grudge? Generally, cats don’t hold grudges for long. It would take your cats a few hours to return, all-loving and affectionate to you. However, cats remember what they associate with negative emotions as traumatic events, especially if they keep reoccurring.

The more a negative incident reoccurs, the more traumatic it gets for your cat and the longer she takes to forgive you.


Do cats get over grudges?
Cats do not bear grudges as humans do since they do not share the same emotional range. On the other hand, Cats link particular acts and behaviors with both negative and happy occurrences.
Do cats forgive their owners?
Cats don’t keep grudges and forgive and forget little mishaps easily. They desire to forgive human sins as much as anything else out of self-preservation. Provide a welcome, comfortable atmosphere for your cat to make this simpler.
Do dogs hold grudges?
Dogs have no resentment. They only seem to do so when the people around them respond adversely since we’re teaching our dogs to do the same. So don’t be concerned the next time you need to punish or scold your dog. She won’t hold it against you.
Can dogs be mad at you?
While dogs might be bothered by situations, they do not get engaged in the same manner that humans can. According to Healthy Psych, anger is what psychologists refer to as a secondary emotion, which is a human reaction to basic emotions like fear and sorrow.

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