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Probably a silly question---about a cat's memory...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Question for ya:

My Emma, who's a year old as of May 1st...her invented birthday of course, was a stray before I adopted her on march 1st.

The vet who examined her upon her arrival at the shelter was 99% positive she had recently had kittens. Since she was found in an alley huddled under garbage, and no one claimed her at the shelter, no one knows what happened to the kittens--something I often wonder about.

Do you think she remembers having kittens? Wonders where they are? Or is this just be being a "crazy cat lady?"

I'd hate to think she misses them...

But, she's reasonably well adjusted considering her difficult past--I call her my little street urchin
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Anybody have any ideas?
post #3 of 5
Well, Nano is also a rescued cat and I'm sure she carries memories of her days on the streets. She had been spayed at some point, but it is possible she is a mamacat and has kittens somewhere that might have been adopted or still might be out there.

She is acclimating to her life with me, and most of her actions are centered around how things work in my household, but she still has instinctual reactions to certain noises or incidents that are a holdover from her earlier days. Did she have multiple owners? For instance, she has a big reaction whenever I open up wet cat food so is it her nose just sensing the smell or did she have a previous owner who extensively fed her wet food?

And she certainly carries herself like an alpha cat, and she definitely has hunting skills, so if she wasn't a mamacat then she would have made a good one. She has a certain cleverness and a strong will to survive -- whether that is the result of being a mother or just time spent on the street, who knows?

As for whether she actually misses her past, I can't really detect any signs on a day-to-day basis. She craved going outside during her first month or two with me, but excursions were to use the bathroom and to catch a mouse and eat some grass, then she was wanting back inside in a mere 1-2 hours.

So I think a cat does carry their memories with them...but they are probably more concerned about their daily life and what learned skills they can apply towards today's obstacles. I've never got the sense that Nano is sitting around remembering her own mother and her previous owners and all the other cats she might have known in her life. But if there was a new cat that resembled a past friend, she might tend to be comfortable; if there was a new cat that resembled a past foe, she might tend to act more hostile. Just things like that.
post #4 of 5
I dont think it would be beneficial for cats to miss their litters in the wild. Kitten mortality rate is very high plus they would eventually leave the mama to start new lives possibly in new colonies.

the female cats would need to be able to let go to some extent in order to be able to raise subsequent litters.

i think in the wild there would still be a bond between them but i dont think they would activly miss their kittens any more than they would miss any other cat they had grown close too.
post #5 of 5
Cats actually have great memories but I am not certain whether they recall specific details as much as where the food is or what the vet's office was like. She is probably happy not to have to worry about kittens any more.
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