How Long Does a Cat Hold a Grudge? 4 Things You Need to Know

How Long Does a Cat Hold Grudges

Does a cat hold a grudge? Many cat owners would agree that once in a while, their pet cats would often act as if they’re harboring a deep grudge against them. You probably did something that made your cat angry like stepping on their tail or accidentally locking them in a room. It’s only natural to wonder: Do cats hold grudges? And if so, do cats forgive?

How Long Do Cats Hold Grudges?

The quick answer to this is no. Not really. Let’s break it down.

Research tells us that cats have a very short attention span. Their short-term memory is somewhere between 5 to 30 seconds. So there’s a huge chance that cats would easily forget that one time you accidentally shouted at them or lost their favorite toy.

This is not to say that bad behavior towards cats does not have any impact on them. Experts believe that cats’ long-term memory can last for years and possibly indefinite. This means that repeated abusive behavior deeply affects a cat’s personality.

However, in this sense, their instincts of self-preservation would kick in. Instead of holding a grudge, cats would more likely avoid situations that they deem dangerous. Abused cats can become fearful and apprehensive towards people, even after being rescued.

How long does a cat hold a grudge

A grudge is a sense of having deep resentment and bitterness brought out of anger, jealousy, or sadness. For the most part, cats are more driven by instinct than emotions. These deep emotions are particularly exclusive to human beings. For the most part, pet owners would sometimes assume that their pets, particularly dogs and cats, feel the same way as people.

While pets may feel strong emotions, it must be established that they do not share the same understanding, experience, and other intricate nuances as complex as that of human beings. So if you’re wondering, do cats hold a grudge, the answer would be not the same as a human would.

Ultimately, as pet owners, you have to be mindful of how well you treat your cats. We must understand that despite their suspiciously human actions, we must interpret this behavior not as cats harboring a grudge, but as cats simply acting like cats.

How to Apologize to a Cat?

How to Apologize to a Cat

Pet owners are more often driven by love. Despite knowing that cats aren’t human and most likely do not harbor ill feelings, at least not the same way as a human would, we still want to make amends to them. This is especially if we know for ourselves that we did something wrong to our beloved pet.

You would not be alone to wonder how to apologize to a cat. While we can’t truly tell what goes in a cat’s head whenever we’ve slighted them, most of us would naturally seek ways to show our regrets and properly apologize.

Apologizing to a cat, while quite unusual, can be a self-affirming practice that would allow us as pet owners to be mindful. While cats may not fully appreciate the societal value of an apology, the ceremonial practice would validate a pet owner’s resolve in doing better for their charge.

How to Apologize to a Cat

With that said, the question of do cats forgive can be settled by following the basic principles of asking for an apology.

First, you need to identify the offense you made as a mistake, be it forgetting to feed them or accidentally dropping them. Acknowledgment of the wrongdoing is a crucial step in fully resolving the problem at hand.

Next, make amends by offering something that you know your cat would enjoy: be it by cuddling them, speaking softly to them, or giving them special treats. The act of affection is the best way to communicate with cats that you are apologetic to them.

Do cats forgive? We can never truly tell, but you can bet that cats would be more agreeable if treated with respect and love.

How to Get a Cat to Like You: 4 Tips 

As someone who would wonder how long a cat holds a grudge or do cats forgive, you are understandably focused on wanting to have a fun, loving, and positive relationship with your cat. While cats may not be always affectionate or showy of their feelings, they remain a central focus in your life.

It is only natural that you want to find ways to get your cat to like you. To that end, here are four interesting ways to get your pet to like you:

Learn their body language

As a cat owner, you must be attentive to your cat’s body language. While all cats are unique, they may share the same body language with other cats when expressing their feelings. Relaxed ears and eyes may indicate that they are at ease. Cats lying down angled to show their bellies indicate that they feel safe. Extended and lying flat tails shows a happy cat.

On the other hand, flicking of ears, dilated eyes, arched backs, and rigid tail up can indicate alertness and feeling scared. As a cat owner, you must be attentive to this body language as it suggests danger. Your cat will like you if you know how to properly react to them when they feel particularly vulnerable.

Provide them with plenty of toys

Provide them with plenty of toys

Cats are like children. Toys can be highly useful tools to get your cat to like you. By knowing the right toy to purchase for your cat, you are one step closer to getting them to like you. Toys are important in stimulating your cat.

The best kinds of toys for your cat are those that allow them to engage with their instinct which is to chase, pounce, scratch, and climb. Toys like balls, toy mice, fishing poles, laser pointers, scratching posts, and cardboard boxes can be excellent toys for your cat.

Play with your cat

play with your cat

Of course, apart from giving cats their toys, you must also play with them. Many owners feel particularly fond of their pets during their first days. Later on, many eventually and playing with their cats cumbersome. As pet owners, you must try to find time to play with your cat.

Cats thrive with interaction with their owners. Playing with your cat enables them to engage more with their instinctive drives and solidifies the human-cat bond between you. Use the toys to help you with playing with your cat. Build a cat-friendly environment where you and your cat can play without damaging the surroundings.

Massage your cat

Massage your cat

Finally, if all else fails, massaging a cat can keep you in their good books.

Massaging your cat can make them feel relaxed and calm, especially after stressful times. Like us, cats can appreciate the physical touch to help alleviate aches that may manifest in the body. Massaging is a great bonding experience that can leave a lasting impact if done habitually.

To massage your cat, start with light stroking and petting. Cats usually enjoy soft, light touches along their body. Gentle motions can take away their anxiety. Use both hands when massaging cats. Keep the massage short around 5 minutes. Make sure that the cat is in the mood for a massage before even trying to touch them.


In the end, you must always do your best in knowing more about your cat. Asking questions of do cats hold a grudge, or do cats forgive, is a great indicator that you are interested in finding ways to care for your cat the best way you can. While it is easy to anthropomorphize them or to treat them with the assumption that they are humans, we must also be aware that these cats are animals driven mostly by instinct. Pay attention to your cat and do not stop equipping yourself with the knowledge that will assist you in caring for a healthy and well-rounded furry friend.

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