Cats are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet.
They are resilient, emotional, and will observe everything happening around them. This includes your behavior with them and how it makes them feel at that moment.
If a cat doesn’t trust you, this can lead to situations where the cat hides or continues to attack you in defense. Regardless of the situation, you are going to want to know how abuse affects cats. This includes asking, do cats remember abuse?
Cats do remember the abuse and will often go into a shell. This includes reacting to the smallest of sounds or movements depending on the type of abuse they faced. It can lead to significant psychological issues that take months to fix through therapy.
The impact of abuse on cats cannot be stressed enough. It can be life-changing for cats as their long-term memory is good. They will remember everything and how it made them feel.
This article will look at some of the reasons cats remember abuse and signs to look for with an abused cat.
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Reasons Cats Remember Abuse
1. Association With Pain or Discomfort
Do cats forgive abuse?
Cats will not forgive abuse easily and it can take months or years to heal them. They will constantly associate human touch or proximity with pain. This association takes a lot of time to work through depending on the cat’s age.
This is why associated pain is one of the main issues with an abused cat. They are not going to forget that feeling for a long time.
Cats will remember the trauma and are going to react to anything that makes them feel the same way.
This is why even other humans that adopt an abused cat will deal with similar aggression. It is going to take a time to work through it but there is no reason to give up. You can work through it with care.
Patience is key with any type of abused cat.
2. Triggers Survival Instinct
Cats will often initiate their survival instinct in situations such as these.
Cats will want to protect themselves and that is the same reason they remember the abuse. Cats will not want to get abused again and that means their protective shield goes up. This can include not wanting to be around humans.
It’s important to be relaxed around abused cats. It’s the only way to earn their trust.
A lot of cats will take weeks or months to open up and that’s fine. Don’t try to rush the process as patience will lead to far better results as time goes on.
Signs A Cat Is Abused
1. Constantly Hiding
A cat that is always hiding might be dealing with abuse from its past.
Cats don’t want to go near anything that will remind them of that abuse. This can include another pet inside the house that has been acting like a bully.
If it is a human then the same rule will apply. The cat is not going to want to go near that specific human and sometimes will give up on all humans.
It’s important to work with the cat and get it to relax. This will include keeping it in parts of the room that it is used to and comfortable in. This will help ease its nerves.
2. Severe Aggression Towards Humans
How does the abused cat react around humans?
If it is always aggressive and defensive then you will know it is likely not feeling safe around the humans.
A lot of cats will act defensively because they want to stay safe. This can lead to the cat lashing out with its paws and even biting depending on how close you get to it.
3. Refusing To Eat
Some cats will also refuse to eat.
This is due to anxiety and feeling like it will get ambushed when it is eating. For the same reason, a lot of cats find it hard to relieve themselves in the litter box.
If you have another pet, you will want to make sure both are separated. This is key with a case of one pet bullying the other.
You have to make sure they have separate litter boxes.
Do cats remember abuse?
Cats do remember the abuse and will look to avoid any situation similar to that one. This includes avoiding a specific pet or even humans depending on who was doing the bullying. This leads to the cat lashing out and going into hiding all the time.
Look to create a plan while working with an abused cat. It is not a lost cause nor should the cat be treated in such a way.
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