How Long Will A Cat Hold A Grudge?

Cat Holding Grudge

The funny and sometimes weird facial expressions of cats make some of the best memes out there. Who doesn’t know or like that famous grumpy cat meme for example?

A grumpy cat is usually cuter than it might want to be, which is why a lot of people will trigger it intentionally.

Even though it might be funny to watch your cat get mad, you might wonder how long it will take her to forget it and return to her natural, serene, and calm state.

This article should give you a pretty good understanding of how long a cat will stay mad at you and what you can do to make her love you again as soon as possible. You will also learn everything I know about different cat attitudes so I consider this a pretty interesting read.

How Long Will Cats Hold a Grudge?

When it comes to how long it will take for a cat to move past its anger, age is one of the most important factors. This is easily understandable, considering that kittens usually have a very short memory span compared to adult cats. This means that they won’t be able to hold a grudge either.

You might also like my articles on whether cats can have purple eyes, why they get black boogers, and whether you should cut their whiskers.

A cat will have a memory span of around 16 hours, as opposed to dogs, who can only remember things for around five minutes. This will also mean that a cat will be able to stay grumpy for around 16 hours, depending on the event. Usually, if the reason behind it getting mad was something small in importance, your cat will surely forget and forgive you in just a few hours.

It might take a few days for the same cat to become loving and cuddly again if the event is traumatic enough.

Going through a traumatic incident like someone stepping strongly on their tail or paws might be something that your cat will have a hard time forgetting.

You might think that a cat will hold a grudge and be grumpy just like a human does, but it’s usually quite different.

Cats Remember Traumatic Events

A cat will usually be avoidant towards you as a way of protecting itself from other traumatic events. Although their will usually forget events pretty quickly, they’re likely to remember something that was traumatizing and will become anxious around a stress factor.

Cats, like most animals, will associate you, along with other people and objects, with different experiences, either negative or positive. This will make them act accordingly, depending on their previous interactions with you.

Small Events That A Cat May Forgive Within a Day

Keep in mind that cats are still animals, which makes them pretty unpredictable. They also have a hard time expressing their emotions through words. You will never be able to know exactly how much it would take your cat to stop being mad and forgive you.

Cats are also not all the same. This means that different cats will need different amounts of time to forgive you.

There are some things that your cat might forgive easier than others, like:

Hitting Her Unintentionally

If you hit your cat just once out of clumsiness, she will usually forget all about this even in under a day. This happening just one time will make your cat understand it was a one-time event and that you aren’t a real threat to her safety.

Lifting her up

Although you might want to hold the cat close to your heart, some cats actually hate being lifted up, especially if they aren’t prepared. They might even get scared.

If your cat will try to fight you when you try to lift her, maybe you should leave her be. If you insist, she might avoid you for a while, but won’t usually take too long to tolerate you again.

However, if your cat experienced an abusive behavior and associated it with being lifted up, she may take longer to tolerate you.

Forced and Undesired Attention

You might find comfort in cuddling with and petting your cat, even when she might not want it, but this might actually stress out the pet and trigger her anger.

You have to also consider the cat’s feelings and need for space and time. This means that if the pet is avoiding you, maybe she needs her own space, so the best idea would be to give it to her.

This shouldn’t mean that you have to completely ignore her either. Although showing her too much attention might make her mad, it shouldn’t take her more than a day to forget the event.

Other Things

Forcefully waking up the pet or not letting her sleep when she is exhausted might make her mad at you, but this won’t take more than a day to pass. Even though cats forget these events easily, you should still respect your pet’s need for sleep.

Touching her sensitive spots, like the paw pads or belly, will also cause your cat discomfort, which will easily get to anger. This anger will usually pass in less than a day.

Bad Things Your Cat Won’t Easily Forgive You For

If you aren’t new to the cat and you have a strong connection to her, then you will really have to do something horrible for the cat to need more than a day to forgive you. It would usually require repeated abuse behavior or traumatic events for this to happen.

Recurring Abuse 

Your cat will avoid you for a long time if you abuse her regularly in any way. A lot of things might be triggering for your cat (like a louder voice or even a clap) if she associates those things with negative emotions or abusive behavior.

Stepping hard on Her Tail

A cat will have a hard time tolerating you for a few days if you step on her tail hard enough to hurt her. Even if the animal will understand that it was an accident, the pain will make her feel threatened enough to avoid you and you might even be associated with negative feelings until she feels better.

The only thing you can do is to be gentle with her and give her enough space to heal. Some trees might also help you get on her better side.

Punishing Your Cat

Even though it might seem normal for you to punish your cat for bad behavior, she might not see things as you do and might even classify the event as abuse, which would take her days to get over.

Punishment doesn’t necessarily mean physical abuse. Even if you clap or raise your voice, your cat might feel abused and try to avoid you in the coming days.

Common Signs That Your Cat Is Still Angry

Below you will find a few of the common signs that your cat might still be angry at you:

They Leave a Mess All-Around

Very Angry CatA strong way of showing just how angry they are is for the cat to start pooping or peeing all around your clean clothes, on your bed, pillows, or other places you try to keep clean and healthy.

This is somewhat of a last resort so won’t happen very often, unless you really keep your cat angry more than you should.

The Popular Angry Look

The very common sharp look a cat gives when she is angry is one of the easiest signs to spot.

You surely know the funny look of an annoyed cat even if you’re not much of an animal lover. The internet is full of pictures of the popular look.

Changes in Eating Behavior

Another very popular way for a cat to show you she still doesn’t like you is by rejecting the food you give her, even if it’s her favorite meal.

They’re Avoiding You

This is the easiest way of knowing that something is off. When your cat starts avoiding you, you should understand that she is still pretty mad at you.

A cat can hide behind or under furniture or even leave the room when you come in or might ignore you when you call for her.

This is something that should alarm you only if you don’t have a cat that is already ignoring you. Some cats just like to keep to themselves, so they’ll avoid you regardless of their state.

Subtle Signs

There are also some very subtle signs that a cat might still be mad. These are usually related to their physical appearance.

A very subtle sign but one that long-time cat owners will immediately spot is the twitch of the end of the tail. Your cat will wag its tail quite a lot before the anger will finally fade.

A cat with an arched back, bigger and fluffier fur, and an intimidating attitude will usually be quite angry. This might seem funny to you, but in your cat’s mind, it is just showing you who is the boss.

The ears are also something to look at, because when they are angry or feel threatened, they will put them flat to the head, just like airplane wings.

Final Words

What you should get out of this article is that most of the time cats won’t hold too long to grudges. It will usually take your cat just a few hours to forget everything and come back to you.

It will take your cat a really traumatic experience or repeated abuse to stay angry at you for a longer period of time.

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