Do Cats Remember Abuse?

In this article you’re going to learn if cats remember abuse

You’ll learn what is considered cat abuse and how to tell if your cat is traumatized

Most importantly you’ll learn how you can help your cat that has been abused

So if you want to help your cat become a cuddle bug and a happy cat then you’re going to love this article

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

It’s a cruel world when you hear about stories of cats being abused

As a cat parent and a cat lover it can make our blood boil knowing this happens in this day and age!

When a cat gets abused it can cause a lot of problems

One question cat parents tend to ask is

Do cats remember abuse?

Do Cats Remember Their Past Of Being Abused?

According to Sam Westreich, PhD cats don’t have the emotional depth to hold a grudge

But if they have had a hard past in where they have been abused then this trauma can have a long lasting memory

And because of that – it leads to cats being scared and not wanting to be touched which can be interpreted as emotional resentment

Cats do have long memories

So if you have adopted a cat or a kitten from a rescue centre then it is possible that your cat may have had a bad past

You know what the good news is though?

You’ve saved your furbaby and now you have the opportunity to give your kitty the best life possible!

But first let’s look at how you can tell if your cat has been traumatized

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Traumatized?

It can be difficult to spot if your cat is traumatized or just scared

But according to Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

She says a cat that has been traumatized can develop fear and anxiety disorders

So your cat may flee a situation when they are frightened

If your cat does run away from you then have a read of my article – Why does my cat run away from me for some great tips on how to get your cat to stay with you 

Your cat may become aggressive when interacted or if you try to remove him/her from their hiding spot

Your cat may just freeze and not move by becoming still

Your cat just wants to hide and not come out

Trauma can also be shown in your cat by

Shaking, hiding, urinating or defecation when they are being interacted with

Howling, pacing, panting and excessive vocalization

These are all emotional signs

Some of the physical signs you may see in a cat that has been abused are

  • Untreated injuries
  • Parasites such as fleas, ticks, worms
  • Skinny
  • Skin conditions
  • Unkept coat

As you can see how bad a cat can suffer after they have been abused

It’s not fair at all

But you can change this and bring your cat back to being a cat

A cat that can trust you and love you

Let’s look at ways how you can help your cat that has been abused

How Do You Help a Cat That Has Been Abused?

Let me tell you about my cat quickly before we move on so you get an idea on how rewarding this stuff is

My cat was not abused

But did suffer a very bad accident with the previous owner and that did leave him traumatized

So when I first got him

He was very scared and would always hide

He just did not want come near us

But with time and patience he now loves to sit on my lap and just snooze away

So the first thing you need to remember when helping out a cat that has been traumatized is you need to have patience


Yes you’re going to need to have a lot of patience

Don’t expect your cat to become a cuddle bug overnight

It doesn’t work like that unfortunately

It will take time

But trust me

Once you get to that point where your cat just wants to cuddle with you

It’s going to be worth it

Shower Your Cat With Love And Affection 

Your cat needs your love and affection the most

If your cat has been abused then they’ve probably never felt love

You’re going to have to show your cat unconditional love

Even if that means your cat never lets you pet him/her

Or you can’t pick him/her up

It will come with time

But during that period you still gotta show love

Yes, you so want to give your baby a hug

That will come with time

But in the meantime carry on telling your cat you love him/her

Speak in a soft voice and show him/her that you love him/her

You can actually read my article where I talk about this

Click the link below

How do you tell your cat you love them 

Take Care Of Your Cats Physical Well-Being 

If your cat shows any signs of injury then you should get it treated

If your cat is skinny then make sure to feed him/her with the highest quality of food that has plenty of nutrients

Don’t Be Too Pushy 

Try not to rush your cat to coming out of hiding

Or force your cat to let you pet him/her

This will take time as I mentioned earlier – patience is very important

If you rush these things – chances are your cat will get more scared of you and this whole process of making your cat a cuddle bug will just take longer

Don’t do any sudden movements near your cat

Be gentle and quiet when you move around your cat

Spend Time With Your Furbaby 

Stay with your cat as much as you can so he/she gets used to your presence

Don’t just stand around

It’s best to stay grounded at the same level as this will show you’re not any danger to your cat

Speak to your cat softly

You could even read a childrens book as this will get your cat used to your voice

The more time you spend with your cat the more used to your cat will be being around you


My word, cats love treats

My cat would do anything for treats and he’s so clever because he knows exactly how to get one

He’ll meow and purr at the same time

And then he’ll squint his eyes at me

I mean, how can I say no to that!

First offer your cat food and water

Make sure it’s always available

Most likely, your cat will not take the treats as he/she is scared so the treats will be ignored

As time goes on and your cat starts to recognize you as the hooman giving food

He/she will start to take the treats and when this happens it’s a big step because treats will definitely make you popular!

Give Your Cat Space 

What do I mean by this

Once your little kitty gets used to being around you

You can start to let your cat move around the house

Ideally you should try to set up one room that’s just for your cat

And make sure to have everything there

Catify the room

Get a cat tree (cats love cat trees!)

Scratching posts

A variety of toys

And let your cat feel home

This is once your cat is used to you

Check out my article to find some awesome cat trees that are really affordable

Best affordable cat trees 

Here’s some awesome fun things to do with your cat once they’ve settled

Fun things to do with your cat 

Emotional Connection

I think the most important thing when it comes to building a relationship with your cat is the emotional connection

It’s just overlooked

Yes, we can spend time with our cats

Play with them and give them the best of toys

Provide high quality foods

These are all important – but the emotional connection you build with your cat is truly amazing

To do this you need to understand your cat 

Their body language

Their vocals and meowing and what it means

The more you understand your cat the better you can build that emotional connection and be the best cat parent

Did you know that you can actually have a conversation with your cat

I mean in a way they can understand

Have a read of my article

Do cats understand words  You’ll be surprised at how clever cats are!

Wrapping Up

Cats do remember abuse and it can have a long term affect on them

Especially when it comes to being a new home and environment and socially interacting with human beings

But that doesn’t mean it’s the end all


Because you’ve decided to adopt a cat from a rescue center

And that’s where you can help your cat that may have been abused become a fun loving pet

Will it take time?

Of course

Will you need patience?

Most definitely

Can it be difficult?

It sure can

But you know what?

It’s definitely worth it 

When after a long time and all your hard work on your cat pays off and he/she wants to cuddle with you

You’ll forget about the long road that it took to get your cat to sit on your lap and be a cuddle bug

It’s so rewarding and will be so worth it


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