Do Cats Remember Their Mothers?

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

You’ll learn if the mother actually remember her kittens

Or what about if cats remember their siblings?

It’s something us cat parents are just curious about and would love to know

After all our cats are very mysterious animals and it’s not easy to get what they thinking about

So if you’re looking for these answers and just curious to know then you’re in the right place

Carry on reading to find out!

All cat owners are intrigued by their pets, which is probably why they adopt them in the first place.

Felines are undeniably cute, cuddly, and all-around great companions. 

Naturally, a domestic cat can have its own family in addition to you – its human family.

And while movies would have you believe that there isn’t much difference between the two, that’s not entirely accurate.

Even though cats have astounding memory, their relationship with their family is far from the tear-jerking surrealness animal videos on the internet would have you believe.

In fact, cats may not even remember their mothers after being separated from them for a while.

How Long Does It Take For a Mother Cat To Forget Her Kittens?

While it’s hard to imagine someone forgetting their parents, rest assured, the rules of the human world don’t apply to the animal kingdom.

And, judging your feline based on its memory lapse may not go down too well for you. 

To understand how everything works, you must remember that animals – no matter how domestic – have inherent fight or flight instincts.

Which is to say that much of their life revolves around staying fed and staying safe.

The ability to survive is what determines most of your feline’s behavior.

Think about it this way – if you already have a cat, you would think twice before you brought home another pet, right?

It’s not as if you’re afraid your cat developing a murderous streak (hopefully), but you’re more concerned about how your furball may treat the newcomer.

If anything, your cat may topple an expensive vase to get back at you and then sprint away as if it had nothing to do with it.

Well, that’s because your cat thinks you’re its safe haven.

Your home is its territory, where it is protected from any harm (and other animals).

Similarly, when kittens grow up being fed and groomed by a mother cat, they develop certain roles.

The mother is the protector, and thus, retains a more important position than its babies.

The concept is hierarchical and revolves around authority.

Because of it, if you separate a mother cat from its kittens – even after weeks of bonding time – they will forget most of it eventually. 

Before we carry on I just want to share this overload of cuteness of a momma cat hugging her kitten

You gotta check it out!

Truth be told, there is no set amount of time for kittens to forget their mothers.

If kittens are separated after they have completely weaned off, they won’t be too affected because they’re able to take care of themselves.

However, if the separation takes place before kittens are weaned, they will experience an obvious lack of comfort.

Their discomfort doesn’t have much to do with missing their parent, but rather, it’s related to being away from a scent that once kept them safe. 

But what about when cats cry after their family is taken away?

Technically, cats don’t cry because they’re missing their family.

Their discomfort may be related to other factors.

For starters, if you think the mother cat is depressed because it is always letting out melodramatic yowls, it’s probably because it is in heat.

In any case, this does not mean that cats are heartless.

Rather their brains are wired differently and so their behavior doesn’t seem ‘natural’ even when it is just that.

Do Cats Remember Their Siblings?

If cats are raised together without any separation period, they will recognize each other.

However, you shouldn’t expect long lost cat siblings to reunite after years of staying apart. 

Unlike most humans, cats know how to move on pretty fast.

And, in the rare case a cat ever comes across its biological siblings in the future, it may even turn hostile toward them.


Because there will be no established scent to arouse remembrance, the siblings will be as good as total strangers. 

Additionally, if either suspects the other as a threat to its territory, a noisy fight will most likely follow.

Let’s not forget that animal siblings have even been known to mate with each other.

So, it seems that cats take a lot more from Game of Thrones that their human owners would like!

Wrapping It Up

In retrospect, separating kittens from their mother doesn’t seem too evil.

However, that doesn’t mean the practice doesn’t have any side effects.

Ideally, cats should remain with their family – mainly the mother – until the babies have weaned off.

Early separation may result in the kittens getting sick as a result of not receiving essential nutrients through their mother’s milk. 


Moreover, there can be behavioral problems as young animals have a harder time adapting to new environments on their own. This can give way to underlying anxiety problems, which can seriously impede growth in the long run.


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