How Long Does A Cat Hold A Grudge – Cat Lovers Need This

By Last Updated: January 10th, 2023Categories: Pet Pedia

Cats are known for their independence. Having them as a pet can be pretty challenging because you need to work twice as hard to earn their trust and friendship. Yes! You need to form a relationship with your cat.

And like any other relationship, conflict may arise between you and your cat. For example, if you accidentally hit or scare them. They may become mad or irritated at you and show signs of hostility. Normally, the best way to get around it is to give your cat some space. But the question is: How long does a cat hold a grudge?

Surely, you can’t just let your cat be mad at you for a long time, right? But don’t worry, just read on and you will know the answer. We will also tell you the possible causes and signs your cat is mad at you and what you can do to regain their trust.

Part 1: What Are The Causes and Signs Your Cat Is Mad at You

Cats can be grumpy at times for no reason at all. So, before you conclude that your cat is mad or holding a grudge against you, you need to know first the possible causes and signs that they are.

Possible causes that can make your cat mad:

  • Too much petting – Your cat can only tolerate touching and handling for a small amount of time. Doing it so casually, especially when they are resting can cause exhaustion. With that, they might become aggressive and hostile towards you.

  • Accidental hitting – Nobody wants to be hit, including your cat, It can shock them and make them scared of you. They might become defensive or walk away from you for a short period of time.

  • Not cleaning your cat’s litter box – If you regularly clean their litter box, and you suddenly stopped doing it or you forgot, chances are your cat will be in a bad mood.

  • Not giving them food – Making sure your cat is fed is your job as an owner. If you ever forget to fill their bowl before you set out for work or school, your cat would probably feel neglected. Hence, they become aggressive when they get home because of hunger.

  • Stopped playing with your cat – When your cat becomes your friend, they’ll require your attention from time to time. If you are inconsistent with your cat’s playtime, they might feel sad or worse mad.

  • Not listening to their meows – Making sounds such as purring, growling, or meowing is your cat’s way of communicating. If you don’t pay attention to their cries for help, they may get angry at you for being irresponsible.

There are more causes that only you may be able to identify. If you ever see one, the next thing you need to do is find out if your cat is showing signs of anger toward you.

Signs your cat is holding a grudge against you:

  • Your cat doesn’t want to be touched

  • The cat is being aggressive specifically towards you.

  • The cat runs away or hides when you go approach.

  • You hear your cat growling or hissing when you get near it.

  • Your cat attacks you using its paws and claws.

If your cat exhibits the mentioned signs, it’s possible that it got upset with your recent actions. The best thing you can do is wait for your cat to approach your first. That way, you’d know they’re no longer mad. But how long should you wait?

Part 2: How Long Does A Cat Hold A Grudge

Now, if you are able to identify some of the causes and signs, it’s possible that your cat is really mad at you. But with all those reasons to hold a grudge against you, there’s nothing you should worry about. Studies suggest that cats are not really capable of feeling grudges. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have any feelings at all

Angry Cat

When you do something that doesn’t sit well with your cat, they may feel threatened, shocked, sad, neglected, etc. And with these feelings, your cat may exhibit some signs as if they’re mad at you. But if you are really worried that your cat is really holding a grudge at you, recent research suggests that memory retention ranges from four to 48 hours.

So, if your cat is upset, they’re likely to forget about it in a span of hours or in two days. However, cats have long-term memory, if you always treat them harshly or do something against them repeatedly, they’ll surely remember it and avoid you.

Part 3: How to Apologize to Your Angry Cat

In case you want to hasten the process to regain your cat’s trust, there are things that you can do. Well, you can wait for a day or two, but of course, you wouldn’t want your cat to stay upset that long, right? Below are the things you can try to win them back.

Method 1: Give Your Cat Some Treats

Like any other good pet, your cat can’t resist a treat, especially if it’s their favorite food. You can do this by calling your pet cat by its name. When you already have the cat’s attention, you can toss a treat near them. If they go and get the food, it’s a sign that they’re already calm and no longer upset.

Cat Treats

However, if your cat ignores the treat, you may need to wait a little more before giving them another one. The cat doesn’t want to be disturbed.

Method 2: Cuddle with Your Cat

If your cat approaches you first, engaging in physical touch is possible. It’s your chance to prove to your cat that you are trustworthy. So, let them sit on your chest or gently brush their hair. You can also cuddle with your cat. These actions can make your cat feel safe with you again.

Method 3: Talk to Your Cat Softly

In case your cat does something crazy like destroying some things in the house, avoid yelling at them. Just softly tell them that what they did was wrong. Cats can sense emotions, and they’ll know if you are upset with them.

And on days when you are angry about something at work or school, do not use your cat to vent out your frustrations. Don’t shout at them even for the slightest mistakes.


How long does a cat hold a grudge? Well, cats don’t hold a grudge in the first place. However, if you did something wrong against them, you may need to distance yourself. Give them space until they are ready to come near you.

But surely, they’ll feel sad or traumatized if you are treating them badly. So, take good care of your cat. When they become your trusted pets, they can take away your stress and even help you guard your home against pests like rats.


If the cats are new pets of yours, they’re likely to remember you for hours to two days. However, if they’ve known you for years, they’ll likely remember you longer.

Since cats don’t hold a grudge toward their owner, you can consider them forgiving pets. They may avoid or get aggressive when you are around, but give it a few hours and they’ll approach you first.