How Long Do Cats Hold Grudges?

Cats hold grudges. They can keep track of many things in their short lives and use this ability to hold onto anger and resentment. 

Cats may not show this outward emotion often, but it can be very pronounced when they do. 

For example, if a cat is upset with you for leaving food out, she may refuse to eat from your plate for days. Or, if you mistake scratching her behind the ear, she may hiss at you or swat your hand away angrily.

Why do cats hold grudges?

There are many reasons why cats hold grudges. Some of the main reasons include:

  • Cats may hold a grudge when they feel that they have been wronged or treated unfairly.
  • Cats may hold a grudge when they are feeling threatened or afraid.
  • Cats may hold a grudge when they feel that someone is trying to take away their territory or food supply.
  • Cats may hold a grudge when they feel someone has humiliated them somehow.
  • Cats may hold a grudge because they simply enjoy causing pain and suffering to others.
  • Some cats naturally tend to be solitary creatures and resent anyone who tries to get too close, whether those people are family members, friends, or simply strangers.

How long do cats hold grudges?

When cats are faced with a situation in which they feel they have been wronged, it is not uncommon for them to hold onto that grievance for some time. This can range from a few minutes to days, weeks, or even months.

Generally, cats hold grudges for a median of 2 days. However, this may range depending on the severity of the offense, past experiences and the cat’s personality. Some cats may hold a grudge for much longer, while others may forgive quickly.

Factors influencing a cat’s tendency to hold grudges

When cats feel wronged, they may hold a grudge against the person or thing that has hurt them. This can manifest itself in various ways, from passive aggression (uttering resentful remarks without taking action) to outright hostility. 

Here are some of the factors that contribute to a cat’s propensity to hold a grudge:

The severity of the offense

When a cat experiences an offense, the severity of that offense can play a big role in how long that grudge lasts. 

Cats who experienced serious injuries or hurt their feelings were more likely to hold onto their resentment for longer than cats who experienced less severe offenses. 

A simple misunderstanding or accidental bump can result in a hostile reaction from a cat, while more serious offenses can lead to lasting resentment.

Cat’s personality 

Some cats are more prone to holding grudges than others. Those with a high reactivity (an inclination to react emotionally in response to frustrations and anger) and low thresholds for frustration (a tendency to tolerate frustrations longer than other cats) are particularly likely to hold a grudge.

Past experiences

Cats’ past experiences can also contribute to their propensity to hold a grudge. 

If mistreated or marginalized in their past, they might be more likely to react negatively toward other people or animals.

How to tell if your cat holds grudges toward you

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as cats are individuals and will hold grudges in different ways. However, some signs that your cat may hold resentment towards you include:

  1. Your cat avoids or avoids being near you whenever possible.
  2. Your cat hisses or growls at you when you come into the room.
  3. Your cat becomes increasingly hostile and aggressive when around other people or pets in the house.
  4. You notice that your cat spends more time hiding or sleeping outside the bedroom during sleepovers with you.
  5. Your cat becomes agitated and vocal when around people associated with the event or memory that caused the grudge – like family members, friends of the opposite sex, etc.

How does this affect the relationship between cats and their owner?

Many cat owners who have experienced a grudge say their relationship with their cat changes for the worse. They may feel excluded from their cat’s activities or become hypersensitive to their cat’s interaction with other cats. 

Some people even report that they avoid spending time near their cats out of fear that they will provoke an attack

Grudges among cats can also lead to territorial disputes, which can cause significant damage to both the owner’s property and the relationship between the cats themselves. 

In general, keeping an eye on your cat’s grudges is important to maintain a healthy relationship with them.

What to do when your cats hold grudges toward you

When your cats hold grudges against you, it can be difficult to know what to do. While some people may try to ignore their cats or hope the issue will resolve itself, others may attempt to make amends. 

Here are a few tips for dealing with grudges between cats:

  1. Be understanding and patient. It can be hard for cats to process resentment, so give them time and space to work through their feelings.
  2. If possible, try talking to your cat about why they’re upset. This can help them realize that their resentment is misplaced and may lead to a resolution.
  3. Offer your cat plenty of love and attention when they’re feeling angry or resentful towards you. This will help them feel appreciated and hopefully reduce any anger or resentment towards you in the future.
  4. If that doesn’t work, try offering them treats or toys to make them feel special and wanted.
  5. Finally, remain patient and understanding – your cat might not want to forgive you right away, but over time they might come around.

How to avoid developing grudges in your cat

Grudges are common in humans, but they can harm both ourselves and our pets. Grudges can cause tension and conflict, leading to negative feelings and violence. 

Here are some tips for avoiding developing grudges in your cat:

  1. Make sure you understand why your cat is behaving the way it does. If you can’t explain the behavior in a reasonable way, it’s likely that your cat is feeling frustrated or angry and may not be willing to cooperate.
  2. Avoid reacting emotionally to your cat’s behavior. This will only aggravate the situation and may cause your cat to stop cooperating altogether.
  3. Try not to take things personally. Even if you’re being treated unfairly, try not to take it personally.
  4. Be patient and understanding. It can take time for cats to communicate their feelings, so don’t expect an immediate response.
  5. Ask for help if you need it.


The length of time a cat holds a grudge is largely determined by the cat’s personality and the severity of the insult or hurt inflicted. The sooner the offense is addressed and made right, and the less likely a grudge will persist. 

But, if a grievance is left unresolved or ignored, it can build up over time until it becomes a full-blown resentment or hatred.

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