Do Cats Forgive Abuse? What You Need To Know…

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cat looking sober

We’re going to explore the fascinating psychological and emotional mechanisms that govern animal behavior, and hopefully answer this age-old question of “do cats forgive abuse or do they hold a grudge” once and for all.

In order to better understand the emotional lives of our feline friends, we need to delve into what they can actually feel. As anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows, feeling hurt is a powerful motivator in determining whether or not someone will forgive someone they feel wronged them.

Cats are no exception when it comes to emotions: they have many of the same hormones in their brains as humans do, which means they must also have feelings like love and hate.

Do cats forgive abuse or do they hold a grudge?

One of the first things that we teach our children is to forgive others for their mistakes. Forgiveness is an important virtue in life. When someone harms us, we seek out the one person who can bring the hurt to an end through forgiveness.

But animals don’t seek out forgiveness from someone they feel has wronged them, they actively try to isolate themselves from other people. The cat is a solitary hunter, which means their social life is based on avoiding other cats or hunting alone.

Adopting pets can take a lot of time and energy – but adopting an adult animal gives you years of companionship in exchange for little reward or investment (unless you have room for multiple cats). Take a look at our guides to the best adult cat breeds to make sure your new cat will fit into your life.

Related Article: Why Does My Cat Bury Its Head In My Hand?

Adopting Adult Cats From A Shelter: Benefits And Tips To Consider

We know that cats are terrible about returning affection – we have all tried to pet one and had them hiss or run away. But they do have the capacity to love deeply, it just comes with a lot of patience and understanding so as to be able to tell if cats do forgive abuse or not. Cats won’t forgive us for treating them badly, but they will forget with time if we are nice to them.

If you decide that you want to adopt a cat, then you should consider adopting an adult cat. Here are the benefits to adopting an adult cat.

  1. Adopting an adult cat means that you get someone who is already potty trained, fully grown and familiar with their environment.
  2. You can choose the one that fits your lifestyle best.
  3. Adult cats are often more relaxed around people than kittens and won’t miss out on any crucial socialization with other animals at a young age.
  4. Cats have a long history living with humans, and were domesticated even before dogs were. Yet we know very little about how they think or what they feel.
  5. Objects, people and other animals have a significant role in their world. They recognize the difference between objects, people and other animals and have a sense of self.

Let’s explore how cats think and how they deal with people who harm them. We’ll look at the psychology of cat behavior, and what we can do to make our pets more forgiving – and more affectionate.

How Cats View People Who Abuse Them: Revenge-Seeking Killers?

cat sleeping beside the window

For most other animals, the thought of revenge comes after the attack has already happened. However, cats are different from other animals in that they actively seek out revenge as a means of protection – something that makes it even harder for humans to have relationships with them.

To understand how cats think and how possible if they do forgive abuse or not, we need to compare them to humans.

Cats are extremely territorial animals, just like a human male would be in protecting his family and property. The cat will attack another cat that attempts to enter its territory – while this may at first appear as a “revenge-seeking” attack, it’s actually part of a very thoughtful strategy by the cat that is protecting itself from harm and getting rid of intruders who are damaging its home.

Cat behaviors: What’s fascinating about the way cats act towards humans is that it looks like they have no understanding of the concept of “wrongdoing. Cats can’t tell you what to do, because we don’t know what’s right or wrong. Cats see the world as a dangerous place and any behavior of another animal can be a threat to them.

This is why they are aggressive towards other animals – they are protecting their territory, their food and themselves from attack by other animals.

There is a difference between cats attacking in self-defense, and people attacking cats. If someone were to raise their hand at your cat (for example), it will likely turn around and flee – but if you’re in the wrong and harm one of your feline companions, then it will seek revenge on you.

Cats And People: The Importance Of A Sense Of Self

Cats have an extremely strong awareness of themselves, their surroundings and their own bodies. They have a sense of self, which means that they are able to compare the mental picture of themselves that exists in their brain to the way that they actually look.

Interestingly, this is one of the most important factors when it comes to how cats view people who harm them. If you give your cat a treat, then ten minutes later take it away from her and put it in front of her again – she’ll remember what happened the first time around.

This sense of self, or the ability to retain information that they have learned and then use it to their advantage later on, is crucial to how cats view people who are trying to hurt them.

This is because a cat will understand that someone who has hurt them in the past won’t change their behavior if you keep giving them treats and making yourself vulnerable. Instead, it will seek out revenge – when you take away their food again, they will remember exactly what happened last time, and get rid of you once and for all.

It’s not an aggressive or violent act on the cat’s part – but one purely based on survival instincts.

Related Article: Do Cats Have Control Of Their Tails?

How do cats acts when they are abused?

Is your cat aggressive or violent towards you? If you think your cat has been abused, there are a number of things that you can do to make it feel calmer.

  1. Cats don’t understand the concept of “wrongdoing,” and they believe that anything they do is right.
  2. Cats that are abused will seek revenge by becoming much more aggressive than normal, even if they don’t know exactly why this is happening (they just know that something has changed).
  3. The more abuse they suffer, the stronger their desire to attack will be (just like other animals suffering abuse increase in aggression).
  4. It’s not just physical abuse that can make cats aggressive, as they will also become more hostile when they are being humiliated, criticized or ignored.
  5. They may even attack someone who they were once attached to if they believe that person has betrayed them.
  6. Physical violence can have a powerful impact on cats – anything from a loud noise to the lighting being turned off can provoke an attack by an abused animal.
  7. Cats will also become extremely withdrawn and introverted after experiencing abuse.
  8. Abused cats that get along well with other animals should be taken to a vet immediately, as they will likely start attacking them and could possibly become homicidal.
  9. Domestic cats are generally able to deal with stress better than feral cats, and are much less likely to become aggressive in response to being attacked by a human (even if the attack was repeated).

However, even feral cats can be rehabilitated after being abused – as long as the culprit is caught before it’s too late. Once the abuse has been stopped, then these animals can begin to settle down again and return to their former selves.

How long do cats hold a grudge?

Cats are creatures of habit – and this includes their behavioral patterns.

If you suddenly change something about their daily routine, or if you’ve done something that harms them in some way, then they will immediately decide to get revenge. It may seem like the cat is holding a grudge for years and years until the time is right for it to strike back, but in reality it’s simply waiting for the right moment – and once that moment arrives, then it will attack.

If you give your cat a treat one day and then take it away from her an hour later before giving her another one – she’ll realize that she was tricked into thinking that she would be given a treat early on. She’ll remember this and try to get revenge on you at a later date.

Cats, just like people, have short memories. If you don’t give your cat any treats for five days straight and then give it some food one day, then it will immediately realize that you were being mean to it in order to make her suffer – and now she can get revenge!

How long does it take for cats to forgive Abuse?

Cats are extremely sensitive creatures, and they dislike it when someone harms them or makes them feel bad.

However, from their point of view, anyone who hurts them is not worthy of being forgiven – and so they won’t let anyone who has hurt them get away with it just because it’s a human being. Cats can hold a grudge for numerous years (if not decades) and will never forget someone who has done something bad to them.

Cats are very innocent animals, but they do have their own reasoning skills that allow them to understand why certain people do certain things to harm that cat. They will know exactly what the purpose of this bad behavior is, and they won’t forgive these people until they’ve been forgiven.

This means that it could take several months or even years for cats to forgive someone who has hurt them – but once they do, then they will be extremely loyal to that person. They only want to serve that person because it makes them happy, not out of a desire for revenge.

Related Article: Do Cats Mate With Their Siblings? Or Is It Just Weird?


As long as you take care of your cat properly, it will show that it loves you by giving you a show of love and affection. However, if you ignore its wishes or harm it in any way, then it wouldn’t be surprised that the cat would want to harm you (no matter how cute and cuddly the animal may appear).

It’s important to remember that cats are intelligent animals, and they understand their triggers better than us. If you’ve done something to hurt them in the past, then they may react to this – but only if they’re completely sure that they’ll get away with it.

Once a cat has been abused, then it will seek revenge by becoming much more aggressive than normal, even if it doesn’t know exactly why this is happening. Feline owners should be able to comprehend when actually they get their cats angry and should also be able to tell if their cats do forgive abuse or not and how long it takes for them to forgive.

cat looking sad

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