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How Long Does A Cat Stay Mad At You?

How Long Does A Cat Stay Mad At You?

Cats being aloof and disinterested in people is just a myth. Anyone who has ever lived with a feline friend knows this animal is affectionate and thrives on interaction with their humans.

Cats definitely understand that their owners take care of them. Their humans are the ones that provide them with everything they need.

When your cat is satisfied, it can show you this by rubbing against you or purring at you. She might sleep above your head in case she feels perfectly safe around you.

However, there is also the other side of the coin. Your cat could be unhappy about something, and can show you this with some specific behaviors. You could do something that makes your cat seem mad. 

How long does a cat stay mad at you? This is a bit of a complex issue, so, let’s delve into it more deeply.

How Long Can Your Cat Hold a Grudge Against You?

a woman looks at an angry cat

What could make your cat mad in the first place?

Well, some situations could arise in your household that your cat won’t be thrilled with. For instance, you could have accidentally stepped on her

Or, your busy schedule can cause you to spend a lot of your time away from home. Your cat could hold this against you. Your attempts to discipline her could also cause your cat to be mad.

There are numerous situations that could provoke anger in your furry friend. But, how long can this anger be present with her?

It seems that this doesn’t last for too long. Most likely, it will last for a couple of hours. To understand this better, it’s necessary to have a fair insight into a cat’s memory.

A Cat’s Memory

Cats have both short and long-term memory that enables them to remember something of great importance for them.

Let’s see the difference between these two types of memory.

Feline Short-term Memory

According to the PetKeen, short-term memory is also called working memory. Cats use this memory for their daily problem-solving. In many situations, short-term memory helps cats stay safe and alive. 

A cat’s short-term memory usually lasts about 16 hours. It could last longer, up to 24 hours. But, these are only things and memories that are important for a cat to remember.

For instance, your cat will remember when it’s time for dinner, and where you put her food bowl.

Feline Long-term Memory

This type of memory refers to important information stored in a cat’s mind for a long time. Cats possess the ability to recollect their experiences, whether they were positive or negative, as well as specific individuals, animals, and places.

For example, a cat isn’t likely to forget her owners easily, especially when she makes a strong emotional bond with them.

A cat that’s frightened of thunderstorms is likely to hide when she hears rain starting to pour. This happens because she associates this event with her previous negative experience.

Despite cats having long-term memory, they aren’t likely to stay mad for a long time. Well, at least not as much as humans are capable of!

More likely, a cat will do her best to avoid the situation that she associates with a negative memory. Therefore, she’s just trying to make herself safe from hurting.

If you’ve accidentally stepped on your cat, she could hide and avoid you for a couple of hours. But, as soon as she thinks of tasty treats and you giving her cuddles, she will certainly come out!

It’s essential to emphasize one thing here. Your cat is likely to soon forget a minor incident. This means that she shouldn’t stay mad at you for a long time.

But, if you constantly do something that’s bugging your pet, you can get to see her angry for a longer period of time!

How To Recognize Your Cat Is Mad?

Noticing a cat’s mood swings isn’t always the easiest task. This can be especially challenging for novice pet parents. 

Since cats can’t use words to express their attitudes, it’s essential you observe their body language.

In case you’re unsure whether your cat is indeed mad at you, some specific signs can be helpful here.

Most cats will exhibit some or all of the following signs of anger:

Destructive Behaviors

An angry cat could make a mess of your home.

For example, you could see her pooping on the floor, or scratching your furniture. Of course, these are highly undesirable behaviors.

You should find the exact cause of your cat’s anger and try to make things better.

Hissing And Growling

When cats are angry, they often express their displeasure vocally.

The most common sounds you’ll hear in these situations are hissing and growling. The video below demonstrates these vocalizations in a cat.

Staring At You From Distance

Your cat usually enjoys being close to you – even too close at some points. But, all of a sudden, it looks like she prefers to stare at you from a distance, without approaching you.

This can be a sign of feline anger. Your mad cat doesn’t want to come close to you.

This is a situation where a cat clearly just wants to have her own space, without anyone invading it.


Hiding behavior can be a part of a cat’s play. It can also signify your cat is anxious or fearful about something in her surroundings.

Furthermore, a hiding cat could be mad at you. If she refuses to come out even after you have called her many times, you shouldn’t force her to do it.

Forcing her on anything can cause her to become aggressive.

Poofing Up 

An angry cat could show body posture like an arched back. Also, her fur could become more fluffy, making her look larger.

This is her way of indicating that she’s trying to appear intimidating.

These can all imply that your cat is mad and this isn’t the right moment for you to approach her or try petting her.

Ears Pushed Back

A cat’s ears position can tell you a lot about its emotional state.

According to the SPCA of Northern Nevada, ears held naturally indicate that a cat is fully relaxed. If she has them pinned back, this means she’s afraid.

When her ears are facing forward and close together, a cat shows interest in something. When she twists her ears so that the opening is to the side – this indicates she’s angry.

How To Calm A Mad Cat?

the cat approaches the woman who gives her a treat

Your cat shouldn’t stay mad at you for too long, provided that the reason behind her anger isn’t too severe.

Still, there is a proper way to deal with this type of behavior in your feline friend. The following are the things you should do:

• Step away and allow her about 20-30 minutes to calm down
• Approach her slowly, by leaving her an opportunity to escape

• Make yourself small, to not look like a threat to your cat: The best would be to sit down on the floor

• Show her you’re not a threat and that you don’t plan to touch or bother her

• Use a treat and wait whether she will come to you 

• If she runs away, don’t chase after her

• Let her have all the space she needs

• Provide her with a safe, private place in your home where she will have all the privacy

Remember never to punish your cat, regardless of the potential aggressive outburst caused by anger.

Be as patient as possible and try to deal with your cat’s mad attitude with love and understanding.

If nothing seems to work with your cat, it would be good to contact a veterinarian. It’s possible that some underlying medical condition is causing her to act madly and aggressively.


In most cases, a cat’s anger shouldn’t last longer than a couple of hours. If her anger was caused by a minor accident, your cat is likely to forgive and forget very soon. Her anger is just her way of keeping her safe, and not actually holding grudges against you.

However, you should know that a cat can be mad for a longer period of time. This happens when she resents you for something very serious. Make sure you’re doing everything properly and that she doesn’t lack any essential things.

If you recognize signs of anger in your pet, it’s important you don’t force her to stop being mad. Let her calm down and have some time on her own.

In a short while, she’s likely to return to seeing you as her best friend once again!