Yes, a cat will forgive you for hitting her after a little love and treats. But cats will remember long-term abuse they receive in a household. This is because cats have strong survival instincts, which force them to remember abuse for a long time.
If you hit your cat for whatever reason and you are concerned about how your cat may feel about it, keep on reading.
Is my cat mad at me?
Cats get upset quite easily. It basically happens whenever you act against what they want. A cat’s behavior may seem quite random, but cats use distinctive body language to communicate. The typical warning signs that a cat is mad at you are:
- Leaving the room, hiding, or generally avoiding you
- Tail held low and rapidly swishing side to side
- Ears are flat and low against the head
- Pupils are dilated while staring at you
- Arched back and puffed tail
- Hissing or growling
- Swiping at you with its paws
If you observe these behaviors, give your cat space, back away from it, and let it calm down on its own.
Cats do not hold grudges based on one bad experience. Your cat will forgive you after some snuggles and treats. But when there is long-standing abuse in the household, a cat is forced to remember it for a long time.
Cats will want to avoid the same situation, so do not be surprised if your cat starts to avoid you. This is an act of self-preservation. The cat is not holding a grudge, but it may be afraid of you hurting it again.
Do cats forgive abuse?
If a cat has been abused for an extended period of time, it will be psychologically scarred. Traumatic events will stay in a cat’s long-term memory, and tend to stay with a cat forever. The cat will never forget the abuse, but they may be able to forgive if given enough time.
Unlike dogs, cats do not immediately assume any human is friendly. It is up to the human to prove to the cat that they are kind and friendly. Cats have an innate suspicion of other animals so any abuse they experience will only magnify this issue.
The cat will avoid its abuser or anything that reminds it of the abuser, because even the smell, clothing, or voice of the abuser is enough to trigger negative reactions.
Rebuilding a relationship with an abused cat involved letting the cat get its way. It is understandable for the cat to be jittery and afraid of any sudden movements around it. This cannot be fixed by human behavior. Give the cat time and space to rebuild its self-confidence, because only then will the cat begin to act normally again.
If you treat your cat well, it may eventually forgive you. Don’t take this for granted though, because some cats will never be able to look past traumatic experiences.
How do I apologize to my cat after I hit her?
The first step to take when apologizing to your cat is to wait for it to come to you. Give your cat enough space so that it understands that you are giving it all the freedom that it wants.
Give your cat treats constantly, as well as scattering some surprise treats around the house, to show it that you are apologizing for making them feel bad.
Do not try to make things better too quickly. Give your cat time because the painful memory will be consuming most of the cat’s behavior and mood until it decides to find peace on its own.
Just go about your day as you normally do. Talk to your cat in a calm and gentle voice, and when your cat is ready, it will respond.
When your cat approaches you, make sure you acknowledge its presence in a gentle and friendly manner. Talk in a soft voice to make it sound more caring; even a little high-pitched voice will help ease your cat’s suspicions.
When your cat is ready to make amends, pet it in the place it chooses. Give the cat its favorite treat when it comes closer and be sure to give it more than the usual attention it needs.
If your cat is still unresponsive to your advances, this does not immediately mean that they are holding a grudge. It may just mean that you are doing something that is making it angry. It is possible that they have gotten over the past anger and are now involved in a cycle of new anger.
The right thing to do here is to maintain a calm and playful environment by sticking to the same routine, letting a calming fragrance surround the house, playing with the cat, giving it an assortment of toys, and letting the cat have space to be alone.
If you are still unable to reform the relationship, consider going to a behaviorist. This can be very helpful, especially if the cat is suffering from chronic anxiety.
Remember, being aggressive with a cat is never how one should deal with a problem; it never leads to something good. Refrain from ever hitting an animal if it misbehaves.
Yes, your cat will forgive you if you hit it and will not hold a grudge. An apology and a treat will help ease the process of forgiveness. However, remember that repeated abuse can last in a cat’s long-term memory. In these situations, try to get your cat to forgive you by giving it time. Be patient and let them come to you when they are ready.
Remember that hitting any pet is never a good way to deal with negative behavior. It will sow resentment and do more harm to your relationship with your cat.
Image: istockphoto.com / Okssi68