OPINION AND NEWS: Yes, lost cats do remember their owners even if they’ve been lost for 13 years or more. Domestic cats have excellent long-term memories and I would suggest that they remember their owners all their lives even if they have been separated the entire time. You will find many stories on the Internet which supports this. Here is one of them.
The story concerns Janet Adamowicz and her female tabby-and-white cat Boo. In 2005, when she was four-years-of-age she disappeared. Adamowicz, who lives in Harrogate, UK and didn’t move throughout the time that her cat was lost (usefully) said that Boo was a lively kitten who liked to be outdoors exploring; an important observation because it is what led to her being lost.
Thirteen years later, when Boo was 17-years-of-age she was taken to a local veterinary surgery after being found 40 miles away from Adamowicz’s home. She was found in a town called Pocklington. They don’t know how she got there. Over 13 years she could have walked there or she may have jumped into a vehicle which travelled the Pocklington. The person who found her and took her to the vet’s has remained anonymous. They deserve praise. And there is a moral here. Should people be aware of lost cats and do as this person did? They can be ignored. You can buy microchip scanners online by the way to help find their owners.
They also don’t know how she survived those long years. Adamowicz believes that she simply survived on handouts and hunting. She couldn’t believe it when she got a call, “I got a call on Thursday to say I had a cat missing”.
She said that she didn’t have a cat missing because 13 years had elapsed and she had forgotten about Boo being missing (she had two new cats). But she was told that their system told them that she owned a cat called Boo. She thought it was weird but she went to the vet’s where Boo was being kept.
I thought it was weird, but I couldn’t believe it when I got to the vets and they had her there and she still remembered me. I don’t know where she had been, I think possibly a stray but kept being fed by strangers or catching her own food.
Boo was dehydrated and weary but in good general health. She is 17 after all and it is remarkable that she is in reasonable condition. Seventeen is a good age for a well cared for indoor cat never mind one who appears to have lived on her wits for 13 years outside the home.
In line with normal British attitudes, Boo enjoyed being outdoors adventuring but would always return home. Not always as just once she didn’t and Adamowicz had searched for a whole year without success until she gave up and had to move on.
Once again, the microchip saved the day. The vets who were caring for her used microchip data from the UK database Petlog. Fortunately, Adamowicz’s details remained accurate.
At the reunion of Adamowicz and Boo there wasn’t a dry eye in the building. It is just another story which confirms that lost cats always remember their owners.
Some more stories about microchipping