I don’t know of anybody who knows the answer to the question in the title to his article. It’s impossible to get inside the head of a domestic cat with accuracy. We have to rely on quite a large slice of guesswork to try and figure out what a domestic cat is thinking at any one time.
If a domestic cat truly does live in the moment all the time and if a domestic cat had no memory then there would be nothingness in his head. He wouldn’t be able to recall past events and he would fail to think about the future.
However, domestic cats do have feelings (emotions) and they do have a memory. They also have a reasonable degree of intelligence specifically attuned to their way of life.
We also know that domestic cats dream. You can see it in their twitching whiskers and moving eyeballs, and perhaps there is ear twitching as well. These are all outward signs of a domestic cat dreaming. I will speculate that domestic cats dream in a similar way to humans. Dreams are based upon experiences which have taken place when awake. Anxieties or desires are played over these experiences in jumbled “images” when dreaming.
Therefore, I would also suggest that domestic cats will recall, for example, fights with other cats in a dream. If that is true then resting domestic cats may well recall events of the day, or even events which took place some time ago. In my experience, domestic cats have good short-term memories because they can be trained. They remember the rewards they receive when they do something right during training.
I would doubt that the domestic cat’s mind is as active, when resting, as the human mind in terms of recalling and chewing over past events. I would have thought that their memories are more basic in their nature and concern a limited range of activities. Humans generally chew over all kinds of anxiety-making issues which the mind tries to resolve using past experiences and projecting into the future. I don’t believe cats do this. It’s beyond them.
Ability to have empty head
Although I believe that cats do think when resting, I also believe that domestic cats have the ability to spend a lot of time with an empty head when resting. However, I would expect cats to recollect some basic events and it may affect how they behave toward similar events in the future.
What do you think? This is a tricky topic for discussion as we are in the dark.