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Do animals remember past experiences?

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

The idea that non-human animals can consciously remember the things they've done or have experienced in the past, called episodic memory, is widely considered to be debatable. This is because it's thought that these animals don’t have self-awareness.


However, interestingly, scientists have shown that some species that have to recall complex sequences of information in order to survive—do indeed have 'episodic-like' memory. This includes rats, hummingbirds and the great apes. And this means that it is a real possibility that other animals have the same episodic-like memory.


Through my work connecting to and communicating intuitively with animals, I have experienced first-hand evidence that animals do in fact have a recall of past experiences, particularly traumatic ones. I have been shown items, places and things which relate to experiences that can be verified by owners.


Cats actually have incredible memories. It is believed that they can remember a person's face for up to 10 years. They form strong negative memories and will avoid objects, people, sounds, environments and situations associated with traumatic moments in their lives.

According to research, horses too possess ‘excellent memories’, allowing them to not only recall their human friends after periods of separation, but also to remember complex, problem-solving strategies for 10 years or more.


In my experience of animal communication, I have had a number of experiences with cats, dogs and horses, which when speaking with owners, can be linked back to past traumas for the animals. These experiences are clearly still memorable to the animal and sometimes are directly influencing their behaviour, often quite strongly.


Traumas don’t have to be abandonment-related, they can be any incidents which have left a marked impact on the animal, ones which can influence current behaviour and contribute to behavioural problems.


An example is visualising a collar that an animal was showing me, even though the animal didn’t wear one at the time. This came through strongly, and when validating the experience with the owner, as per my LOVE Methodology ™ I found that the animal had been very traumatised by having a collar put on a few years previously. Incidents related to water and loud/high pitched noises have occurred, as well as stirrup-related incidents for horses.


I am sure that in time, there will be new research published looking into how long animals’ memories are held, and whether we can scientifically prove that they remember evocative episodes in their own life, as humans do.


Perhaps when your animal is dreaming, they could be recalling a particularly nice cuddle or feast they enjoyed. Or the first ever time they adventured to an exciting new part of the neighbourhood :-)


In each of my reiki and communication sessions, I connect to your animal energetically and I can experience what matters in their world. I then work to balance the chakras related to their fears and memories. This helps to calm the energy of the chakra and can result in positive changes, such as calmed behaviour if there has been heightened stress, or more energy, if low energy has been an issue. Reiki always flows to wherever your animal needs it the most and works on multiple levels; emotionally, physically and mentally.










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