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I must admit that my Barsik always remembered the way to home in the village we used to take him to, so I don't think cats remember things just within a year. Hmm... although I don't think he remembers every single detail of his life, either, hehe.
Lunameowerwe'd had other keychains and such, but that one had a sound that he knew and even after not hearing it for more than a year, he remembered it immediately.Same happens to my cat when he hears the sound of a knife against a cutting board. Well, probably it has nothing to do with a cat's memory span, but it's just incredible how he rushes into the kitchen at that sound! (As it may mean some meal for him, hehe.)
P.S. Welcome to the community, Lunameower!
My persian had this particular thing where she'd go crazy if you even MOVE the ham in the fridge, even though it would just make a little plastic sound she'd know it was the ham.
I think cats can remember things for a very long time. I believe their memory works similar to ours.
I had moved quite often with my cats and after 4 years in the new place, I had gotten an old soft toy of mine from my parents place where we had stayed a few months. They were all smelling at it in a particular way and I'm sure they thought "Heyyyy I remember this smell!".
A few years later we acquired another kitten, a tiny black one that had been rescued from a run-down industrial warehouse. She, while tolerating the Sam, wasn't exactly his best friend, but she got on quite well with the grey female.
Time went on, and so did the Samoyed.
About two years down the road we rescued another Samoyed. It was clear from both cats' faces that they could see that it looked like the same dog but that something was different about him. The grey cat ended up being best friends with him, but the black one was forever telling him off for leaving them & never forgave him.
Another cat that we more recently rescued was between three & five years old, and had been dumped on the local RSPCA at least twice because she wasn't 'perfect' to the breed. She was absolutely adorable & left to join the rest of our pets on their celestial plane at the age of about eleven. In her time with us, she remained scared at the sound of trains, spaces that were too open & was absolutely terrified if she saw my husband in any clothing that was blue, even though she knew it was him. If he had black trousers but a blue jumper on, she was fine after he'd taken the jumper off to reveal for example a white shirt - but not if that also was blue!
So, yes, cats DO remember. And I believe that dogs are the same.
People are waiting to help.