Does your kitty go nuts after catching a glimpse of their own reflection? Maybe they puff up to twice their size, or dash behind the mirror frantically searching for the cat imposter?! Or perhaps they even try to attack their likeness?
This type of amusing cat behaviour can entertain us all day long. But do our moggies really recognise themselves in mirrors? Let’s take a look...
Does your cat recognise itself in the mirror?
Here’s the thing, cats don't recognise themselves in mirrors. When they see their reflection, they simply think they’re seeing another cat. This explains why your kitty is so infatuated with their look-alike.
The reason cats don’t realise they’re staring at themselves is actually quite straightforward. They don’t rely on their vision as much as we do. Instead, they depend on their sense of smell to identify objects, other felines, and even us – their parents. They simply don’t recognise their reflection because it doesn’t smell like them!
Why does your cat attack its reflection?
Scratching or pawing at something – sometimes mistaken for an attack – is a reliable way for your cat to learn more about an object. He or she is simply trying to understand what it is and how it works!
In most cases, your precious pet will see their reflection as a rival cat invading their territory. Consequently, your cat will defend their ground by scratching or hissing at the trespasser. With time, they’ll soon realise that their imitation doesn’t have a scent, and will hopefully just ignore it.
On the other paw, your feline friend may merely be using this as a way to nab some extra TLC. Are you prone to giving your cat attention every time they attack your expensive floor-length mirror? If this is the case, your cat’s probably caught onto the fact that this is the easiest way for them to get a stroke, playtime or even treats!
Is your cat self-aware?
Who knows?! It’s puzzling to even the smartest of animal experts. But what we can say – with almost certainty – is that your pet’s not admiring their freshly brushed coat or recently trimmed nails. Instead, their bonkers behaviour’s probably just a reaction to seeing a ‘stranger’ in the room.