Some cats seem to feel the need to scratch furniture and play with curtains. But some eager kitties have also been known to paw at a mirror out of curiosity.
And while your cat may not be doing this on purpose, it can become a habit that they just won’t let go of.
So you must take the necessary steps to make sure your pet doesn’t get too excited around its reflection!
Read this post for some helpful tips on preventing your pet from repeatedly scratching at mirrors and ruining frames.
Do Cats Understand Their Reflection?
No, cats do not understand their reflection, but they may react in various ways to see what is behind them. These are usually random and spasmodic actions aimed at the mirror, with little thought given to what is shown in the glass.
Cats may not understand what they see, but they certainly react to it. Given a choice between spending time looking at themselves, or something more interesting in the home environment, most cats will choose the latter.
Cats are easily distracted by something shiny and new, so they’ll figure out who they are by looking at themselves in the mirror. They may even quietly meow at themselves.
Cats are prey animals, and they are instinctively afraid of their predators. When cats see their reflection in a window, they may become frightened and run screaming away.
They may stare into the mirror with wide eyes, hoping to see a strange cat by their side. They may try to take off their headpiece to see what they look like without it.
Check out more details about Do Cats Understand Mirrors? Do Cats Recognize Themselves In The Mirror?
Why Do Cats Scratch Their Reflection?
Cats scratch mirrors for a variety of reasons.
According to Megan McCorkel, DVM, a veterinary writer, Cats claw at mirrors first and foremost because they are inherently curious creatures.
“Scratching or pawing at something is a dependable technique for your cat to learn more about an object,” she stated.
As a result of cats’ inherent curiosity and the unique features of mirrors, it’s not surprising that your kitty would scratch the mirror to learn more about it and how it works.
According to Dr. McCorkel, the second explanation has to do with attention-seeking behavior. Simple curiosity in your cat might quickly develop into a delightful game to play with you.
“If you pay attention to your cat every time they claw at the mirror,” she added, “your cat will rapidly learn that the mirror may be a nice source of attention.” All your cat needs to do is scratch, and his owner will pay attention to him.
According to Dr. Burch, the last factor has to do with introspection. Some cats may not identify their reflection and misinterpret it as a different cat. Cats may see their reflection as invaders in some cases, she added.
“As a result, your cat will scratch at the trespasser to defend his area,” she continued.
Why Does My Cat Scratch The Mirror At Night?
Most cats are nocturnal hunters, and the first hours of darkness are the time when they are most likely to be active.
It has been suggested that a cat accidentally seeing its reflection in a mirror during such hours may think it is seeing another cat and react defensively by attacking the ‘intruder.’
The light from an illuminated mirror may confuse or upset your pet, as it will appear to be coming from behind them, even though it is coming from in front of them.
To disabuse your cat of this fearful association with mirrors, you should first deal with the lighting issues.
The simplest way to do this is by putting a curtain over your mirror so that the reflection is less visible at night. If that’s not an option, try turning the lights off when you leave the room.
If your cat shows signs of distress around a mirror, it might be best to avoid having mirrors in your home entirely.
Cats can coexist happily with them on furniture and walls, but avoiding placing mirrors in areas close to where your pet spends most of its time is wise.
If you have an extra one or two, you may want to try covering them completely with a sheet of paper or a large photograph.
Is It Dangerous For My Cat To Scratch Mirrors?
Yes, it can be dangerous for your cat to scratch mirrors. While some people may see this as a fun activity, your cat may not understand the danger involved.
The scratches can cause an accumulation of dirt and debris inside the mirror, which will eventually cause it to break.
Cats do not do this intentionally. They simply explore in the same way that any other animal does (looking for toys and for insects to catch), and as such, they may encounter their reflections as they are doing so.
It is important to observe your pet closely when it starts acting strangely around a mirror, and if it’s bothering or frightening your pet, you should take steps to stop the behavior.
You will have noticed that cats tend to want to be near reflective surfaces such as windows, mirrors, or shiny objects. It isn’t clear why cats are attracted to these things, but there are likely many different factors involving light, heat, and vision, which we don’t know about yet.
Cats’ instinctive behavior to want to be near reflective surfaces can be dangerous in the case of a broken mirror or a mirror covered by something such as a curtain or a sheet of paper, so it is best to locate such mirrors away from areas that cats frequent.
For example, putting one up on a wall and hanging another at a lower level (so it covers the broken glass) gives you the best chance of preventing your cat from injuring itself.
There are many different dangers involved with having mirrors around your home. Though it might seem amusing to see your cat staring at itself, there are numerous other things that you need to consider when placing mirrors around your home.
For example, are you using the mirror for anything? Have you hung it up on a wall where it will reflect sunlight into your eyes? These are just some of the questions that need to be asked when considering whether or not a mirror is appropriate and safe in a certain location.
How Can I Stop My Cat From Scratching Mirrors?
One of the ways that you can stop your cat from scratching mirrors is to make sure that there are no reflective surfaces in the area where it is active. If your cat roams around a room looking for things to play with, it will likely scratch at mirrors.
Keep clear of mirror surfaces and keep any stray mirrors out of sight so that your pet does not know about them. This will prevent them from being able to grab a look at themselves and then scratch at the mirror. This can be harder to do with large mirrors.
Some people use very thick book covers on their mirrors so that cats cannot scratch them. These are usually great, though you will have to replace them sometimes when they get torn or dirty.
In more extreme cases, you may want to cover the entire mirror with something such as a photograph or a piece of paper. This should work fine if the mirror is not too big.
Why Do Cats Act Differently In Front Of Mirrors?
Cats are very self-aware animals, but they also have an aspect of social awareness. As with humans, cats may act differently when they see themselves in front of a mirror.
It has recently been suggested that seeing their reflection could cause cats to feel ‘different,’ which might lead to strange and unusual behavior.
Cats don’t know whether they are seeing a real cat or if it is a reflection, and this confusion is the reason that they may act oddly in front of mirrors.
If you have a cat who acts strangely when it sees itself in the mirror, make sure that there are no reflective surfaces around where your pet spends most of its time (on furniture or walls). If your owner is so inclined, you may wish to cover mirrors with sheets of paper or photographs.
Also, check out Why Does My Cat Scratch the Window?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to stop my cat from scratching at mirrors?
They may rub against them, scratch at them, or claw them. Be careful to place a mirror near where your cat spends most of its time because it could be an accident. If your cat repeatedly encounters mirrors, you will need to deal with the issue thoroughly and remove any present safety hazards, such as broken glass.
Why do cats act differently in front of mirrors?
To put it simply, they could be acting strangely because they think they are seeing another cat, even though they only see a reflection. They may engage in mock fighting with their reflection or even try to mount it. This behavior may freak you out the first time you see it, but don’t worry about your pet. If you have a cat acting strangely around mirrors, this is likely a temporary problem that can be solved by removing the problem (such as covering the mirror) and providing your cat with more space to live in.
Do the cats love mirrors? Why?
It’s not uncommon for cats to rub against reflective surfaces. Some cat owners even say that their cats seem to look forward to being near mirrors. This is most likely because a mirror allows your cat to see themselves, or perhaps they just like hearing the sound of their paw steps echoing across the surface of a mirror.
In this post, we discussed why your cat scratches the mirror. We also explored the possible reasons why cats scratch at mirrors and offer some solutions.
We also discussed the importance of preventing scratching at mirrors, and how you can do that. Finally, we also provided some tips on how to stop your cat from scratching at mirrors.