How to Train Your Cat to Accept Mirror Reflections

by catfood

Cats have a variety of reactions when they see themselves in a mirror, despite being aware of their attractiveness. Some cats might simply ignore the cat in the mirror, but others can be puzzled and wonder why the other cat doesn’t have a distinguishing scent.

However, other cats could behave strangely or terrified when they see their reflections. If your cat is acting badly, there are ways you can help.

Determine the Possible Cause

Understanding where a cat’s reaction to a stimulus came from is frequently the key to assisting them in getting over a bad reaction. A cat may misbehave, hide from the “intruder,” or possibly get terrified when in the presence of mirror images for a number of reasons.

One of the most common is found in young cats who have never seen a mirror. Kittens that have lived their entire lives at an animal shelter might not have had any contact with items like carpet, mirrors, TVs, or radios. When a person is adopted and placed into a home, each of these things has the potential to make them anxious about the future.


Other cats may react when they see another cat in a mirror since they are used to seeing their own reflection. For instance, your kitty can get used to seeing its own reflection and associate it with feeling “happy.” Your kitten will be able to smell the new cat but not its reflection when it comes to visit. The absence of a unique fragrance from the fourth cat may actually mislead a kitten and make them feel insecure.

A stray cat that wanders into your yard, for example, could cause a cat to associate a reflection in a glass window with danger beyond the window. The brilliant surface of this mirror can begin to be associated by a cat who is already afraid or aggressive with the unpleasant incident. They can begin to associate this conflict with their own reflection, even if they had previously welcomed it, and begin to be cautious of that intrusion.

Keep an eye on behavior

Cats will react in a variety of ways to reflections. It’s a good idea to observe your cat for a bit to determine whether it’s displaying aggressive or fearful behavior. Many cats only go through it briefly as they mature and learn to live in their new habitat.

Cats frequently use their paws to scratch at the side or bottom of the mirror in an effort to “get past” the thing that’s in the way and find the other cat. When doing so, be sure the mirror is associated with pleasant memories, like as food, toys, or catnip.

If they are unable to identify the source, cat-gazers may develop suspicion, which causes their fearful reflections also generate protective body language. It then concludes the cat in the mirror is being serious after witnessing its own hostile, fearful, or defensive language in the reflection and reacts appropriately.


Masking mirrors

The cat in the reflection is eventually realized to be harmless by many cats, but not always. They might even attempt to attack the mirror in an effort to fend off this intrusion. The behavior could worsen and possibly develop into an obsession if it is not controlled.

You might need to remove any reflective surfaces that are in close proximity to your cat under these circumstances. To at least prevent your cat from seeing its own reflection and engaging in violent behavior, cover mirrors with paper or fabric.

Protect Yourself From Actual Intruders

If you observe that your cat is becoming more energetic near windows and mirrors, you should shoo stray cats away. While using various techniques to keep cats out of your yard, close the curtains so your cat can’t see them. When your deterrents are working, you can gradually resume your regular activities, throw open the curtains, and your cat might start to react to reflections more naturally once more.


Reintroduce mirrors

You may be able to gradually reintroduce your cat to mirrors if you follow these safety procedures for some time. Bring your cat’s favorite item and let them enjoy it in front of an open mirror, much like how many cats act when they watch birds or other creatures on TV and mistake the screen for a window. It’s possible that they are too absorbed to see the mirror or that they recognize it shares their delight and doesn’t represent a threat.

Problems and Proofing Techniques

With time and practice, the majority of cats are able to get over their mirror phobia. If your cat’s fear of mirrors doesn’t go away, you might need more help. Pheromone-containing products, including Comfort Zone with Feliway, help calm anxious feelings. Spray this around the mirror or use a diffuser to spread the scent around the room.

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