Do cats understand mirrors? Yes, they can. They can act in unexpected ways when they see themselves reflected in a mirror. If you try to make your cat look in a mirror, you may get some unexpected reactions. Listed below are some tips for cat owners who want to make their cats more comfortable with reflections. Let’s start with some basic facts. Cats are naturally aloof and may not react to mirrors as you’d expect.
While Mimo was successful in the mirror test, this does not necessarily mean that the average house cat is thinking the same way. Some cats may understand and care about the reflection in a mirror, while others may not. Regardless, a cat’s lack of interest in mirrors doesn’t mean that it doesn’t know about it. Ultimately, the key to understanding whether or not cats see themselves in a mirror is the ability to focus on what they’re looking at.
Another interesting experiment for cat owners is to place a sticker on the forehead of their cat while she’s sleeping. When she wakes up, put her in front of a mirror, and see how she reacts. If she reacts aggressively, she is probably aware of her reflection. If you notice that she paws at her face, then she understands that she’s seeing herself in the mirror.
Another method to find out whether cats understand mirrors is to try putting a sticker on the mirror. Unlike humans, cats cannot recognize their own reflection in a mirror, and therefore aren’t able to recognize their own reflection in it. They can see and react to objects reflected in a mirror, but cannot distinguish a second cat from their own reflection. Researchers used a mirror test, which was developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr., to determine whether animals recognize themselves in a mirror. This involves placing an object on the animal’s body, usually a colored dot. Once they have figured out that they see themselves in a mirror, they’ll be able to tell whether the other animal is itself or not.
Another method for cat owners to make their cat accept the reflection is to introduce it to mirrors and reinforce the association with positive items. You can try toys, treats, or catnip near the mirror. By luring your cat with a favorite item, she may begin to ignore the reflection and focus on the object instead. In some cases, the cat might even notice that it is happy in the mirror.
In a nutshell, it is unlikely that cats understand mirrors and their reflections. Although this is an important factor for determining cat self-awareness, it is too early to make a final conclusion. In the meantime, it is better to cover mirrors or keep the cat away from them. There are other factors to consider. You can help your cat understand mirrors by taking precautions.