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Cats and mirrors

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Cats and mirrors, put them together in one room and there is a big chance you will see something funny. Have a quick look on the internet and you will find plenty of cat videos where you can see all kinds of cat reactions on their own reflection. But what does a cat actually see in the mirror? Can they recognize themselves? And do they see a bird when it appears on television?

The mirror test, sometimes called the mirror self-recognition test (MSR), has been developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. It’s designed to determine if an animal has the ability to recognize itself in a reflection. A lot of animals have passed this test. A few examples are elephants, chimpanzees, dolphins and of course humans. Unfortunately, cats are not on the list. This doesn’t mean cats are not intelligent. The test has also been criticized for several reasons and some claim it may result in false negative findings. No need to worry!

My Purry Friends - Cat on car's wing mirror

When cats look in the mirror for the first time, you can observe several reactions. Most cats are scared or even aggressive, others are just curious how that other cat seemed to appear out of nowhere. After a while, curiosity will win and your cat will get used to their reflection.

Now let’s take a closer look at the television. Unfortunately, there is no recent research that investigates how and why cats react at modern screens. Nowadays, some images on your screen seem so real that we have no problems to understand why your cat would think there is actually a bird coming out of it! Some cats like to watch television and it can be amusing for humans as well to watch your favorite show with your cat next to you. Chips for you, cat treats for your purry friend and you are set for a comfy evening at home!

For now, it is still a mystery and we can only guess what cats actually see when they see a reflection or watch television. Cat eyes have the natural tendency to react on any movement, that’s what makes it so fun to play with your cat and their favorite toy. But do they actually see a bird when there’s a bird on tv? Maybe we’ll find out in the future!

My Purry Friends



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