Cats recognize themselves in the mirror, yes or no? Cats have the most incredible reactions when it comes to their reflection in mirrors, but we do not know yet if they see themselves or if they think is another cat.

Cats normally do not have the chance to see themselves in mirrors since it is difficult to find reflecting surfaces in the wild, unless they find water on the ground clear enough to reflect their image, even in this case, since the reflection is very close to them they may not actually be able to see it. When cats see their mirror reflection, they think they see another cat, which is why they become all puffy and curve their back.

What do cats see exactly?

Cats recognize themselves in the mirror-Pinterest Pin


Suppose you observe a cat in the house. In that case, you see that as soon as he encounters a mirror that reflects his image, usually he stops in his track, starts staring at the mirror, become all puffy, his back becomes all curvy, and usually would jump up standing on all four paws. It is amusing to see.

In some cases, cats can try to hit the mirror, meaning he will try to attack the “other” cat!

What we take out of this reactions? Do cats recognize themselves in the mirror?

As a matter of fact, no animal is going to try to attack himself. Therefore we may very well assume that he thinks that the image reflected is actually another cat invading their territory; how dare he?

A cat reaction to a mirror image of himself lets us believe that he thinks he is interacting with another cat, whether he will try to play with “that cat” or attack him, he will still have the most amusing reactions.

I think that eventually, cats realize there is something wrong “with the other cat” at first because he doesn’t smell like a cat, second because he gets a weird feeling when he paws at the mirror, are cats supposed to be that cold? And third, because they do not react!

Will your cat eventually understand that the “other cat” is his own image? Or possibly that it is not a real cat? I can say that at least they will figure it is not a real cat after a while, about the reflection being their own, I am not sure, unlikely.

However, I would not lose all hopes because my older cat, which was once a kitten, doesn’t react anymore to his reflection in the mirror. I think he figured out that “the reflection” did exactly what he was doing.

Eventually, he may have figured out that it is a reflection. At least in a way, they figure it. My other kitten is going through the same process, she came home at 3 months old, and as soon as she runs into the mirror, she started reacting the same way.

I will see if she eventually figure it out like the other bigger brother.


The mirror test is a test designed to show if animals can recognize their reflection on a mirror. It is done by placing a colored dot or dye on the animal body.

If the animal, once he watched his reflection on the mirror, can recognize that he has the dye on his own body, then the test is passed.

Reportedly cats have never passed this test. If you want to try with your own cat, let us know the results using the comments below.

The test was developed in 1970. I am not sure any other testing has been done in recent times. It is sad to know that cats did not pass the mirror test; however, cats have other incredible senses that let them outsmart other animals, even bigger than them.

They are too cute, anyway! If cats recognize themselves in the mirror or not, I still think that cats are really smart despite the most sophisticated test and can sense a lot more than we think.


Here related questions to “Cats recognize themselves in the mirror?” and related answers:

  • Can cats recognize themselves in pictures?

Cats would not recognize themselves in pictures, but we can be comforted with the fact that half of the time, on average, they can recognize their owners in pictures.

I have seen cats recognizing their owners on live video as FaceTime or other. I guess in the video, and cats can use more clues like the sound of their owner’s voice.

  • Can cats recognize their owners?

Yes, cats can absolutely recognize their owner, know your smell, and they know it is you by many signals, like the way you look, the way you walk, and so on.

It is amusing when my father comes over: my cat would let him sit next to him. If we are both sitting on the couch, I could pet him with no problem, but as soon as my father tries to pet him, on his back, pretending it is me doing it, my cat would recognize immediately it is not me, even if he was not looking who touched him. Somehow cats know!

  • Do cats recognize their names?

I know that many scientific types of research are concluding that in the end, no one knows if cats can recognize their names, but I tell you something, my cat, and if he can, other cats can too. If you spend time with your cat and teach him his name, he will come when you call him.

Cats also have attitudes. They may decide not to come when you call them, but it is not because they did not hear you or do not know that you are calling them. They just decided that it is not worth it to obey.

I can see my cat raising his hears when I call him, so I know he heard me, often he comes, sometimes he decides to keep sleeping or to sit where he is.


I hope we were able to help you to understand if cats recognize themselves in the mirror or not. If you have more questions please write it in the comments below.


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