Why does my cat Scratch the Mirror?

If your cat scratches the mirror, it is likely that it is curious about it and finds it intriguing. While this is one explanation, there are other reasons why your cat may continue to paw at the mirror even after you have told it not to. It can get especially annoying when your cat does this in the middle of the night and wakes you up from your slumber. So why does your cat scratch the mirror exactly? What is so exciting about it?

In this article, you will read about the various reasons your cat may want to scratch that mirror in your bedroom, if you should worry about it, and what you can do to protect your mirrors from your cat’s scratching.

why does my cat scratch the mirror

Reasons why your cat may scratch mirrors

We know how big of a concern is mirror scratching especially when it becomes a habit. But before you try to put a stop to it, you must know the reason behind this behavior of your cat.

Most of the time, this behavior is manageable, but if it becomes serious, then you may need to take your cat to the vet soon.

Your cat is overstimulated

Over-stimulation occurs when you are playing with your cat and it is getting too excited by the attention it’s getting. It is not a bad thing, unless it becomes too much, then it will be hard to control the cat.

When your cat is overstimulated, it may run around the house and scratch things too. So if you have any mirrors or furniture, it might scratch them with full force due to excitement.

The worst part is, if you chase it around trying to get it to stop, your cat may think you are playing with it, and get even more excited.

This obviously ruins your furniture, but your cat may also break its nails.

In order to avoid this, you should firstly keep mirrors away from the cat’s reach, and you should also play with your cat in a way that it does not get too excited to cause damage.

Your cat may be scared

Cats usually just avoid everyone and hunch in an area when they are scared, but in some cases, they even scratch things.

But your cat’s fear may not be too obvious at first. You have to look at its body language when it is scratching the mirror.

Observe it. Is it simply hitting the mirror with its paw but not using its nails to scratch properly? Is it looking at itself and getting scared?

Fear from mirrors is due to curiosity and is very common in young cats. It happens because they see a new object and are not sure what they should do with it, so they approach the mirror to gain familiarity with it.

It is confused with the reflection in the mirror

Fear from mirrors is common, but then it takes time for cats to understand how the mirror actually works.

It is highly possible that your cat gets confused by its reflection in the mirror and what to do about it.

You know about cats’ behaviors, if it wants to go somewhere, for example, through a door to another room, it will scratch it and get it opened.

They might think that by scratching this unusual mirror, they can see what is on the other side of it.

Cats can also get confused and run into a mirror seeing the reflection of a door. It is not common, but it can happen when your cat is new to the concept of a mirror.

All these reflection complexes can cause your cat to scratch your mirror.

Your cat may have behavioral problems

We mentioned in the above subheading that most cats do get used to the reflection in the mirror and stop scratching it eventually.

But some cats do not. They keep on scratching mirrors and figuring out what they are, and this behavior can cause mental disorders for your cat.

It can spend hours on end in front of your mirror and keep scratching it, which will be unhealthy for both you and your cat as it will strain your relationship.

Unfortunately, mental disorders also come paired up with other behavioral issues as well as anxiety, stress, and hormonal issues, so taking this lightly is not an option.

You should contact your vet and get the prescribed medications for your cat to renew its health and behavior for its own sake.

For attention-seeking purposes

Cats are not cats if they do not seek your attention in some way or the other. This is also the case with mirror scratching.

If you have taught your cat that this is wrong, it may still sometimes do it so it can divert your attention towards it and react.

It will then stop scratching and run away. This is a tough situation to handle because your cat is taking scratching as a game.

Nevertheless, if your cat is behaving this way, then you may need to spend some time giving it attention and playing with it because it is likely that your cat is feeling neglected by its owner.

Is it dangerous if my cat scratches mirrors?

While cat scratching mirrors is a concern because your mirror may be ruined, it can also cause harm to your cat.

Cats, especially younger cats, are curious while growing up and scratch many surfaces before they get used to things. The problem here is that cat nails are not accustomed to scratching the glass.

So if your cat happens to scratch the mirror too hard or aggressively, it can tear its nail easily. This is a serious matter as you will have to rush to emergency care immediately.

Other than that, if you have a mirror that is not secured up properly, it could fall on your cat when it is scratching away. This is another safety concern that causes fatality for cats.

Many vet experts also believe that mirrors and constant scratching can cause mental disorders in cats. It is a rare scenario and only occurs if the cat is not stopped from scratching.

However, this will cause many problems for you in other aspects of your cats’ life, so it is best to seek medical help in such cases.

You can try to stop your cat from scratching your mirror though.

How do you stop your cat from scratching the mirror?

So now that you know whether it is dangerous to scratch mirrors or not, let us look into ways you can stop this destructive behavior in your cat.

Cover any mirrors around the house

The most obvious thing you can do is cover each mirror in the house or if it is portable, simply keep it away from your cat’s reach.

This way your cat will not be tempted to scratch the mirror or get scared by it and it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Of course, this is not a long-term solution, but it can definitely work if you have thought of an alternate plan to implement later on.

Teaching your cat not to scratch mirrors

The next thing is to manually try to teach your cat the right behavior to not scratch poles. Again, easier said than done, but you have to start somewhere, right?

A young cat finds it easier to adapt to the boundaries you set in the house. You can teach it by giving it treats as rewards so it does not go near the mirror to scratch it.

You can also use a disapproving tone in your voice every time it tries to scratch the mirror and then give it space. Hopefully, your cat will learn.

Another option is to install multiple scratching poles around the house and even near the mirrors. This is great because even if your cat is tempted to scratch the mirror, it may get distracted and scratch the poles instead.

Other than that, you can introduce different types of toys for your cat to play with and scratch so it lets go of scratching mirrors.

Look into medications for behavior

If your cat is scratching the mirror too often even after constant reprimanding, then it may have a behavioral problem.

As mentioned earlier, this should not be taken lightly, and if you go to the vet he may give your cat medications for behavioral control.

Use these consistently and hopefully after completion of the course, your cat should be fine behavior wise and stop scratching mirrors completely.


In conclusion, why does my cat scratch the mirror?

There are multiple reasons for this behavior, but mostly, your cat is just curious.

It also comes down to what your cat feels about the mirror, if it is scared, it may just lightly paw at it instead of scratching the mirror.

However, if it is confused about the reflection of itself and different objects in the mirror, it may claw at it quite aggressively. This can also become an attention seeking ploy.

But if it is scratching the mirror too frequently, even after you have thought it not to, then it may have a behavioral problem. This calls for veterinary attention immediately.

Moreover, aggressive clawing can cause nail breakage and cracks. This can be painful for the cat because its nails are not made for glass.

Finally, there are different ways you can get your cat to stop scratching the mirror. You can cover mirrors around the house, teach it yourself to not scratch mirrors, and even look for medications to stop this behavior if you think it has a problem.

Make sure you consult a vet before giving any medications to your cat. You do not want to further complicate the issue.

Cats show strange behaviour such as sleeping between legs, moving its kittens, scratching mirrors, tail hitting, bedroom door waiting, eye sniffing, chin biting, black boogers, foot standing, back jumping, sighing, peeing in the bathtub and toe licking may actually have solid reasons behind. Its important we educate ourselves about possible reasons and then act timely for any fix.

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