Cats are known to be very shy animals, and even the most social of cats usually will not approach a member of their own species. However, if you own a cat, you may have noticed that your furry feline friend is very interested in its own image in the mirror. This post will answer the question “Why does my cat scratch the mirror?” and show you what you can do about it.
So, why does my cat scratch the mirror? Likely reasons why your cat scratches the mirror are to sharpen its claws, to hide its scent, it is stretching or that it just likes the feeling.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat scratches the mirror and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my cat scratch the mirror?
Below are likely reasons why your cat has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
To sharpen its claws
Cats’ claws are constantly growing. The old parts of the claws become dull over time and are usually worn away when the cat scratches at hard surfaces. The reason why your cat scratches the mirror and other hard surfaces is likely to be that it is maintaining its claws.
Spreading its scent
Cats have sweat glands on their paws. Another possible reason why your cat scratches at the mirror could be that it is marking its territory. This would be more likely if your cat paws at the mirror more than it scratches it and if it tends to do it more when other animals have been around.
Another possible reason why your cat does it is that it is stretching. This would be more likely if your cat does it more with a stretching motion and it extends its paws and claws.
To get attention
It could also be the case that your cat scratches the mirror because it knows that it will result in you giving it attention. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it at a specific time such as before you have given it food.
It likes the feeling
It might also be the case that your cat scratches the mirror because it simply likes the feeling. This would be more likely if your cat does it at random times and it does things such as purr when doing it.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.
If your cat has always scratched the mirror
If your cat has started scratching the mirror suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it since losing access to a scratch post, it would be likely that your cat is doing it to clean its paws and because the mirror is the best location for your cat to do it. In this case, the best option would be to give it access to a scratch post.
What is different when your cat scratches the mirror
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your cat usually scratches the mirror. For example, if your cat tends to do it after eating, it is more likely to be because it has an innate urge to scratch after eating in order to hide its food. Whereas, if it seems to do it at random times, it would be more likely that your cat is doing it in order to maintain its claws.
What to do about your cat scratching the mirror
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Give it a scratch post
Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean. But they can’t do it if their claws get too long, which can happen if they don’t have something to sharpen their claws on. If they don’t have anything to scratch on, they are going to keep scratching anyway – maybe your furniture or even you. Giving your cat something to scratch on is one of the most important things you can do to keep it happy and healthy and to limit how much it scratches your mirror and other items.
Redirect its focus
One option would be to redirect your cat’s focus towards something else when it seems likely to start scratching the mirror. Ways to redirect its focus could include showing it a toy or putting it near another hard surface that you don’t mind it scratching.
Trim its claws
Since your cat is probably doing it to maintain its claws, one option would be to help maintain them yourself. By doing so, your cat will not have as much need to scratch the mirror.
Why does my cat scratch the mirror at night?
If your cat only seems to be scratching the mirror at night, it might be because your cat naturally has more energy at that time and it wants to sharpen its claws. However, it might also be due to things such as getting anxious at night or because it is interacting with itself in the mirror.