What does the cat see in the mirror? Does he recognize himself?


It has been assumed that, apart from humans, beings capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror are apes and a few other sparse species of animals. Recognizing your reflection and identifying yourself as yourself is the ability to be self-aware. What does the cat see in the mirror? Does he recognize reflection as his own?

What does the cat see in the mirror? Scientists are researching

In 1970, an interesting experiment was conducted at the University of Albany. Scientists tagged animals in places that they could only see in a mirror. It was a non-invasive marking like a paint spot on the throat or forehead.

Then the marked animal perceives its reflection. Do they look for a mark on their body by looking in the mirror, or are they touching the reflection as if it were a different individual. If they touched each other, they were considered to recognize the reflection as themselves, that is, they were conscious.

The tests were invented by psychologist Gordon Gallup. Very few species have "passed" the test. Among them were:

  • all the apes,
  • chimpanzees,
  • bonobo gorillas,
  • orangutans,
  • dolphins
  • killer whales,
  • elephants
  • magpies.

However, cats and dogs are not. Are you sure? When we observe cats' reactions to mirrors, we wonder what they actually see in them. Some do not react, others look for something behind glass, others watch the world in the mirror like television.

The cat's vision of the world still hides many secrets

Formerly cats were thought to see the world in black and white. Currently, scientists agree that these are different shades of blue.

Interestingly, it has been proven that cats can perceive optical illusions. You can check it for yourself by showing your cat the drawing of "spinning" wheels.

Their author is Akiyoshi Kitaoka, professor of psychology from the University of Kyoto. The cat reacts to this drawing as if it were a laser light. Even though the drawing itself is stationary and flat:

Is this the only illusion cats can perceive? Or maybe cats can see more than we think? In your free time, you can show your pets a similar picture. Let me know how (and if at all) your purrs reacted.

Have fun!


Video: Cat fight through the window.


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