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So I am new to this site and I am looking for some help with my cat. I got her when she was only 4 weeks old and bottle fed her...basically I am like her mom. She's such a loving and affectionate cat who loves to play rough as well as cuddle up with me . Three weeks ago I moved from the house she has lived in her whole life (she's 4 now). For a few days she hid under the bed and didn't eat much, but she finally adjusted and seemed to be back to normal (she finally started sleeping on her back sprawled out like she likes to). However, a few days ago when I came home from work, she was spooked. There are two closets in two separate rooms with full mirrors on each. She seems very scared now, like she realized her reflection is there for the first time. She hisses and growls at it and runs away, and is constantly staring at one of the mirrors from a distance. I was woken up by her on my bed at 2am growling at the mirror in the bedroom. As soon as i stood up and was in the mirror, she hissed and ran away. I tried holding her in front of the mirror, but she was not too happy. I had her a little more calm, but she was still hissing and growling when she locked eyes with her reflection. If the mirror door is open, she sits in front of it and looks in, growling! Please someone help! I feel so bad and I feel like she's miserable here and I just want her to be back to her normal self! She seems a little better than when she first saw her reflection a few days ago, but she still creeps around looking at the mirror and FREAKS out when I hold her in front of the mirror to try to calm her. How do I help her realize that it' s just her in the reflection? Is there anything else special that I should do?
Thanks so much!
-Nicole
 

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This is a common reaction with cats. They don't realize it is themselves they are looking at, but think it's another cat. If she's still spooked, you could tape a sheet up over the mirror doors until she's more settled and gradually unveil them. She'll eventually get used to seeing "the cat" and won't be afraid. Then some day it will dawn on her that it is herself. My girl likes to stand on her hind legs and look in a bathroom mirror at herself. Sometimes when she's standing on the counter, I'll say where's "Alkee" and she will stand up and look at herself in the mirror.
 

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Sometimes when she's standing on the counter, I'll say where's "Alkee" and she will stand up and look at herself in the mirror.
That is too cute! Bella was a baby when she first saw herself in the mirror, she backed away from it and had her fur spiked, she was definitely spooked. After a couple minutes though she tried playing and fighting with the cat in the mirror but soon realized the cat did everything she did, she either grew bored of it or realized it was her. Now she knows its her and just stares at herself. You could try putting treats down around the mirrors so that there's something positive about them instead of negative. Just keep trying to let kitty know that the cat in the mirror is not a bad thing, say things like "aren't you a pretty kitty" as to let kitty know that the reflection is not a stranger. Hope the fear subsides soon.
 

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From what I've read about it and a documentary I once saw, cats are not capable of recognizing themselves in a mirror (only dolphins, some primates, a couple birds, and elephants among those that can). The best you can do is desensitize your cat to "the other cat." If it is causing serious anxiety, cover or remove the mirrors; otherwise, follow russian's advice and give your cat plenty of treats for not reacting to the mirror cat.
 
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