Cat scratching reflective surfaces

by Scotty
(St. Louis MO)

cat scratches mirror

cat scratches mirror

Cat scratching reflective surfaces. My cat will constantly jump up on his hind legs and proceed to scratch vigorously at the mirror in my bedroom. Sometimes he will also climb onto the vanity in the bathroom and paw at the vanity mirror.

He will also scratch at other reflective surfaces such as the glass framed picture in the living room and at windows when it is dark on one side of the glass. We wonder if he knows he is looking at himself or maybe he thinks it is another cat?

Has anyone seen this before and do you have any idea what causes it. We would like to learn how to stop it. It gets tiresome after a couple of hours of constant scratching. We are also concerned that it may eventually damage some of the things he scratches at.

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My cat scratches on mirrors and oven ranges
by: Rita

Hi my cat scratches on my oven ranges and mirrors thank goodness he has soft paws nail caps or he would have destroyed my oven range. I just don't get it. I never had a cat do this behavior before. He is also a very dominant cat. I wish i knew how to stop it. Its an annoying sound like nails going against a chalk board. I yell at him and he doesn't stop. I get up and he moved away.He does this at least 3 times in a night. i go through everyday at night. Did i mention that he only does this at night. it doesn't matter where we are i have two places i live in both part time and my cats come with me. He does it in both places and i just got a new range i just have to watch him. At first i thought it was attention so i gave him more attention but he still did it when i went to bed. He is also selective on which mirrors he scratches. Does anyone have a suggestion to stop this behavior. thank you

Cats scratching mirrors
by: Anonymous

I have not been successful at all in stopping this irritating behavior. What I have been doing for the past several months is to put all of the cats along with a little bit of dry food and their litter box in another room and close the door. I keep the room cool with the ceiling fan and the room is waaay down the hall from my bedroom. They have pretty much gotten use to this routine as they all actually walk to the room when they know I am ready to go to bed. I have been able to sleep the night through because of this arrangement. Maybe this will work for someone else; I hope so.

New habit
by: Anonymous

My 2 year old cat has suddenly picked this habit up over the past 4 weeks. I think it's an attention seeking thing. I have a full length mirror next to my bed and about an hour after I'm in bed she will stand on her hind legs and furiously paw/scratch at the mirror- no claws- and extremely quickly and repetitively. If I call out at her she will temporarily stop then start 30 seconds later.

It will go on for a couple of hours at a time. Typically 11-0200 and then 0400-0700 and I've taken to using ear plugs which helps. I've not bothered covering it up as I know she will break through that in seconds! She also likes to paw at the ceramic bath in an equally frantic fashion. She has always pawed at the windows, usually when a person or another cat is outside and that's clearly a "let me out! I wanna play!" thing but this newest behavior seems very enjoyable for her and she gets the added bonus of waking me up and getting noticed :) I'm going to try an extra hour of pre-bed play with her see if that settles her down some.

Cat driving me nuts at night
by: Anonymous

One of our cats has this obsession also. She usually only does it in the middle of the night/early morning. I have a feeling its for attention because as soon as she realizes I'm awake she wants to be pet. We've tried covering the mirror with a blanket and that worked for awhile...until she figured out how to pull the blanket away from the mirror! I am at a loss, I'm not sure what to do now! Any ideas?? Help, I need a good night's sleep!!

My cat scratches smooth surfaces too
by: Northshorecatlady

My kitty, who I've had since last June and has turned 2, scratches on mirrors, glass doors like on our grandfather clock and cabinets, and even glossy books such as my crochet books, but even on the paper around yarn. I have a 16 year old cat too, who doesn't move a lot so I sometimes will bring her food to her, whether she's on the floor or in my bed. I always put it down with a paper towel and the little one will scratch and move the paper towel until it's covering the food, she usually does this after she eats some too. Strangest behavior I've ever seen, but have to love her. Thankfully its usually not a middle of the night thing or I just don't hear her.

Discovery
by: Natalie

So my husband and I discovered that 90 % of the time it means that our blind cat George is hungry and wants a late night treat. We have to be careful how frequently we feed him when he does this or we just teach him that's what he should do when he is hungry. When it gets really bad, we put him in the guest bath with a small litter box, water and push dinner time back. This normally breaks him of the habit.

Cat Scratching Mirrors
by: Anonymous

I have 5 cats, but only 2 of them scratch the mirrors on my closet doors. They usually begin about 5:30 in the morning and will continue until I get out of bed. I really do hate getting up that early when I have no reason to. They will stop if I yell or throw something at them, but will go right back to it several minutes later.

Trying to put them out of the room is a chore in itself because they run under the bed and by the time I get them all out, I am wide awake. Many times after being put out, they will scratch at the carpet outside the door or run into the door (loud bang). I have tried putting a large sheet in front of the mirror...that did not work at all. I don't want them to damage the mirrors, but I am running out of ideas. Is there an answer at all?

Bedroom Mirror Scratching Cat
by: Anonymous

To "Cat is driving me nuts!" I am not a professional but it sounds like a spraying and marking event. We always wonder what our cats see when they look in the Mirror. It would seem that your cat see's another (attractive) cat muscling in on her territory. We have a feline that scratches on the bedroom mirror at night as well. We throw and secure a beach towel over it before we go to bed. It worked 100% for us but as we know each cat is unique.

Cat is driving me nuts!
by: Anonymous

One of our two indoor cats has been scratching the mirror in our bedroom for a while now from time to time. It's always just after I lay down to go to sleep (usually late) and she does it until I get up, then she runs.

Last night, when I got up to move her off the dresser, she had an awful smelling liquid all over the place. It was on the mirror, the dresser, and I got a little on my hand when I picked her up. I've never smelled anything so awful...It was a brownish almost clear liquid. What in the world is it and why did she 'squirt' it? Did it come from her behind or is it urine? I thought urine was yellow. Somebody help please!

trying something new
by: Natalie

This weekend my husband and I tried something new with George. We put the nail caps on. He never uses a scratching post so we thought what the heck. I will let know the first morning he did scratch but only once and it made a squeaking noise so it still woke us up. They last for 4 to 6 weeks and then we will see.

Cat scratching glass surface
by: Annoyed but still laughing

Having read the comments by others there doesn't seem to be a common reason but definitely a common result. Jethro ends to do this on several glassy solids but thankfully never when we are asleep. He always runs to it and seems frantic. We say no or stop and he does. It's annoying but doesn't cause damage, thankfully. Weird...

Cat scratching post
by: Anonymous

I built a cat scratching post (learned it from this video: http://www.ehow.com/video_4908664_build-cat-scratching-post.html) and my cat LOVES it!

stops it sometimes
by: Natalie

I have a blind bangle that scratches too. He, however, does it for attention. I don't remember when it started, but his favorite time to do it is 30 min before the alarm goes off. If he really wants your attention he will scratch and jump 4 ft up the wall. I find if I ignore him 50% of the time he will stop and 50% of the time he will add meows to it.

When it gets really bad at night we lock him and his sister out of the bedroom by putting a baby gate up about 1 foot away from the door and shut the door. Yes this is mean but when you spend most the night up for a week you will do anything for sleep, Plus it makes him stop for a while. Oh and the squirt gun does not work for our cats. a) they love water and b) they think its a game when we squirt them. Strange cats I know!!

I agree with the texture/sound theories
by: Stephan

My cat could not care less about whether or not the surface is reflective. We have one mirror in our home in the washroom and he has never even tried to touch it. Our cat scratches a the front door window from time to time, but is constantly scratching at select prints of artwork on our walls, pieces in glass frames, pieces that are laminated and pieces printed on photo paper.

We recently set up a new book shelf which he could reach the one framed print he couldn't before and he immediately began to try to destroy it too, it is like a homing beacon. He has thoroughly clawed one or two of them beyond repair over time and we can not get him to stop. Unlike some of the comments from other people, our cat IS using his claws and it is quite obvious from the damage. I hope this information has helped someone with their deductions.

My cat also
by: Greg M

I've had lots of cats but my current one is the first to do this, "Shadowboxing" behavior (as a friend referred to it - her cat also does it). It seems, in my guy, to be a "texture" thing - it's always smooth surfaces (wood, stainless steel fridge, glass, mirrors, smooth wood, etc.), with no claw (so it's not a sharpening thing) and he's not after anything or fighting a shadow. He could also be doing it for exercise.

Sullivan is a very athletic "jumper" who is now an indoor cat after last summer's "killing spree" outdoors (numerous birds, mice, 2 squirrels and a bunny!). He's very smart. But this is one behavior I don't understand??? He also paws at horizontal and vertical surfaces prior to drinking and sometimes eating, which I always assumed was instinctive cleaning behavior?

OCD kitty
by: cat lover

My cat has this compulsive behavior as well. He is the first cat that I have owned that does this. He is over one year and recently began this annoying habit. He will do it on the mirror and the window. He is also obsessed with the humidifier. All I know is it is annoying.

Mine too
by: Anonymous

One of my two female cats does this at least 3 times a week. She jumps on my dresser and just scratches at my wall mirror like crazy. I'll get up, take her off and put her in the hall, she just comes back and keeps doing it.

Like others have said, she doesn't seem interested in her reflection, just the motion and the sound maybe. It's really annoying when she does it, she is such a silly girl. :)

Lucy loves scratching pictures and t.v.s
by: Christym111

Lucy got her "glass scratching" habit from her sibling Piper when she saw her scratch the t.v. during a Ford truck commercial. Piper has since kicked the habit, but Lucy refuses.

She gets the "itch" to scratch just as I lay down to sleep and paws at the picture above my couch or above my desk. As soon as I stand up and yell "Lucy!" she bolts and acts bewildered as to why I wouldn't be pleased.

I have no clue why she waits for me to nap or go to sleep, but the only reprieve I get is when I keep a laser pointer toy on my night stand to click so I don't have to get up mid-sleep and chase her around the living room.

Also, a water bottle with good aim might help incessant scratching at 3:00AM. Just a suggestion. :)

Not mirrors but the glass in the shower
by: Amy Lu

There are lots of mirrored closet doors that our year old cat ignores but something about the glass stand up shower drives her nuts. If I don't yell at her to stop she will scratch at the glass for 15 minutes at a time.

I don't know what she needs, sometimes she whines like something is wrong. I'm mostly curious but it does get annoying. It seems like no one is agreeing here on why or how to stop this behavior.

My cat does it too
by: Kyle

I just wanted to add to the "me too"s. My cat does it too. We just installed a full-length mirror on our closet door. It took her about a week to discover it, and now she does it all the time.

We think it may be that she is asking us to open the bedroom door so that she can go out. She does not look at herself in the mirror, she looks back at us in the bed and says "meow" and it gives us the feeling that she's saying, "Please?"

It can definitely get annoying at night or early in the morning, but if we yell at her, she stops and comes back to bed.

Seems its a texture or sound thing with mine
by: Anonymous

I thought maybe our Taz just had a crazy obsession and then I came across others here reporting similar experiences! We are sleepless these days too with our 4 year old tabby "scratching" during the night on the dresser mirror usually between 2AM - 4AM.

She is extremely smart and physical. An attention-seeker. The arm movements are fast, strong and even paced much like when (humans) tread water or jog. She does not seem to use her nails. It's more of a substantial tapping sound.

Her preferred surface for the past few years was our glass French Doors. We moved a year ago and haven't cluttered up the dresser in our bedroom yet, which has left it wide and clear for Taz's "tap dancing" against the mirror. She occasionally does this on the full length mirror that's just outside our bedroom too.

We had been piling cushions and pillows up over the mirrors overnight. But undeterred, she just seems to find a gap. As soon as she manages to wake us she RUNS under the bed before cautiously emerging again within a minute or so.

We think she knows full well what she is doing is to wake us for some playtime or affection. We believe she is enjoying the texture and the tapping sounds. She can do this for several minutes time. Now that I've read others' comments and written this up I think I see the solutions more clearly. Thank you!


I think mine does it for attention
by: Anonymous

My female scratches at our full length mirror and she is not interested in looking at herself even when held up to a mirror she's not interested in the cute cat in front of her. She's very smart and I think she knows it's her reflection.

I can yell at her and throw things at her but the only thing that gets her to stop is by picking her up and giving her some attention.

As an indoor cat that has escaped a couple of times she also scratches at the windows sometimes which I'm pretty sure means she wants to go outside because she also does this to rarely closed doors as well as jumping and pushing the door to try to open it.

The middle of the night thing from one of the comments, have you tried covering the mirror when you go to bed? That may help you sleep.


i know why they do that
by: toxius

my cat-LOLA ,does the same thing. But here is the scary part. I've realized that she does it ONLY when something bad is about to happen (sometimes something extremely bad).

she did that just 15 minutes before a family member had an accident. The next time she did it, someone else from the building passed away the next day.

Another reason is because they sense spirits.
That is when they start running around like homing missiles. And when you open the outside door, they calm down.

Not territorial and not playing
by: Anonymous

Contrary to a lot of people suggesting that the kitty is territorial or "wants to play," I don't think this is the behavior at all.

One of my two cats scratches at our bedroom mirror on the back of the door quite often. However, she doesn't even seem to "see" herself in the mirror.

If you watch her, she seems to be looking up, and when holding her up to the mirror, doesn't seem to have any interest in her reflection whatsoever.

She used to do the exact same thing with a large aquarium we had at our old apartment. Again, watching her behavior careful indicated she wasn't after any one particular fish, she just seemed to like scratching on the glass-like surface.

I have no explanation for this behavior, unfortunately, and searching for an explanation brought me here. Sometimes she meows while doing this, sometimes she doesn't say anything. It's pretty amusing behavior, but I'm at a loss to explain it.

She has a brother to play and fight with and the way she scratches the mirror tells me she is NOT trying to be territorial or to play...it's completely unlike the way she plays or fights with the other cat.

My best guess is that it's a texture thing. Also, she isn't the brightest of cats, but I don't know if that plays into it.

Scratching mirror...
by: Cheryl

I would LOVE to find out how to stop this behavior. Max just started this within the past couple weeks. I wouldn't mind if he did this during the day but he's doing this in the middle of the night.

And did I mention it's the mirror on the dresser in my bedroom? I haven't had a good night's sleep in quite a bit. :(

Cat scratching ours does it too!
by: Anonymous

Cat scratching ours does it too! Our oldest cat when she would see her reflection in the stove, she would run around the corner to "find" the rest of the cat. When she didn't, she would run back to the front and bat at her reflection again.

Our youngest cat once ran head first into our mirrored closet doors because she saw her reflection from across the room and I'm going to assume that it was because she thought it was another cat.

Wouldn't it be great though if they could tell you what was going on in their heads?

cat seeing himself
by: Anonymous

your cat is seeing himself in the mirror. some cats are so territorial that they will attack their own reflection. either that or they want to play with "the other kitty." is he an only kitty?? maybe you should think about getting him a buddy.

Cat scratching mine too
by: Anonymous

My cat does the same thing except she scratches at all the windows as if she is trying to dig her way out. She has always done this since she was a kitten. I just let her do it.

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