Cats and mirrors have an unstable relationship. Anyone who’s ever attempted to keep a cat in a house will know that as soon as they catch a glimpse of their reflection they’re more than likely to launch into full-blown hostile kitty mode.
This phenomenon has ultimately led to hundreds of hilarious videos and thousands of wasted hours. However, as technology has advanced beyond shiny glass, the opportunities for scaring small pets have significantly expanded.
A recent viral video has highlighted just how easy it is to permanently traumatize your cat through the medium of Tik Tok. Several owners have recorded themselves holding their pets in front of a phone screen, before applying the platform’s new 'feline' filter, magically turning them into a cat. Needless to say, the cats themselves do not react well to the change.Check out the hilarious clip here:
Responses range from bug-eyed amazement to full-on panic as previously passive pets attempt to reconcile the fact that their loving owners have just transformed into something so nightmarish it wouldn’t look out of place in the infamous “Cats” trailer. So startling is the change that one of the featured cats attempts to flee there and then, while the rest are just rooted to the spot.
Obviously seeing anyone you trust turn into something that looks like it’s about to eat you is scary. However, there is an explanation as to why cats, in particular, might react so strongly to seeing a fellow feline suddenly appear.
Cats are, by and large, territorial animals who will often react aggressively if an intruder is perceived to have entered their personal space. This is why, according to an article in Popular Science, cats will "act wary or aggressive towards what appears to be another cat able to counteract [her] own gestures perfectly" when they come across their reflection in the mirror.Watch the official trailer for the new Cats movie here:
This also explains why the sight of a giant cat appearing over their shoulder in a phone screen is so alarming. Not that it makes it any less hilarious.