Do these weird Snapchat cat filter videos show that domestic cats pass the mirror test?

The mirror test is when you look in the mirror and recognise yourself. You are self-aware. Cats can’t do it. Some people are saying these videos prove that cats are self-aware. I don’t see it that way myself.

Snapchat filter videos
Snapchat filter videos
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As I understand it (and the videos are initially a bit baffling) these are videos made on smartphones (cell phones) or iPads using a Snapchat cat filter and the phone camera is in selfie mode i.e. the camera points at the people taking the video. The cat and person are looking at themselves on the phone thus providing a self-awareness test of sorts for the cat. It appears that the phone is propped up in front of them or on a tripod.


The video is below. If it is slow to load please be patient. Also sometimes, over time, videos such as these disappear because the original on Twitter disappears. I can’t do a thing about that.

The filter is very good technically. It is truly impressive. In one clip the cat smacks the person. You wonder if the cat saw the cat-faced person as another huge cat who has suddenly entered the genuine cat’s space and needs to be attacked.

It sort of looks like that but it is not clear. What I take away from the videos is an interesting image. A weird image and cats who if anything look confused.

It may cause concern in cats not because they see themselves on the phone screen next to a big cat (the human with a cat’s face) but because they see a large cat face and are unsure but concerned. I am not sure it is a good idea from the cat’s perspective. If anything this Snapchat cat filter simply causes varying degrees of alarm if anything in the cat.


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