If your cat often meows at the mirror, this post will show you likely reasons why.
The most likely reason why your cat meows at the mirror is that your cat actually thinks its reflexion is another cat.
Cats do not understand mirrors the way we do, so your cat may perceive its reflexion as a threat or at least get confused by it.

Why does my cat meow at the mirror?

Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat meows at the mirror.

Your cat thinks its reflexion is another cat

Since cats do not understand that they are seeing their own reflexions, it is likely that your cat thinks its reflexion is another cat. You cat may be meowing at its reflexion because it thinks that it is interacting with another cat.

Your cat perceives its reflexion as a threat

It could be the case that your cat meows when looking in the mirror because it perceives its reflexion as a threat. When cats look in the mirror, they do not realize that it is their own reflexion that they are looking at. When a cat looks directly into the mirror, it will see its reflexion staring back directly at it. Staring is an act of aggression for many species and so it is very possible that your cat is perceiving its relexion as a threat.

In addition, since your cat does not realize that it is not a different cat, it could be the case that your cat thinks that another cat is on its territory.

Your cat does not understand it

As mentioned, cats do not understand that they are looking at their own reflexion in the mirror. This can cause them to act in unexpected ways when they do look in the mirror.

You’re trying to force it

Sometimes, people will try to force their cats to look in the mirror to see how their cat reacts. If you have been doing this, it would be likely that your cat is actually meowing as a result of you trying to force it.

Your cat may not be used to seeing itself in a mirror

Since your cat is not used to seeing itself in the mirror, it is unfamiliar.
When cats encounter unfamiliar things in the wild, the rational thing to do is usually to stay away otherwise they risk dying due to an unforseen threat. Whereas, if they stay away the consequence is not so bad.
As a result, being unused to seeing itself in the mirror will likely cause your cat to want to stay away.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out why your cat meows when looking in the mirror.

If your cat has always meowed at itself in the mirror

If your cat has always meowed when looking in the mirror, it could be the case that your cat is interacting with itself thinking that it is another cat or that your cat has actually learned that the behavior is rewarded. If your cat has never liked looking in the mirror, it would be more likely that your cat perceives its reflexion as a threat.

If there is a certain time that your cat meows at itself in the mirror

If there is a certain time that your cat meows when looking in the mirror, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if your cat meows when playing, it would be more likely that your cat is doing it because it is trying to play with the other cat.

What to do about my cat meowing at itself in the mirror?

If it seems to be the case that your cat does not like looking at itself in the mirror, it would help to try moving the mirror. If that is not possible, it would likely be ok to just leave it alone. You’re cat will likely get used to it over time.

Why does my cat hiss at the mirror?

If your cat hisses at its reflexion in the mirror, it would be likely that your cat is perceiving its reflexion as a threat. As mentioned above, cats do not realize that it is their reflexion that they are seeing so they will often perceive their reflexion as a threat.

Do cats talk to themselves in the mirror?

When cats meow at the mirror, it will usually be because they actually think that they are interacting with another cat since they do not realize that it is their own reflexion that they are seeing.

Do cats recognize themselves in a mirror?

Cats do not recongnize themselves in the mirror since they do not understand that is is their own reflexion that they are seeing. This is why cats will often meow when they are looking at the mirror.

Do cats understand mirrors?

Most cats do not appear to understand that it is their own reflexion that they are seeing in the mirror. Rather, most cats think that it is another cat that they are looking at. Hence why cats will often meow at themselves in the mirror.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.