If your cat won’t look in the mirror or freaks out when looking in the mirror, this post will show you why.
The most likely reason why your cat does not like looking in the mirror is that your cat perceives its reflexion as a threat. It could also be because your cat is not familiar with seeing its reflexion and so gets uncomfortable as a result.
Cats do not understand what mirrors are in the way that we do. So, looking in the mirror can be a very unusual experience for a cat.

Why doesn’t my cat look in the mirror?

Below are likely reasons why your cat does not like looking in the mirror.

Your cat perceives its reflexion as a threat

It could be the case that your cat does not like 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 reacting to 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 the main reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat has always done it

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 your cat does look in the mirror at an angle

If your cat does look into the mirror sometimes, it would help to consider what is different. For example, if your cat does look into the mirror from an angle, it could be the case that your cat perceives its reflexion as less of a threat.

What to do about my cat not wanting to look in the mirror?

Some cats may be curious about their reflection and enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors, while others may be indifferent or even scared of their reflection. If your cat does not seem to enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors, you can try moving the mirror to a different location or removing it altogether.

Alternatively, you could just leave it alone and allow your cat do learn to ignore it.

Why does my cat freak out when it sees itself in the mirror?

It is likely that your cat freaks out when looking in the mirror because it perceives its reflexion as a threat.

Do cats not like mirrors?

Some cats do not like mirrors for the reasons mentioned above. Most cats do not really care about mirrors and will simply ignore the mirror for the most part. Occasionally, cats also are curious about mirrors and will regularly inspect them.

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.