As a feline-loving (and owning) human who also happens to occasionally read things on the internet, you’ve probably heard of people claiming that cats can be autistic. While this may sound like an absurd idea, there is some truth behind it! Many cats definitely experience some of the same symptoms as humans who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. For this article, we’ll explore how and why cats could be autistic, and what that means for their owners. If you’re here because you think your cat may be autistic, read on for more information on the topic!
Can Cats Be Autistic?
Autism is a complex disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate, interact socially, and interact with others. According to the Autism Society of America, autism affects one in 88 children in the United States, yet there is no known cause or cure. With this said, there are numerous theories on what causes autism. Although it is believed that autism has genetic origins, some believe it is due to environmental factors as well.
What Is Autism?
Autism is an issue with how the brain processes information. People who are autistic often have trouble communicating and interacting socially, and they may have unusual or repetitive behaviors or strong interests that they focus on to the exclusion of other things in their lives. Autism can be diagnosed at any age, and it’s estimated that about 1 in 68 people have it in the United States. It’s a big spectrum, though — autism is not a clear-cut diagnosis. Instead, people are assessed based on how many of the symptoms of autism they show. The more symptoms you show, the more severe your autism is likely to be.
How Cats Show Signs Of Being Autistic?
- Cats that have autism can be described as being aloof or detached. In other words, these cats do not seem to care about people or animals, and they are not interested in socializing.
- These cats may seem to prefer spending time alone over interacting with others.
- Autistic cats can also be described as being “unaffectionate” or “aloof” when it comes to seeking attention from their owners. In many cases, these cats do not like being touched or held by others, and they may even lash out if you try to touch them — especially if this type of physical contact is something that has never been done for them before.
- Many autistic cats are described as being “highly sensitive” to sounds around them — some more than others, depending on the severity of the condition. Autistic cats are often described as having a lower tolerance for loud noises (such as a doorbell ringing) or sudden, loud noises (such as fireworks).
- Autistic cats can be described as being “in their own little world” at times, and they may have repetitive behaviors that seem to take up most of their time. They may also have an obsession with certain objects or things around them, such as a certain type of toy or a specific area in the home.
- Some autistic cats are described as having an obsession with certain types of food — for example, they may prefer eating only one type of food over all others. It’s also possible that your cat could develop strong preferences for a specific location in the house where he eats his meals or where you feed him treats (such as the kitchen floor instead of a pet bowl).
- Autistic cats can be described as having “selective hearing” at times, which means that they will not respond to you when you call them or when you try to get their attention with vocalizations. They may also ignore you if you try to pet them, even if they seem to enjoy being petted on other occasions.
- Many autistic cats are described as having a “flighty” personality — they tend to be very active and playful when the mood strikes them, but they can also be very calm and quiet at other times. These cats can often appear to be hyperactive at times, and they may have a hard time settling down or relaxing.
- Autistic cats may have an obsession with certain types of objects around them — it could be a certain type of toy or a specific type of object that the cat loves to play with, such as a certain type of ball or toy mouse.
- Many autistic cats are described as having repetitive behaviors that include jumping up and down on furniture, walking in circles around the house, or scratching at various surfaces (such as window screens). Some autistic cats may even display self-harming behaviors by biting themselves.
So, Are Cats Can Be Actually Autistic?
1. Cats can be very sensitive to loud noises, any sudden change in the environment and especially if it is something they don’t like.
2. Cats with autism are prone to get under the bed or the couch when there is a storm or fireworks going off, something that many cats have been known to do.
3. If you have ever seen a cat who is jumping from one piece of furniture to another, this is a trait that some autistic children show too.
4. Cats with autism are more likely to get extremely attached to one person in the family and ignore all others, something that many autistic children do as well.
5. Some cats can get very aggressive when they feel like they are being cornered or threatened by someone else, just like how some autistic kids become aggressive as well when they feel threatened by someone else.
6. Some cats with autism tend to be very calm and docile at times and then suddenly explode into an aggressive outburst without warning, just like how some autistic children also behave too.
7. Cats with autism are prone to responding to certain sounds or sights in a very violent way and this is something that autistic children do as well.
8. Cats with autism can be prone to repetitive behaviors, the same thing that kids who are autistic do as well.
9. Some cats can become extremely attached to a toy or other object and carry it around all the time, just like how some autistic children carry their own special toy around with them too.
10 . Some cats with autism may be very scared of new people or new situations, something that many autistic kids also fear too.
How To Help Your Cat If You Think They’re Autistic?
- Get them a toy box or basket. You can fill it with toys that make sounds, rattle or have crinkly parts. These are good for cats who like to play with string or yarn toys but don’t like the feel of them in their mouth.
- Make sure you have enough scratching posts for your cat to use! Cats who are autistic may not be interested in using their scratching post if it doesn’t feel right to them — for example, if it’s too thin and has no give when they scratch it.
- Consider trying a new type of litter if your cat isn’t into the one they usually use. A lot of cats don’t like the texture of clumping litter, so they might not use their litter box if they have only clumping litter available.
- If your cat isn’t using the litter box at all, try adding new scents to their litter box — like a new litter, or a new scent of the litter they already have.
- If your cat isn’t using the litter box and you have more than one cat, make sure that the other cat isn’t dominating it (if you have only one cat, consider getting another one if this is the case).
- Try feeding your cat in a different room from where they usually eat. If your cat has issues with food aggression or if you have multiple cats and there are issues with food aggression between them, try feeding them in different rooms to see if that helps.
- Consider getting a pet camera to see how your cats are doing when you aren’t around (as long as they don’t mind being on camera — some cats don’t like this!). You can get cameras specifically made for pets, or regular webcams that you can use with a timer so they turn on and off at certain times throughout the day.
- Consider getting a pet sitter to come over while you’re gone if you have only one cat or your cat is having issues with other pets in your household. Many cats do better when they have a regular schedule, and many cats like having a familiar human around to pay attention to them while their caregiver is gone.
Cats can and do show signs of being autistic, as can humans. In fact, many cats have autistic-like symptoms. However, autism is a complex condition that isn’t easy to apply to cats. It’s also not clear whether cats have the same kind of autism as humans do. While cats do show some signs of autism, it’s important to remember that they aren’t the same.