Can Cats Be Autistic? – A Thorough Explanation

Can cats be autistic?” is a common topic for discussion in the feline-loving world. Besides bringing cuteness, cats can also contribute to a more interactive household. However, there are so many misconceptions about them.  This blog post aims to clarify some of the most common opinions and thoroughly explain the topic.

What Is Autism?

can cats be autistic 1

Let’s begin by talking about what autism is. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the cognitive and social skills of surrounding people, their families, and society.

There are so many symptoms of ASD which include:

  • Having trouble comprehending verbal tones, body language, and facial expressions
  • Having trouble relating to others
  • An unwillingness to make eye contact
  • A desire to be alone
  • Light, smell, sound, and taste sensitivity
  • Discomfort when touched
  • Having trouble telling their feelings and demands
  • Routine is necessary
  • Enjoy repeating acts, phrases, or words

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Can Cats Be Autistic?

Animals’ mental health is still in the early stages of studies. If you’re thinking about buying a cat for someone who has autism, think twice, as no evidence links these two issues together. Moreover, research suggests that cats tend to have OCD and anxiety.

According to a study, some dogs might have a kind of autism. But until research is done to prove otherwise, remember that it is perfectly normal for your cat to be quiet and vocal towards one person.

4 Common Signs Cats Owners Mistake For Autistic Symptoms

Could My Cat Be Autistic

Can Cats Be Autistic – Interaction With Cats And Humans

One of the most common symptoms and character traits of the autistic is discomfort in social situations. An example would be avoiding eye contact, even if it meant escaping social gatherings altogether.

You may see your cat tend to avoid one another when sharing their living space.

While it may seem like anti-social behavior, this is probably nothing more than normal for a kitten. Keep in mind that the way a kitten is raised when young can impact how friendly they will be as an adult.

If kittens come into contact with others during their early stages of development, they’re more likely to pursue interaction later in life.

Sensory Sensitivity Problems

A lack of focus, sensitivity issues, and signs of a dislike of being touched are often mistaken for a sign answering yes for “Can cats be autistic?”.

But a more warranted assessment should be done to determine the actual underlying cause. Like humans, cats can also display these symptoms without necessarily having anything to do with autism.

These can be signs that your cat is suffering from health problems. The most popular issues are organ failure, infections, or depression.

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Intellectual Skills

Can dogs and cats be autistic?

In some cases, a person who has autism will show heightened abilities in areas they tend to gravitate towards. Some cats have an unusually high knowledge or ability in specific talents and areas linked to their owners’ suspicions. Yet, this tendency could be due to the specific breed.

Some breeds of cats are gifted with intelligence. For instance, the  Bengal is gifted with an exceptionally sharp memory and can perform tricks and even turn lights on or open doors.

It also depends on each cat. These furry pets, like people, have different levels of intelligence.


Never assume that frequent vocalization is a sign that your cat is autistic. In some cases, chirping and meowing can be a normal feature of the feline’s native language.

Oriental Shorthairs are considered very talkative since they participate in a much larger percentage of conversations than other breeds.

Seek medical advice from your veterinarian if the behavior seems to be caused by stress. If your cat is unusually quiet or noisy, don’t assume anything is wrong. You should take care of your pet as soon as the signs indicating “Can cats be autistic?” go on.

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Frequently Asked Questions

4 Common Signs Cats Owners Mistake For Autistic Symptoms

Is It Possible For Cats To Have Special Requirements?

Compared to a regular healthy cat, kitties can have particular needs and require ongoing attention and care. The term “special needs” generally refers to sickness or physical handicap. Here’s a rundown of some of the most prevalent special needs problems:

  • Manx Syndrome
  • Blindness
  • Terminal illness
  • Cerebral Hyperplasia
  • Missing limbs
  • Emotional disabilities
  • Dietary requirements for the rest of your life

Is It Possible For Cats To Suffer Mental Illnesses?

Cats, like people, are susceptible to mental illnesses. Once identified, there are treatments for cats who struggle with anxiety and depression as humans do.

Is It Possible For Cats To Have Down Syndrome?

Some people claim that a cat can have Down Syndrome. However, a cat couldn’t experience this due to its 19 chromosome count matching the human’s 21.

Can Cats Help Children With Autism?

When reading about autistic children benefiting from pet ownership, we were pleased to know that there’s proven evidence of a link between pets and autistic children.

Children can benefit immensely from the companionship of a small animal. Pets can help them learn to communicate more clearly and effectively, especially when many children have trouble expressing themselves, to begin with.

Children starting the day by interacting with their pets have shown lower cortisol levels, which means a less stressful day.

Even if cats don’t have it, they can be superheroes for those who do!


Until these last lines, hopefully, we were able to shed some light on the topic of “Can cats be autistic?”.

Often, when a behavior is unusual for a cat, it’s easy for owners to jump to the conclusion that their cat is either sick or autistic.

However, cats can develop behaviors that may not seem typical to them. If you’re worried about your cat’s behavior, take the time to make sure that it’s not a medical issue before assuming that your pet is suffering from some disorder.

Thank you, and we wish you a happy life with your cat!


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