More and more light is being shed on autism for both children and adults. Many pet owners are quickly learning that a lot of our mental and emotional illnesses can be shared with the animal kingdom. With observation of symptoms in autistic patients, you may be wondering if it is possible for your cat to have autism.
What Is Autism?
Autism, also known as ASD, is a complex disability within the developmental region of the brain. For most, signs of ASD appear in early childhood which greatly hinders the person’s ability to form relationships, communicate, and bond with others.
Common signs of autism in children include:
Delay in speaking or lack thereof
Little to no interest in forming relationships
Minimal or no eye contact
No imaginary play or creative thought
Repetitive motions or use of words
Fixation and obsession with specific objects
Do Cats Develop Autism?
When comparing the list of signs commonly seen in humans, one may wonder if their cat is autistic to some degree. Asperger syndrome, in particular, stands out the most to cat owners because people with Aspergers actually sound like cats in behavior.
Common signs of Asperger syndrome in humans:
Inappropriate social interactions
Lack of eye contact
Self-talk, tendency to focus speaking to themselves
Obsession with unusual objects (or one specific object)
Nonverbal communication challenges
Awkward mannerisms and movements
While we humans can share a lot of emotional and mental struggles with our feline friends, Autism isn’t one of them. Cats can, however, make a difference in the lives of those who have Aspergers or friends and family of someone with this syndrome. A book by Kathy Hoopmann “All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome” sheds some light on what the syndrome is like through how cats typically act. She uses how cats view and react to the world around them as a demonstration of how it can be for someone with Aspergers.
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