Well, from human perspective cats are weird. They do strange things and show odd behavior. But the funny thing is, these “weird” attitudes are actually their normal behavior. Sometimes your cat may behave in a way that doesn’t make any sense, which may lead to the question Can cats have mental disabilities?
Well, the surprising answer is yes, cats can have mental disabilities. However, their mental illness is not similar to that of humans. They don’t express it like we do that’s why it can be hard to recognize their problems. But there are treatments for such issues.
If you think your cat has a mental disability then you can have it checked at your vet. And if you find out that your cat is mentally unstable then don’t freak out. Trust me, there is nothing to worry about.
With proper care and treatment, your cat’s mental disabilities won’t be an alarming issue for long. Mentally disabled cats are no different than regular cats. They are just as loving, caring, and affectionate.
In this article, you will get to know about the mental difficulties that cats usually have and how you can deal with such issues. This article will also help you to understand your cat better and ensure a safe and healthy life for it.
How to know if my cat has mental disabilities?
The only proper way to understand whether a cat has a mental disability or not is to observe its behavior closely. To be honest every cat has unique traits but most of these traits are quite insignificant. But there are some long-term abnormal behaviors that can arise from mental instability.
If you observe your cat closely you will notice these attitudes such as aggression, frustration, sulking for long hours, and fear. Though cats may have these issues it usually resolves with time. If you notice the mentioned condition for long period then you can assume that your cat might be mentally unstable.
So far there is no medical diagnosis that determines the mental stability of cats. However, paying attention to your cats’ behavior can tell you all you need to know. If you want to be sure of your cat’s mental condition you must properly understand its personality, behavior, and response to certain issues. If your cat’s attitude seems abnormal to you then you can video record it and show it to your vet to be sure.
Here are some basic issues that can mean mental instability for your cat:
|Becomes aggressive to people and other pets. Shows predatory behavior and causes physical harm to other animals or objects. Hisses, bites, growls and chases away weaker members.||Aggression|
|Signs of tension such as increased movement and tense muscle restlessness||Anxiety|
|Performs irrelevant activities such as getting scared and angry while eating or grooming. Vacuum activity or fixed action patterning things repetitively||Displacement Activity|
|Getting frequently scared Getting scared of the most unusual thing intense fear of the most insignificant thing shaking out of fear||Trauma|
|Fearful action toward particular things acting panicked around certain objects or pets||Phobia|
|Hyperactivity Gets easily distracted Extremely curious Destructive tendencies||ADHD|
|Distinctive skin rolling due to incorrect pain signals set to rain unpredictable behaviorMood swing||FHS|
These are basically the most common problems that cats usually endure. If they show the above-mentioned behavior you can assume that they have these problems. And only after you are properly sure that they are behaving in an odd way you must consult with your vet.
But remember, it’s important to observe your cat closely before jumping to any conclusion. Take your time and see if these are long-term conditions and not a minor temporary discomfort.
What causes mental disability in cat and what can be done?
Usually, the past experience of cats gives rise to their mental problems. However, their mental complexities can stem from how you treat them as well. Proper care, affection, and adequate treatment can help your cat live healthily again.
A cat can have mental problems due to its past abuse and improper treatment by previous owners. If it’s a stray cat then chances are it was faced with the violent nature of reality and that was too much for them. Their trauma and phobia can arise even from your behavior.
If you leave your cat alone for long hours or don’t give it enough affection and attention then it will become depressed. This can even lead your cat to act aggressively. If you don’t maintain your cats’ dietary requirements you may get cranky and end up acting frustrated.
If you ignore your cat and pay attention to your other pet or something else, then it can have mood swings. Most cats have mood swings when they can’t get what it wants from its owner. Basically, if they feel ignored they have mood swings and it leads to destructive behavior.
Why does my cat seem mentally challenged?
Actually, your behavior toward your cat affects it a lot. If you act unsocial with your cat it surely won’t demonstrate positive behavior. But if you are sociable with your cat then even the most antisocial breed will act affectionate.
So what will help your cat with these issues is proper care and affection. If you just give your cat enough attention and take care of it, fulfilling its every need then your cat will recover slowly.
To do this you have to at first understand what it is that your cat is missing and provide it to it. Simply put, you will have to be strictly attentive to your cat. This way you will be able to identify the problem and solve it with efficiency.
Can cats be autistic?
No, cats cannot be autistic. However, cats can show traits of autism. Cats can demonstrate problematic behavior due to abnormal nerve function in the brain. But these attitudes don’t mean that they have autism. It just indicates a condition of theirs.
Cats usually display autistic tendencies through their physical and cognitive behavior. These problems usually occur in the case of social interaction.
Some autism-like symptoms in cats are vocalization, avoiding social interaction, extraordinary focus, and sensory abnormalities. What do these mean? Let’s see.
The absence of proper verbal communication is a common trait of autism. Abnormal verbal communication can mean both the absence of verbal communication and excessive usage of it.
If your cat is purring only around you then it doesn’t indicate autism. It just means that your cat is scared but feels safe in your presence. It is problematic if your cat is loud and meows constantly or doesn’t make a sound at all.
2. Lack of social interaction
Most of the cat breeds are actually independent. Due to evolution, almost every single creatures are self-dependent. So basically this is why your cat may need regular alone time. For a certain amount of time, your cat can behave anti-social and don’t make any social interaction.
This is not a problem if your cat doesn’t show any sign of aggression or behaves anti-social all the time.
But if your cat is like this by nature and doesn’t make the interaction even with you then it can mean that your cat has a mental disability.
Acting vulnerable and panicked when exposed to social interaction is a symptom of an autism-like problem.
3. Extraordinary focus
There are many cat breeds such as Abyssinians and Birman who are known for their impressive intelligence. Intelligent cat breeds tend to demonstrate an extraordinary focus on certain actions and objects. It’s a common trait of cats.
They are curious by nature. But if your little furball suddenly shows interest in a particular thing and holds its focus for hours then it’s not normal at all. But consult your vet before jumping to any conclusion.
4. Sensory abnormalities:
In contrast to the previous point, the sensory abnormality is the lack of focus. This symptom becomes apparent through your cats’ mannerisms.
If your cats’ activities are irrelevant to the context or if their movement is uncoordinated then it can indicate mental abnormalities.
But before assuming anything you must consult your vet and see whether your cat’s behavior rose from any physical wound or organ damage.
These symptoms don’t necessarily indicate autism. As said before, cats cannot be autistic. These signs are merely the indication that your cat has something similar to autism. When you notice these above-mentioned behaviors in your cat you should take it to your vet.
some related FAQ’S
Did I answer everything you want to about can cat have mental disabilities?
Can cats have mental disabilities? Yes, they can but their mental difficulties aren’t necessarily similar to that of humans. And as they do not show any direct sign of mental disability you have to be attentive to their behavior in order to understand their problems.
Only after identifying their problem will you be able to solve it. And once you have properly understood their problem you will realize that to be healthy and happy all they need is attention, care, affection, and love.