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Can cats have down syndrome or autism?

February 28th, 2009, 09:48 AM
One of our cats, Sophie is about six or seven. She's never been a normal cat, She often seems confused, dazed. She'll purr up against you and let you pet her and then out of nowhere she bites, and she bites hard. She seems a little.. er.. stupid.

It's hard to explain, but everyone who knows her agrees. Is it possible for cats to have mental defects? Or could it be brain damage?

February 28th, 2009, 12:50 PM
It is possible for cats to have brain damage, could be from oxygen deprevation at birth, genetic defect, mother having illness during pregnancy, toxic exposure, essentially anything that can damage a human brain can damage a cat. The family cats I had as a child would come and look for attention then decide to attack after about 10 mins too, or when they decided they were done, it might just be a personality trait... don`t know.

March 2nd, 2009, 10:44 AM
Some cats can be overstimulated by too much petting, and then they lash out as you've described. This is especially true if you're rubbing or stroking her tummy. A lot of cats can tolerate it at all or very little. So just find her spots that she does like touched without reacting, maybe behind her ears, her cheeks or under her chin. It's usually on the body stroking on the back and especially the tummy that seems to cause overstimulation.

Other cats you can't give them enough stroking anywhere--my two are like that, but I have had other cats like yours.

Brain damage is definitely a possibility as well, sometimes this happens during a difficult birthing or head tauma.

March 2nd, 2009, 11:05 AM
I have a cat that was strangled and thus has developed some odd behaviours, similiar to what you describing. Do you have any background history on her - such as where you orginally got her?

March 3rd, 2009, 09:25 AM
I used to describe my Angus as "autistic". He would sit and stare with a blank face for long periods and then it would seem like his synapses connected and his face would become animated, his body would jerk, and he'd move to go eat or to the catbox or just wander somewhere. He'd also do the same thing as your cat, you always had to be alert when he would approach you for a pat - he had a hair trigger and was STRONG - once he was done he'd grab your hand and bite it or swat at you claws out.

He was a rescue and his mannerisms are very much like another cat I have who was a stray, so I just figured the "I'm done now" swat/bite was a little bit of stray/feral mentality.

Jim Hall
March 3rd, 2009, 09:47 AM
ahh see cats have a "i'm going to make my hooman nuts" gene

my frind gets a cat 3 days later i get a call at midnight and she goes "oh my god mooie has been staring at the wall for like 30 minutes whats wrong with her? " i say " not a thing she hears something in the wall"