Cats have/portray/display/pertain the majority of symptoms of autism. Autism, in human diagnosis terms, is in fact the 'neurotypical' state of a cat's mind.
All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.
With 1 vote and 4 points ahead, the winner is ...
- Publication date
- Last update date
- Time for argument
- One week
- Voting system
- Open voting
- Voting period
- One week
- Point system
- Four points
- Rating mode
- Characters per argument
Cats are not 'all types of cat' if we go into wild forms. I am referring to the creature that is smaller than a big dog and is generally domesticated or feral but lives in bushes. Lions and all such 'wild' variations of cat are not relevant to the debate. Any cat brought up by Pro or Con has to be the size and shape that is what people mean when they describe a 'pet cat', even if some of that physical type are feral.
examples of cat:
When I say symptoms of autism, this includes:
they may not understand or appropriately use:
Spoken language (around a third of people with autism are nonverbal)
Tone of voice
Expressions not meant to be taken literally
Additional social challenges can include difficulty with:
Recognizing emotions and intentions in others
Recognizing one’s own emotions
Seeking emotional comfort from others
Feeling overwhelmed in social situations
Taking turns in conversation
Gauging personal space (appropriate distance between people)
Restricted and repetitive behaviors vary greatly across the autism spectrum. They can include:
Repetitive body movements (e.g. rocking, flapping, spinning, running back and forth)
Repetitive motions with objects (e.g. spinning wheels, shaking sticks, flipping levers)
Staring at lights or spinning objects
Ritualistic behaviors (e.g. lining up objects, repeatedly touching objects in a set order)
Narrow or extreme interests in specific topics
Need for unvarying routine/resistance to change (e.g. same daily schedule, meal menu, clothes, route to school)
There are a couple more potentially but that covers what I will argue that cats have the majority of.
the cat has next to 0 iq by nature
Violation. Many people (54 meaning units) described feelings of being violated when being looked at in the eyes, making them feel “overexposed,” fearing that others could “peer into their souls.”It makes me feel naked, exposed. Weak if you will. It’s very uncomfortable.One person likened being looked at in the eyes to that of being,…raped on a spiritual level.Someone else said,If I find it too hard to give eye contact, it sometimes relates to not being comfortable making that connection with people. Forcing me to look at someone is forcing an intimacy that does, indeed, have a tone of violation.Fear of conveying private information. Perhaps one reason eye contact was perceived as invasive to some is because it felt like an intrusion of privacy, or even unwanted solicitation of private information.I talk so much with my eyes–people can read what I’m thinking and feeling, regardless of my body language and voice, just by looking in my eyes…I don’t like people knowing more about me than what I’m saying.Relatedly, these feelings of conveying private information may come from a sense of shame, or fear of judgment.I’m bad at ‘bluffing’: When I’m tired [or depressed]. I think that shows up in my eyes and is hard to hide…For as pleasant as I try to be, I know that to some extent, people can see through that and understand that I do have issues, whether it’s my social awkwardness, depression, etc., and my eyes are the express route to that understanding, which I do find intimidating, being a person who is private with his feelings in the first place and who does fear some degree of judgment.Intimacy. Many people (56 meaning units) alluded to a belief that eye contact was considered a very intimate experience that is only appropriate with loved ones.Maintaining eye contact feels waaaayyy [too] personal and intimate, and with someone I don’t know very well that can feel downright creepy.Similarly, someone stated,Eye contact is in inherently uncomfortable thing for me, that I can only achieve with those whom I have a degree of intimacy or trust with.
Energy Exertion. Some people (13 meaning units) described eye contact as being exhausting, requiring an enormous exertion of energy.For me [eye contact] feels like I’m using up a lot of energy. The longest I can stare at someone in the eye is from less than 2 to 6 seconds at the most. Then it gets tiring.Another said that eye contact,…saps my energy [from] my core like being hypnotized by a cold-blooded energy sucking vampire.Audiovisual Integration. Many (81 meaning units) described difficulties processing audio and visual input simultaneously.I can’t concentrate while making eye contact, particularly if I need to listen to what the other person is saying to me. It’s like I need to shut off the visual input in order to completely process the aural input.Several people suggested that there are too many distracting features in the face to focus on anything else. Others said their mind just “shuts down” while making eye contact. One person noted a frustrating irony:[If I] …don’t make eye contact…I’m able to concentrate on the conversation but people think I’m not [paying attention. If I do] make eye contact, I’m unable to concentrate on the conversation but people think I’m more attentive.Besides concentrating on their conversational partner’s verbal messages, several meaning units indicated that eye contact interfered with their ability to generate thoughts and responses.Eye contact interrupts the flow of my thoughts. It is as if the eye contact itself becomes the primary thing of which I am cognizant and thinking takes a back seat. Depending on the amount of mental effort required to maintain the conversation, eye contact can be very disruptive.
"The findings demonstrate that, contrary to what has been thought, the apparent lack of interpersonal interest among people with autism is not due to a lack of concern," says Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, PhD, director of neurolimbic research in the Martinos Center and corresponding author of the new study. "Rather, our results show that this behavior is a way to decrease an unpleasant excessive arousal stemming from overactivation in a particular part of the brain."The key to this research lies in the brain's subcortical system, which is responsible for the natural orientation toward faces seen in newborns and is important later for emotion perception. The subcortical system can be specifically activated by eye contact, and previous work by Hadjikhani and colleagues revealed that, among those with autism, it was oversensitive to effects elicited by direct gaze and emotional expression. In the present study, she took that observation further, asking what happens when those with autism are compelled to look in the eyes of faces conveying different emotions.Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Hadjikhani and colleagues measured differences in activation within the face-processing components of the subcortical system in people with autism and in control participants as they viewed faces either freely or when constrained to viewing the eye-region. While activation of these structures was similar for both groups exhibited during free viewing, overactivation was observed in participants with autism when concentrating on the eye-region. This was especially true with fearful faces, though similar effects were observed when viewing happy, angry and neutral faces.The findings of the study support the hypothesis of an imbalance between the brain's excitatory and inhibitory signaling networks in autism -- excitatory refers to neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain, while inhibitory refers to those that calm it and provide equilibrium. Such an imbalance, likely the result of diverse genetic and environmental causes, can strengthen excitatory signaling in the subcortical circuitry involved in face perception. This in turn can result in an abnormal reaction to eye contact, an aversion to direct gaze and consequently abnormal development of the social brain.In revealing the underlying reasons for eye-avoidance, the study also suggests more effective ways of engaging individuals with autism. "The findings indicate that forcing children with autism to look into someone's eyes in behavioral therapy may create a lot of anxiety for them," says Hadjikhani, an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. "An approach involving slow habituation to eye contact may help them overcome this overreaction and be able to handle eye contact in the long run, thereby avoiding the cascading effects that this eye-avoidance has on the development of the social brain."
Humans love eye contact. It can make us feel appreciated, special, loved.However, as it usually is with our cats, things aren’t that simple. Eye contact, which we view as friendly, our furry companions view as assertive or threatening.But it makes sense if you think about a cat’s natural instinct.Cats can be very self-conscious. When it realizes it’s being watched, the cat may assess the threat, and then return to whatever he was doing, but in a more self-conscious way. The direct eye contact intimidates your cat, which can make him uncomfortable.Similarly, this is why cats try to out-stare each other to resolve conflicts. It’s a battle of the wills. That’s also why if two cats are fighting, it can help if you break their line of eye sight with a blanket or tray (never your body!). By cutting off their line of sight, they may become distracted and go on their way.This may provide a glimmer of insight to why your cat may tend to approach non-cat people in a room. Just imagine it – you have a number of friends over, and your cat walks into the room.Naturally, your friends who love your cat will likely look his way and call his name, an attempt to draw him close. However, that behavior, specifically the direct eye contact, may have the opposite effect. Your cat may view those actions as threatening, and instead approach someone who’s trying to ignore your cat. Since they’re not looking at your cat, it poses less of a threat. (Now you can explain it to your friends!)That said, not all eye contact is bad. Some folks try “blink kissing” with their cats – blinking slowly and deliberately while staring directly at the cat. This break in eye contact is supposed to convey “I’m not threatening; you can trust me.” Some cats may even blink kiss back, others may become more self-aware by fluffing up or grooming.Some claim that blink kissing can build a stronger bond between you and your cat, but I say you may want to take this with a grain of salt. One concern I hear now and again is that an owner’s cat doesn’t blink kiss back. I guarantee it’s not because your cat doesn’t love you, it’s most likely because he’d wish you’d cut back on the intimidating direct eye contact.In fact, cats usually reserve their direct eye contact to things that they’re focusing on, such as a toy or dinner. Most of the time, a cat is paying attention to his surroundings via his incredible peripheral vision.
Eye Contact Between CatsWhile humans make eye contact to show they’re interested and engaged in an interaction, cats consider a pair of locked eyes to mean something completely different. In cat language, prolonged eye contact is anything from a stern warning to a serious threat. It implies intimidation, and it’s almost never shared between friends.Cats are territorial and predatory. When your cat is approached by another cat they’re not completely comfortable with, the interaction could go one of two ways. If your kitty is the friendly, submissive type, she might try her best to avoid looking the newcomer in the eyes. This is her way of saying she comes in peace and doesn’t want any trouble. She hopes her new acquaintance will get the message and return the favor.But if two cats are feeling feisty, territorial, or uncomfortable, they might not do each other the courtesy of averting their gazes. They won’t start an outright fight, but a staring contest will get their point across. Cats make eye contact when they want to send an assertive message. They’ll try and out stare each other as a way of establishing who’s in charge. The first cat to look away surrenders. And if the staring goes on for too long, it will eventually escalate to a physical altercation.If you ever catch your cat making eye contact with another feline, it’s a good idea to try and distract them and redirect the situation. Pay attention to the body language coming from both competitors. If their bodies are tense and their hackles are raised, bad things are coming. Cat fights can cause serious injuries, so it’s best to avoid a confrontation if you can.Special Exceptions for Special HumansWhile cats do their best to not make eye contact with each other, you’ve probably noticed that eye contact can mean something completely different with humans. Cats have been by our sides for so long, they’ve learned to adopt some of our human behaviors. They’ve figured out that with humans, a staring contest doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.Some friendly kitties will make eye contact with their favorite humans as a way to show affection. If that ever happens to you, it’s good etiquette to offer your kitty a slow blink. A sleepy blink or wink is cat language for “I love you.”Don’t assume, however, that this rule applies to all humans. A lot of cats are only comfortable making eye contact with their closest family members. If a guest comes over and tries to stare at them, there’s a good chance your cat will turn tail and flee. They prefer unfamiliar guests greet them with a peripheral glance rather than a direct stare. It’s more respectful and doesn’t suggest a rivalry.In most situations, cats don’t want to make eye contact with other cats. Two cats that live together but never make eye contact are probably the best of friends. They respect each other and never feel the need to threaten or dominate. But just because you catch two cats staring each other down, that doesn’t mean they’re bound to be enemies forever. Making eye contact can be a non-violent way to settle disputes. It helps cats determine status and set boundaries.
In the fight of cats vs dogs, the most common argument against cats is that they aren’t as affectionate as dogs. They are more aloof, indifferent and far less cuddle-loving than their canine counterparts. However, this may make the ideal pets for those who fall on the autism spectrum.According to DailyMail, a recent study showed strong evidence of cats making better companions for kids with autism. “The “less intrusive glance” of cats, compared to the “long gazes” that dogs make, might align better with autistic children’s “social needs,” says Marine Grandgeorge at the University of Rennes in France.They surveyed 42 children between the ages of 6 and 12, 19 of whom were neurotypical and 23 of whom were diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders. Autism is a broad spectrum of developmental disorder with stunted social growth. Children with autism have trouble interacting with humans, or even socially friendly animals like dogs sometimes.However, since cats avoid eye-contact and don’t hold long gazes (unlike dogs) they make be preferred by someone who has autism. This characteristic is non-threatening in nature, as something even as harmless as eye-contact can be overwhelming for those with Autism.
Cats are creatures of habits who thrive on routine. Most cats will have a set pattern they follow every day. Cats are territorial animals, so their routines will develop around your schedule and your household routines. While such a routine driven life may seem boring to humans, it helps cats feel safe and confident. In fact, routines are so important to cats that having them disrupted can even impact their physical health.Changes in routine can make cats sickA study conducted at the Ohio State University, funded by the National Institutes of Health, looked at how stress affects cats. Of the 32 cats in the study, twelve of the cats were healthy, and twenty had FIC (feline interstitial cystitis), an often painful, inflammatory condition of the bladder and urinary tract. Researchers found that when they changed the cats’ environment or their daily routines, even the healthy cats got sick 1.9 times a week and the others twice a week. Levels returned to normal when the stress had passed.Keep your routine consistentThe best way to keep your cats happy and healthy is to keep their routine, and yours, as consistent as possible. If you have to make changes, try to introduce them gradually. Something that may not seem like a big change to you, such as a vacation or a house guest, may be a very big deal to your cat.
A 2011 study conducted by Ohio State University and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed how easily even healthy cats can get sick when they experience minor shifts in their daily routines.The conclusion of the study about cats’ intolerance of change wasn’t something the researchers started out looking for. They were actually studying a particular chronic disease called interstitial cystitis (IC). IC causes bladder pain in cats, and cats suffering from IC pee more frequently than normal.Owners of cats with this persistent problem were struggling to deal with the illness: their cats were vomiting, not eating, and peeing and pooping outside of their litter boxes. Many of the owners were considering euthanasia because there are no good treatments for the disease.Ohio State took in 20 of these IC cats, plus 12 other healthy cats. Responsibility for caring for the cats fell to one particular researcher, a doctoral candidate named Judi Stella. She wanted to make sure the cats were happy and getting their needs met, so she set up an enriched indoor environment for them and established a strict feeding/cleaning/play schedule.And after a while she noticed that all the sick cats started to look well. Their coats were shiny and their eyes were clear. They stopped vomiting and missing the litter box.Stella continued to care for the cats for almost a year and a half. During that time, some things changed due to circumstance: for example, if Stella went on vacation the cats got fed by another caretaker. Sometimes the researchers changed something on purpose, like feeding the cats at a later time.What they noticed was that when the cats’ routine changed, sick and healthy cats had an almost equal number of incidents of vomiting, refusing to eat, or litter-box problems. In other words, no cats – not sick cats, not healthy cats – do well when things in their environment change.Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State, and author of the study said that what we tend to think of as “normal” for cats is not normal, like frequently vomiting hairballs. “There is not another mammal on the planet that wouldn’t be hospitalized for throwing up once a week,” he said. He was effectively saying that behaviors we’ve come to expect from our cats are a result of stress.
“Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights... Set routines, times, particular routes and rituals all help to get order into an unbearably chaotic life. Trying to keep everything the same reduces some of the terrible fear.”Jolliffe (1992) in Howlin (2004), p.137.The world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to autistic people, who often prefer to have a daily routine so that they know what is going to happen every day. They may want to always travel the same way to and from school or work, or eat exactly the same food for breakfast.Rules can be very important for some autistic people. It may be difficult for an autistic person to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the 'right' way to do it.Sometimes minor changes such as moving between two activities, can be distressing; for others big events like holidays, starting or changing school, moving house or Christmas, which create change and upheaval, can cause anxiety.Some autistic people have daily timetables so that they know what is going to happen, when. However, the need for routine and sameness can extend beyond this. You might see:
- changes to the physical environment (such as the layout of furniture in a room), or the presence of new people or absence of familiar ones, being difficult to manage
- rigid preferences about things like food (only eating food of a certain colour), clothing (only wearing clothes made from specific fabrics), or everyday objects (only using particular types of soap or brands of toilet paper)
- a need for routine around daily activities such as meals or bedtime. Routines can become almost ritualistic in nature, followed precisely and with attention paid to the tiniest details
- verbal rituals, with a person repeatedly asking the same questions and needing a specific answer
- compulsive behaviour, for example a person might be constantly washing their hands or checking locks. This does not necessarily mean they have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) but if you are concerned about this, speak to your GP in the first instance.People's dependence on routines can increase during times of change, stress or illness and may even become more dominant or elaborate at these times.Unexpected changes are often most difficult to deal with. Autistic people may not be comfortable with the idea of change, but may be able to manage it better if they can prepare for changes in advance.