Can Cats Have ADHD?

by Jayley
Can Cats Have ADHD
Does my cat have ADHD

Does my cat have ADHD? If you’re a cat owner and curious if your pet has ADHD, let’s find out as we proceed through this article!

Cats are playful animals that often display hyper-emotional behavior to express their emotions. This behavior is a natural part of some cats. While other animals are known to remain unsocial, preferring, this behavior is common in some species. The spurs in these animals’ bodies can help them catch prey.

They are also natural indicators of their environment. Can cats have ADHD? There’s a chance that a cat could have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But, this is usually not diagnosed. It is difficult to diagnose ADHD in cats due to their usual behavior. Also, it is usually easier to observe cats with ADHD when they become older.

What is ADHD?

In fact, ADHD, short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that usually appears during childhood. It is a common disorder that can last for years. Cat with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have trouble paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors.

So, can cats have ADHD? Even though there is no evidence shows that cats can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. Cats can still display the symptoms of ADHD like those of people with the condition. As we mentioned earlier, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that can be commonly associated with various symptoms. Most people start displaying some of the symptoms of anxiety and stress when they get older. Some cats can also show these symptoms.

10 Signs To Know If Your Cat Has ADHD?

Attention deficit disorder is a common symptom of a cat’s condition. Here are signs that your cat has it:

#1 Your cat is energetic even though they are already old.

All kittens have high energy, but as they get older their energy becomes diluted. Most older cats are lazy and prefer to lay in the sun instead of running around the house. If your old cat still behaves like a kitten, it could be ADHD. Although being active is not something that goes away when they age, they may still be looking for new ways to keep active.

#2. Cat chooses time to snuggle.

Usually, cats with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the ones to choose when it comes to having an intimate moment with their partner. They tend to fight and run away if they sense that they are being forced to do something. They also tend to join in on the fun if they sense that you are relaxing.

#3. A sudden change of mood

Mood swings are a common feature of people with ADHD. They can also be spotted within cats with the same disorder. The sudden change of mood happens so fast that it can not be predicted. One second you will be petting your cat and the next, they will be attacking and growling at you. If you think your cat has ADHD, you have to be prepared to adapt to its environment.

#4. Impulsive

It is a behavioral trait that people with ADHD exhibit. It helps explain why your cat is so focused on when to curl up with you or why mood swings happen so fast. You may also notice that your cat suddenly moves on from something to another. It could be that they are focusing on you and suddenly want to eat something.

#5. The cat has become addictive.

Attention-deficit disorder is a personality disorder that makes people more prone to having an addictive nature. Those with ADHD tend to have a harder time controlling their emotions. It can affect their behavior and food choices. Do they seem more excited to try new flavors?

They may be developing an addiction to a certain brand or flavor. Most of the time, this is not harmful as long as they are getting the nutrients they need from their food. However, they should still be given food in moderation.

#6. Your cat always sleeps.

Lazy cats are known to sleep very often. This behavior can be a sign of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, It is difficult to tell if a cat has ADHD just because it constantly falls asleep or is always asleep. Also, it is known to be lazy in other animals.

At night, they tend to be very active, which can keep you up all night, which makes it harder for them to sleep. It causes them to get tired and sleepy in the morning, It is also possible that they have ADHD.

#7. They always want to go outside.

For a cat with ADHD, the outdoors can be a great place to play. Their natural instincts are activated when they watch birds and bugs. Getting them outside for a couple of hours could help them tire out and sleep soundly. Even if it’s not your cat’s preferred method of entertainment, giving them a large window still provides them with enough space to play in.

#8. They become hyperfocus on something

ADHD is a behavioral disorder that takes a lot of effort to focus on something. It can be noticed when your cat is playing with toys. Or maybe they just want to focus on one thing at a time. For them, focusing on one thing helps keep their brains busy.

#9. Lacking on self-awareness

In general, cats are highly intelligent, which means that cats are self-aware. They can tell when to back down and act like royalty. ADHD-afflicted cats are also prone to exhibiting addictive behaviors. If you find yourself giving them food or a treat, they may still beg for it even after being given.

#10. They do not listen to you anymore.

Do your cats seem to act defiant? It could be that they are not listening to their owner, and it is their way of responding to their actions. When you tell your cat that dinner is ready, then she jumps up and starts eating. It is when you learn that your cat is listening to you. If it constantly sounds like it’s not listening to you, then it could be ADHD. It could be caused by the stimulation that’s being given to it.

Causes Of ADHD In Cats?

Do cats have ADHD? In cats, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be inherited through genetics. It can also be challenging to tell if your pet has it or not. Just like humans, cats may be affected by the environment. Certain environmental factors can affect their mental development. Cats can get stressed out when they are confined in small spaces.

They may also get restless and cannot meet their animal’s predatory instincts. A cat’s hyper state may start if they do not chase and capture things during play. This issue usually occurs when someone works late in the evening and returns in the morning. Being around people makes cats hyper-active at night, which can then cause them to seek attention.

How To Treat A Cat With ADHD?

Although ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is not curable, some steps can be taken to reduce its symptoms.

  • Bring back the playtime: Having your cat play in the dome during the day can help build up energy and relieve stress. Also, it’s an excellent way to introduce new activities.
  • Take them Outside: Even though cats can be very comfortable staying inside, it is good to give them an environment outside. This helps them release the stress while inside the house.
  • Make you have enough time for them: These animals require their due time to live their lives. If you’re unable to take care of them, it is best to give them away, Because it can give them a lack of attention.

What Should You Avoid If Your Cat Has ADHD?

Sometimes, a cat that exhibits signs of being out of hand will start to dislike you. Some of these include scratching and growling. Also, the nocturnal behaviors of cats. However, don’t indulge in the following behaviors if they will only make matters worse. Patience is the key.

  • Do not give them medicine: Medicine should not be given to cats, to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This could cause a cat’s nervous system to malfunction.
  • Do not harm them: If your cat does something abnormal, do not punish it. This will increase its aggression and damage its bond with you.
  • Let them free: If you see a cat running and jumping, just let it go. It will then release its energy better if it does so.

If your cat’s condition gets uncontrollable, getting it to a specialist is the best way to save both of you from the stress of the situation.


Most of the time, refusing to eat will not cause your pet to have ADHD having to miss a meal once or twice is okay. They will most likely still be able to eat if they are still hungry. Try to observe your cat and find the signs we mentioned above for diagnosis. Alternatively, you may consider visiting a vet for a complete diagnosis and proper treatment if your cat has it.

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