Some autistic children may prefer cats as they don’t hold eye contact


A young boy who has mild autism at home with his mother and their family cat

Paul Doyle / Alamy

The fleeting way cats make eye contact may explain why some autistic children develop stronger relationships with pet cats than pet dogs.

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.

“Cats don’t hold a stare but tend to look away after short bouts of eye contact, and it’s possible that this feels more comfortable for …



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