Autistic, or a House Cat? A Quiz

cat on cinder block

“But am I really autistic?” I asked the nice lady psychologist, an expert in diagnosing adult women. “Are you sure?”

She was sure, but then again, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual has no provision for what I believe to be the more accurate diagnosis: House Cat. 

To help others who have similar doubts about their neurodivergence, I’ve developed this highly refined, completely accurate self-assessment tool:

Diagnostic Quiz: Are You Actually a House Cat?*

Score the below statements from 1-5, with 1 being Never True for you, and 5 being Always True.

  1. I don’t want to be touched, except for sometimes I do, but I’m not telling you when, because I don’t know. Death to Ye Who Gets It Wrong.
  2. It’s always okay for me to touch you, if I want to. Sometimes ‘wanting to’ means leaping out from behind a door and latching onto you with all four limbs.
  3. I eat the same food every day, and like it. 
  4. I don’t like my food anymore. 
  5. Loud people who wave their hands make me nervous. As do children. I hide under the bed when they come in the house.
  6. I take part in social events by sitting on the stairs, in the shadows, and watching. I don’t understand what I’m seeing. These aliens need further study.
  7. I wish everyone would go home.
  8. I find it stressful to leave the house and I complain, loudly, with the mournful wail of the damned, until I’m home again.
  9. It takes me a week to recover from going out, during which I eat a lot and spend most of my time on the couch.
  10. I like to come in the bathroom while you’re using it. Your privacy is an artificial construct. (Mine is not.)
  11. I am fascinated by things that seem strange to others: insects and questions of their edibility; the flow of water from a faucet; and scientific experiments like: The Effect of Gravity on Ceramic Objects: a Multi-Year, Multi-Object Comparison.
  12. I don’t show my emotions with the gross obviousness of a dog, but they’re there if you know how to read them. Others of my kind easily understand me. I need not slobber to express my love. 
  13. I may bite you. I have my reasons. No, I won’t explain.
  14. My hearing is super sensitive, and I will be upset by the popping open of a soda can, a rustling sheet of tinfoil, or when you make that unnecessary vocal noise while yawning. You know the noise I mean. 
  15. I stare into space with a blank expression, causing others to think ‘no one is home.’ Internally, I am communing with the ancient gods and restructuring the universe into its proper form.
  16. When night has fallen and I’m alone in a room, I howl into the abyss and yearn for an answering cry.
  17. Yes, I heard you call my name. No, I’m not going to respond.

Add up your score. 


17-25: You may be a golden retriever.

26-42: You are an annoyingly cheerful Disney side-kick character, full of enthusiasm, exhausting to all who meet you.

43-59: Average human. It was the bit about eating a lot and spending time on the couch that landed you here, wasn’t it?

60-76: Halfway between human and house cat, you would be happiest dressed up as an animal mascot. 

77-85: Congratulations! You, too, are a house cat. Probably a feral Siamese.

*All house cats are different. If you do not test positive for house-catness on this quiz, it does not mean you are not still Felis catus.