I Recommend

(Under construction, more detail to follow)

Pets for people with ASD

  • King Charles Cavalier Spaniels
  • Burmese cats
  • Jack Russell Terriers or crosses
  • Rats
  • Aquatic Pets
    • Axylotyls
    • Catfish esp.  Longnose Whiptail or Bristlenose
    • Texas (or Pearl) Cichlid

Claire Druett AIM therapy services


KSP Writer’s Centre

Swan Valley Anglican Community School


King Charles Cavalier Spaniels

Charlie 12
Charlie (I didn’t name him, he’s named after his sire)

These small, endearing dogs are extremely affectionate, but unlike some lapdog breeds they are not a one man dog they are loyal to all the family and friendly to others.  KCC Spaniels are great with all other pets and are not at all aggressive.  They are responsive to the moods and needs of their family and very patient & tolerant.  For a person with ASD the small dog will be happy to sit & cuddle or watch them, they need little exercise.  The only drawbacks for these dogs is there beautiful long coat needs brushing weekly and they suffer from separation anxiety.  So they are great for anyone who has someone at home most days.


Burmese cats


Burmese cats don’t have the aloofness cats are famous for, they are very affectionate & companionable.  They are great with other pets, although as kittens they can be boisterous.  This is a cat that devotes himself to the whole family.  They are a very pretty cat with a slightly rounded oriental face, but their coats are really low maintenance.  The only problem is these cats love people, so they can get separation anxiety if everyone is out all day & evening.  These trainable, active but friendly little cats are a great choice for someone with ASD.

Jack Russell Terriers or crosses

Cherise 133a

I have a Jack chi, and she is the perfect companion for my Cavy (Spaniel) she is friendly & affectionate, but with lots of energy & pep.  Very responsive to anyone who is upset in the house but also very self possessed.  Ours gets on with all our other pets but she is a lot harder to socialise with strange dogs or cats.  Our Jack chi loves to snuggle up under the blankets with a sick or sad child, but when they feel better she wants to play & run around preferably outside.  Jack Russells or Jack Russell crosses bring a lot of energy to help get an ASD child up and going.


Feb 2014 Rats 3

Male rats I swear have a sense of humour that at least in some areas match ours.  They understanding throwing things at others, jumping up & scaring others & chasing other people, luring something into a trap and then scaring them.  They cooperate & they seem to enjoy playing these games with other rats, people, dogs and cats.  The sensation of rats walking on me is a strangely invigorating sensation for me (weird autistic senses).  For a person with autism rats can be an interesting and invigorating pet.  Also holding a small animal makes self harming & head banging more difficult because it distresses them.



My father & a friend of his said axylotyl to me as a baby because he wanted my first word to be interesting.  I love these weird creatures.  It is fascinating to watch them move and throw little tantrums.  They seem to like being patted too and will sometimes come when to you when you put your hand in the water. Danger is his name not a warning.

Longnose Whiptail Catfish

Pumpkin & palFallout

Catfish are phenomenal and they come to be petted when you are cleaning the tank.  These particular catfish laid eggs and the babies grew incredibly fast, the adults are over 25 cm long and it took just 6 months for their eldest to get to 20cm.  They are peaceful and engaging and so weird/beautiful.  Mum and Dad are Devo & Blondie.

Pumpkin also shown is an albino bristlenose catfish, he is so affectionate he speed swims to any human hand & will rub against you if you’re busy & don’t pat him enough.  He will also come toward anyone looking through the glass; be it human, dog, cat or rat.  Not 100% he has a life, he seems to be courting Chantilly for example.

Chantilly Lace

Texas (or Pearl) Cichlid

Claire Druett AIM therapy services

Claire has looked after my entire family for almost 7 years.  She may call herself an Occupational Therapist but she is an angel.  This woman is so bright and knowledgeable & yet the first to empower her patients to contribute to planning their care.  She is open minded, generous & always upbeat.  If I could only have one therapist it would have to be Claire, she has changed each of our lives so much.


KSP Writer’s Centre

Swan Valley Anglican Community School


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