Cats may have lasting benefits for kids with autism

A new study from the University of Missouri suggests that owning a cat may have long-lasting benefits for children with autism. Gretchen Carlisle, a research scientist at the Missouri Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, recruited families with autistic children ages 6-14 for a study which found that families who adopted a cat reported their child had a long-lasting bond with the pet and that the children’s anxiety levels decreased over time. The results were recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.