Cat adoption positive for autistic children

Cat adoption is associated with more empathy and less separation anxiety in autistic children, according to a study published online in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing in December.

The study, which was the first randomized controlled trial of cat adoption in families of children with autism spectrum disorders, was funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the Winn Feline Foundation and led by researchers from the University of Missouri.

The adoption of cats was also associated with fewer problem behaviors in autistic children. Shelter cats were tempered screening prior to adoption to identify a calm temperament.


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