Project in Missouri to study cats for children with autism


COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri center for Human-Animal Interaction is raising money for a research project to study the possible benefits of placing adoptable cats in the homes of children with autism.

The Columbia Missourian ( ) reports that the project is called Feline Friends and a goal of $29,000 has been set. Researchers intend to go into animal shelters and identify cats that would do well in homes of children with autism. The money will also go toward families that participate in the study to pay for supplies such as food, a litter box, and toys.

Researchers hope to give the families better information about choosing a pet for their home.

The research center says it’ll measure the behavior of cats before using the animals in the study to make sure they’re calm enough for interaction.