Autistic children have special challenges growing up in a world that may not understand how they think and feel. Fortunately scientists at the University of Missouri Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction in the College of Veterinary Medicine have discovered that cats can help autistic children cope with life.

“We found the main benefit of these companion animals is their unconditional acceptance,” research scientist Gretchen Carlisle said. “Some children with autism may have sensory issues or be sensitive to loud noises, so a cat may be an appropriate, comforting pet for some families due to their calming presence.”

Whether you have family members with autism or not, cats can prove helpful in keeping everyone calm while they drive you crazy with their antics that make you forget your own problems.

To learn more about how cats can help autistic kids, click here.