Children practice their reading skills by reading to shelter cats

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Some children in Iowa have found a very captive audience to practice their literacy skills.

They’re reading to cats, and experts said it’s not only helping the children to hone their craft, but it makes the cats more adoptable.

“You let them read aloud to a cat, and it just does something really special.”

Animal experts said there’s something about a child’s voice.

“It kind of just brings the cats out of their shell, it’s pretty cool.”

This new program may also help bring some kids out of their shells, too.

“This is a pretty low-pressure environment, and these cats aren’t going to correct their pronunciation, so I think it’s a win-win situation,” said Liz Ford with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Ultimately officials said introducing kids reading to cats will give the cats a better chance at adoption because they won’t be so shy.

And the kids are happy to help.

“It was relaxed I think, his eyes were closed, but the moment we stopped reading he woke up,” one child said.

On its first day the program was already a hit.

And that’s something officials — and kids — said you can expect will continue.

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