We love our furry friends and while we don’t have a cat due to my son be allergic, we do have dogs. In my opinion, they have the best personalities and I hear cats come with their own set of likable characteristics too.
Whether or not that is true, Experts Say, Your Pet Cat May Be Making You and Your Family ill and it’s worth knowing about.
Experts Say, Your Pet Cat May Be Making You and Your Family ill
In a recent study in the journal Schizophrenia Research, scientists found a link between people who had been exposed to cats from a young age and the development of mental illness later in life.
The crazy part?
This not the first time this study has been done nor the first time, the conclusion has had the same outcome. In fact, this is the third time.
During the study, scientists found that a a parasite called T. gondii and is present in the waste of most cats, and it can alter the brains of certain animals.
The research was first conducted on mice that were infected (reproduced) with the virus from the cat urine. The results were quite strange.
The mice infected became less scared of being around cats and were actually attracted to the smell of the cats thus, ended up getting killed because the parasite basically led them to their death by getting eaten by the very cats that they were infected from. (Source)
Since cat owners must change out the litter box regularly, they expose themselves to the parasite (even if being handled and cleaned properly).
Once a human becomes infected with T. gondii, it is unable to reproduce and instead cause mild toxoplasmosis… and possibly lead to the development of mental illness.
Yes, your cat can be the reason behind mental illness in you or anyone in your family.
The study looked at the link between people with cats and a history of mental illness later in life, among those mental illnesses was Schizophrenia and they found a strong connection between the two.
They then took the study one step further looking at a human’s closest ancestor – the chimpanzee what they found was that the chimps infected with the virus were less likely to be afraid of things that could kill them (much like the test done with rats and cats).
So, in animals, it lead to some sort of fearless aspect which resulted in the death of some of these animals but in humans, it altered the brain causing mental illness.
Isn’t that both terrifying and interesting?