Cat owners, you’re not going to like this one bit.
Because whilst your furry little moggy might be providing you with endless enjoyment as you tickle its tummy and have cuddles on the couch, a new study has shown that it could also be making you mentally ill.
The study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that everyone’s talking about has discovered that people with rage disorder are twice as likely to have been exposed to a particular parasite that’s found in cats.
Here’s the terrifying reason why this is true. This particular toxoplasma gondii parasite can make us more aggressive, as it actually changes our brain chemistry.
And in the study (which examined 358 adults), people diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (a mental illness that can lead to OTT outbursts) were also likely to test positive for the parasite. The parasite has also been linked with schizophrenia, bipolar and suicidal behaviour. Woah.
So, how on earth are we catching this off cats?! Well, we apologise in advance, but it’s through their feces, and also via contaminated water and uncooked meat. Ew.
While all of this is pretty damn scary, don’t go ditching your kitty just yet – according to the experts, more research needs to be done before we need to panic.
‘Correlation is not causation, and this is definitely not a sign that people should get rid of their cats’, Royce Lee, the study co-author and University of Chicago associate professor, says.