The debate between dog lovers and cat people just got more intense with dog folks gaining one more point in their favour – owning cats has been proved (to a considerable extent) to cause psychological disorder.
Well it’s not the feline friends themselves as much as a parasite present in their faeces that is to be blamed. Scientists at John Hopkins University School of Medicine conducted a research into whether or not childhood cat ownership is a risk factor for severe mental illness in adulthood concluded that a parasite called “Toxoplasma gondii” in cat faeces can lead to toxoplasmosis.
This is a condition takes time to develop, and the illness is one which is contracted in childhood but becomes evident in their adult life. Exposure to felines in younger years, especially if the child comes in contact with the family cat’s litter box, could lead to the development of sudden rage, bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia later in life.
The team of researchers used an earlier, larger National Alliance on Mental Illness questionnaire to try and replicate this finding, and landed at the same result. According to both the processes, cat ownership in childhood is significantly more common in families in which the child later becomes seriously mentally ill.
The new study was also published in Schizophrenia Research.
Little kids asking for a puppy instead of a kitten for their birthday kind of makes sense now.