Study Claims Cat Parasite Can Cause Mental Illness in Humans

toxoplasma-gondii-kitten
Cats that are allowed outdoors are more likely to carry a parasite that researchers say can cause schizophrenia in humans. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A truly alarming study published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin reports that domestic felines are susceptible to carrying a parasite called toxoplasma gondii, which can potentially cause schizophrenia in humans.

Scarier still, up to 60 million Americans may be carrying this parasite without even knowing it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A similar study conducted in Amsterdam that evaluated the results of 50 previous studies concluded that one in two people who carry the parasite will become schizophrenic.

Scientists claim that strays and pet cats that are allowed outdoors are more likely to carry the parasite. So experts caution cat parents to keep those kitties indoors, lest they run the risk of becoming crazy cat ladies – literally.

I personally find this study hard to believe, and I know of many cat lovers who are convinced that this is just a bunch of alarmist anti-kitty propaganda. What do you think? Please feel free to comment below.

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