This explains everything. A new study suggests there is a link between a cat parasite and mental illness in cat owners. The parasite — Toxoplasma gondii — is quite common in cats, especially if they are good mousers. The parasite affects mice’s behavior — specifically reducing their ability to smell cat urine, and in some cases making the mice move towards the smell of cat pee, thus making it easier for your feline friend to pounce. The parasite is then transmitted to the cat, and because it thrives in cats’ systems, the chances of it being transmitted to you are increased. Where the study gets interesting is in the conclusion that if this happens to you as a child, there is a chance you will develop schizophrenia.
The study “examines whether the ownership of a cat during childhood is more common in families with members who went on to develop mental health disorders later on in life,” writes iflscience. “The researchers state that two earlier studies came to this conclusion and, using an extensive survey, attempted to replicate the finding. They were successful, reinforcing the link between early cat ownership and later-life schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses.” The researchers are at pains to point out that the evidence is thus far only circumstantial. If you are a crazy cat-lover, are you crazy because you love cats, or are you crazy because the cats made you crazy? Or were you always going to be crazy and the fact that there were cats around is just a coincidence? By the way, cats themselves seem unaffected by the parasite, but that’s just because, you know, they’re inherently superior.