According to a new medical study the stereotype of the zany cat lady hording cats and living like a recluse may actually have a scientific relationship. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that exposure to the parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) has a causal relationship to schizophrenia and severe depression.
However, it seems it's not seniors that are most at risk but rather young people. The study showed that youngsters who were exposed to cats (and their litter boxes) are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life.
So does this mean that it's time to get rid of our cute and cuddly cats? Well no. However, there are some critical precautions.
- Never allow your children around the cat litter box.
- Be diligent about keeping your litter box clean.
- Never dispose of your cat litter by burying the waste.
- Finally, do not feed nor adopt stray or feral cats. Cases of T. gondii infection are significantly higher among feral cats.
My family had cats as pets. I was often responsible for cleaning the litter box. I wonder if my struggles with Severe Depression are related.
Mental Health Justice. No stigma. No Judgment. Everyone is welcome.