Step away from the litter box.
If someone asked you how your cat affects your mood, your answer would probably range from a hiss to a purr. But science has begun to claw (pun intended) a little deeper on the matters of cat/owner relationships — and turns out, your cat changes your personality and mood in ways you never would've guessed.
No, your favorite little cuddle buddy shouldn't be written off onto your "toxic relationship" list, but their litter box should!
Recent research proves toxoplasma gondii parasites that live in a cats' feces also make it into as many as three million people! Another study estimates you have a one in five chance of having the parasite yourself.
Other than the obvious gross factor, this is a problem because parasites stay in your brain and can manipulate your behavior. According to research, people with the parasite become more self-critical, neurotic, and insecure.
Depending on your gender, symptoms may differ. Women typically become more extroverted, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic (as a result of the parasite) while men become more impulsive, suspicious, and jealous. I guess that means "cat" people really do have different personality types, as opposed to "dog" people!
So how do these gross, little monstrosities find your cat?
Cats tend to catch the parasite from killing prey and eating it. (The sole purpose for city kitties). So if your cat enjoys a tasty mouse treat, then there's a great chance that he/she has contracted this parasite, given that one of the parasite's tasks is paralyzing the mice so they can't run from predators.
Sadly, there isn't a cure for toxoplasmosis if your cat does have it so if you find that your furry friend has had the misfortune of crossing paths with this parasite, you should start wearing a mask while changing the litter.