Health And Wellness

Your Cat Is Making You Crazy, Says Study

Photo: Getty
woman putting sweater on cat

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. Not only are those little furballs smarter than we think, but they can also be manipulative as well.

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No, your favorite little cuddle buddy shouldn't be written off onto your "toxic relationship" list, but their litter box should! I would rather go through every breakup I've ever had than clean my litter box some days. 

2015 research proves toxoplasma gondii parasites that live in a cat's 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. Suddenly I'm okay with my cat living its best life indoors.

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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. That's just me on a Sunday night typically though, but now it could be potentially every day of the week.

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! Count me as a cat person still! Not everyone can be, though.

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So how do these gross, little monstrosities find your cat?

Cats tend to catch the parasite by 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. Gross! Now you have a dead mouse and a parasite to deal with.

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. We should just make that a norm regardless of a parasite or not. Maybe the cat can finally learn to start pulling its weight and learn how to clean its own litterbox. Or to use an actual toilet.

Remember! Make sure your cat is clean and healthy and that you try to stay as sanitary as possible when cleaning up after your cat.

RELATED: Research Shows That Owning Cats Can, Indeed, Heal You

Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer for Yourtango.