The Connection Between Owning Cats and Schizophrenia

The Connection Between Owning Cats and Schizophrenia

An analysis of studies conducted in various countries over the past 40 years brings to light an association between owning cats until the age of 25 and an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

The authors of the analysis, scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia, have found that individuals who had cats until the age of 25 had a doubled risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia, as reported by Psychology Today.

The culprit could be the infamous parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The authors suggest in a report published in Schizophrenia Bulletin that the parasite might enter the central nervous system and affect the brain's neurotransmitters, leading to personality changes, psychotic symptoms, and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.


However, the publication emphasizes that the study found an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship. Nevertheless, the study's authors advise healthcare professionals to be vigilant about latent infections and consider them when determining the cause of such conditions.

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