Cat people are supposed to be misunderstood intellectuals while dog persons are happy and outgoing. But according to the latest studies, owning a cat may lead to unexpected rage. This is not due to the fact that the feline influences its owners with her volatile personality, but rather because they are the only known carriers of a protozoa called toxoplasmosis.
A team of scientists decided to test if there is a link between the presence of the toxoplasmosis protozoa and unexpected mood swings, such as problematic, impulsive, recurrent outbursts that cause the much more familiar road rage.
Dr. Coccaro and his team decided to gather a sample of 358 adult participants. The volunteers were then divided into three equal groups.
The first one was the control group, none of the members suffering from any kind of psychiatric disorder. The second was formed out of patients diagnosed with some form of mental health issue while the third was made out of individuals suffering from IED.
After testing all of the volunteers for toxoplasmosis presence, they discovered that roughly 22 percent of the third group was infected with the protozoa. The second one had an infection percentage of sixteen percent and the first only nine percent.
But the researcher wanted to point out the fact that the study only serves to show the existence of a link between the presence of the protozoa and sudden rage outbursts or psychiatric disorders.
One of the setbacks in the study was the fact that the researchers were only able to test for the presence of the protozoa in blood samples. But since toxoplasmosis makes itself cozy in the brain of the host, there is a possibility that infected individuals tested negative.
Coccaro was keen on mentioning that people should not take the study as a sign that they should give up on their feline companions, or stop adopting them. There are lots of other individuals who are infected with toxoplasmosis and do not show any signs. So owning a cat may lead to unexpected rage, but it also may lead to living a loving life next to a purring pet.
Toxoplasmosis can be contracted from cat feces. So it is important that you thoroughly wash your hands after cleaning the litter in order to avoid contact with the protozoa. Also, people might become infected after eating raw or under cooked meat.
Image source: Wikimedia