Image Source: Pixabay.com
Cats are adorable creatures. They bring us so much comfort and joy by just being themselves. Unlike dogs, cats aren’t as friendly or even playful. Most of the time, they may even seem closed off and distant. But we know they love us all the same.
A recent study has shown that the term ‘crazy cat lady,’ might actually have some truth behind it. According to science, it’s not the owners’ fault at all. It all has to do with the cat in the picture. Apparently, cats can cause strange human behavior. Posting pictures of your cat on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is influencing your actions. However, there is a protozoan which can be found in your cat’s stool, known as Toxoplasma gondii, which can influence your actions.
Not all cats have this ‘Toxo’ in their stool. If you have a cat that doesn’t venture outside for much, you have virtually nothing to worry about. Your indoor cat has no way of picking up the toxo. If you have a curious outdoor cat, then she might dig in the garden and chase her own prey, all of which can expose her to toxo.
How does your cat pass on the toxo to you?
As you know, cats are clean creatures. They won’t go anywhere near the litter box if it’s not up to their standard. If you clean the litter box and forget to wash your hands, there is a good chance that you’ve acquired the toxo from your cat’s stool. You could also get the toxo from handling and eating uncooked meat. The symptoms are usually too mild to detect until severe.
How does your cat have control over your brain?
The toxo found in cat stools can actually make your brain loopy. It’s not as though these cats are deliberately controlling your mind. Toxo contains an enzyme which is responsible for creating dopamine. People who have an increased level of dopamine in their system are at risk of being overly impulsive. Some are even reported to have schizophrenic episodes. While posting pictures of your cats on Instagram and Facebook is not seen as crazy, hoarding hundreds of cats might be. There have been cases where every time a cat is taken away from a cat hoarder, they just go out and get more to replace those that have been taken away.
Although all cat ladies are not crazy, enough of them are to have created a blatant stereotype. Unmarried women have always been associated with cats, from back in the 1700s. The unmarried women were not allowed to work during those times so they stayed with their relatives, becoming dependent on them. They were seen as lonely women who just had themselves and their cats for company, hence the stereotype.