|Cats: lovely, friendly, and unlikely to make you psychotic.|
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Last year, there were some brouhahas and kerfuffles over the subject of cats and mental illness. Specifically, research suggested that people who have cats are more likely than others to become psychotic because they are exposed to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (see "Blaming Cats for Human Aggression"). But a new study has found no link between cat ownership and psychosis.
The new study was published in Psychological Medicine. It followed about 5,000 people from when they were born in 1991 or 1992 until they were 18. The researchers also had data on whether there were cats in the house during the subjects' childhood or while their mothers were pregnant with them. The study found no link between the presence of a cat and the development of psychosis. This study is considered more reliable than previous studies because it looked at a larger population over a longer period of time.
And the millions upon millions of people who have lived their whole lives with cats without becoming psychotic say, “We told you so.”