It appears that dogs have a new talking point in the eternal Dogs v. Cats debate. Researchers have found that women are more likely to commit suicide if they own cats because they can contract the Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) parasite from kitty litters. Researchers found about one third of the world’s population is infected with the parasite.
The study involved more than 45,000 women in Denmark and is linked to mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The researchers include senior author Doctor Teodor Postolache, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Humans can become infected by changing their infected cats’ litter boxes as well as eating unwashed vegetables or drinking water from a contaminated source or by eating undercooked or raw infected meat.
The study found that women infected with T. gondii were one and a half times more likely to attempt suicide or experience mental illness.
One of the subjects was caught recently by a young investigative reporter: