No this was not a study paid for by the National Canine Association. New research is raising some startling findings about the transmission of serious illnesses from cats, including links to schizophrenia and other psychotic disturbances. This is a lot more dangerous that “cat scratch fever.” In Britain alone, roughly 350,000 people a year are believed to be infected each year with toxoplasma. There is also a link to higher rates of suicide among cat owners.
Toxoplasma gondii is a microscopic parasite that forms cysts in the human brain and other organs in humans and can be contracted through either direct contact with cats or from eating contaminated meat or vegetables. Of particular concern is the impact on pregnant woman and the occurrence of congenital birth deformities, blindness, dementia and even death. Worse still, there may be no outward signs of the disease. It now appears that perfectly healthy people are also being affected in large numbers. What I found particularly interested is that toxoplasma infection may make people take more risks as well has experience delayed reaction times (a dangerous combination).
The transmission from cats has also been traced to the food supply. In England, they have found that 70 percent of sheep are infected with the feline parasite from eating grass contaminated cat feces. This means that the same risk of schizophrenia and mental illness has been linked to cat-infected meat — again requiring thoroughly cooked meat.
The link between cats and mental illness however was discovered years ago by a young investigative reporter: