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firemonkey
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22 Feb 2017, 4:16 am

New UCL research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness.

Recent research has suggested that cat ownership might contribute to some mental disorders, because cats are the primary host of the common parasite Toxoplasma Gondii (T. Gondii), itself linked to mental health problems such as schizophrenia. However, the new study, published in Psychological Medicine, suggests that cat ownership in pregnancy and childhood does not play a role in developing psychotic symptoms during adolescence. The study looked at nearly 5000 people born in 1991 or 1992 who were followed-up until the age of 18. The researchers had data on whether the household had cats while the mother was pregnant and when the children were growing up.

"The message for cat owners is clear: there is no evidence that cats pose a risk to children's mental health," says lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry). "In our study, initial unadjusted analyses suggested a small link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms at age 13, but this turned out to be due to other factors. Once we controlled for factors such as household over-crowding and socioeconomic status, the data showed that cats were not to blame. Previous studies reporting links between cat ownership and psychosis simply failed to adequately control for other possible explanations."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases ... 022017.php


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nick007
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22 Feb 2017, 8:56 pm

I always heard that owning pets like cats were beneficial to mental health. This is pretty interesting stuff.


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IstominFan
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23 Feb 2017, 9:17 pm

I have been a cat lover nearly all of my life and I can vouch for the fact that cats (and pets in general) are beneficial for my health.



crystaltermination
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25 Feb 2017, 4:54 pm

Good thing none of those advocates for this idea knew about me as a child. :D Nonsense theories aside, I've grown up with cats in the house all my life, and though they have their boundaries and will let people know them (particularly nosy kids) I think growing up with a pet can in some cases be very beneficial to mental health. I miss all my departed felines dearly, and love the two I have currently.


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nick007
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25 Feb 2017, 6:59 pm

I also heard that petting cats was beneficial for stress or something.


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IstominFan
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26 Feb 2017, 8:28 pm

Having pets in general is a good way to relieve stress. I couldn't imagine life without them.



Sweetleaf
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26 Feb 2017, 9:51 pm

I was never under the impression they were linked in the first place.



SaveFerris
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27 Feb 2017, 10:28 am

I thought this post was going to be about crazy cat ladies/men :lol:


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komamanga
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27 Feb 2017, 2:50 pm

I was born with Toxoplasma, from a mother who was afraid of cats and couldn't get close to one.