Is Your Cat Dangerous to Your Health?

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy – Magazine – The Atlantic

It’s almost impossible to hear about Flegr’s research without wondering whether you’re infected—especially if, like me, you’re a cat owner, favor very rare meat, and identify even a little bit with your Toxo sex stereotype. So before coming to Prague, I’d gotten tested for the parasite, but I didn’t yet know the results. It seemed a good time to see what his intuition would tell me. “Can you guess from observing someone whether they have the parasite—myself, for example?,” I ask.

“No,” he says, “the parasite’s effects on personality are very subtle.” If, as a woman, you were introverted before being infected, he says, the parasite won’t turn you into a raving extrovert. It might just make you a little less introverted. “I’m very typical of Toxoplasma males,” he continues. “But I don’t know whether my personality traits have anything to do with the infection. It’s impossible to say for any one individual. You usually need about 50 people who are infected and 50 who are not, in order to see a statistically significant difference. The vast majority of people will have no idea they’re infected.”

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy – Magazine – The Atlantic#.TzRDnzPwopE.facebook#.TzRDnzPwopE.facebook#.TzRDnzPwopE.facebook

As a cat owner, I found the article listed above as disturbing. However, the title sounded a little like an “Obama was born in Kenya” article, so I wasn’t too worried. Unfortunately I read the article. The science was good, very good. I was hoping for small samples, unreplicatible studies and maybe a few unguarded statements about cat hatred. There weren’t any of those present.

So read the article. I do hope you note that it is highly likely that it is too late to get rid of you cat, you are already infected. So, please don’t hurt any animals.

James Pilant

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