Can cat owners really get schizophrenia from their cats?

  1. I just came across this article.

    "Is your cat making you crazy?" from the New York Post. I had never heard of anything like this before.

    http://nypost.com/2015/10/25/cats-may-be-behind-rise-of-schizophrenia-researchers

    As stated in this article, when people don't wash their hands and don't disinfect the surfaces in their homes they can get sick. In this case the idea that someone can "catch schizophrenia" can sound kind of silly.

    If this is true, it's important to get the facts out into the general public.
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    The New York Post? Hhhmmmmm. I'd say 'consider the source.'
  4. by   poppycat
    My cats definitely make me crazy at times but I don't think it's gotten to the point of schizophrenia yet!
  5. by   dallasmiss
    I have a furry friend and have yet to go crazy, I think

    But in all seriousness, you should wash your hand thoroughly and/or wear gloves while cleaning out the cat litter. Cat feces commonly have toxoplasma gandii in it, a parasite. This is why pregnant women are advised to not change the litter box. Acute toxoplasmosis in most healthy adults in children can resemble a brief flu like illness or have no symptoms at all and lay dormant in your body. Research shows that the parasite can affect you dopamine chemistry which in a select group of people can mimic symptoms of schizophrenia. The medical community believes this to be rare. Just wash your hands and wear gloves!
  6. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Saiderap
    I just came across this article.

    "Is your cat making you crazy?" from the New York Post. I had never heard of anything like this before.

    http://nypost.com/2015/10/25/cats-may-be-behind-rise-of-schizophrenia-researchers

    As stated in this article, when people don't wash their hands and don't disinfect the surfaces in their homes they can get sick. In this case the idea that someone can "catch schizophrenia" can sound kind of silly.

    If this is true, it's important to get the facts out into the general public.
    CATch schizophrenia. I get it.
  7. by   BuckyBadgerRN
    Kind of like the Fox News of written matierial "We report, you decide"!

    Quote from No Stars In My Eyes
    The New York Post? Hhhmmmmm. I'd say 'consider the source.'
  8. by   Saiderap
    Quote from dallasmiss
    I have a furry friend and have yet to go crazy, I think

    But in all seriousness, you should wash your hand thoroughly and/or wear gloves while cleaning out the cat litter. Cat feces commonly have toxoplasma gandii in it, a parasite. This is why pregnant women are advised to not change the litter box. Acute toxoplasmosis in most healthy adults in children can resemble a brief flu like illness or have no symptoms at all and lay dormant in your body. Research shows that the parasite can affect you dopamine chemistry which in a select group of people can mimic symptoms of schizophrenia. The medical community believes this to be rare. Just wash your hands and wear gloves!
    This is the important thing.
  9. by   Meriwhen
    IMO, I think all cats have a little bit of borderline personality disorder. They see in black and white (in more ways than one) and can flip from love to hate with such ease.
  10. by   kbrn2002
    3 dogs and 2 cats so yeah, I think I'm probably a little crazy. I would say an actual schizophrenia dx is kind of a stretch though.
    Seriously though, while it's true that many illnesses can be caught by not washing your hands and surfaces a psych disorder is not one of them. Pretty irresponsible reporting to suggest that is possible.
  11. by   WKShadowRN
    Se que? What?
  12. by   Farawyn
    Quote from WKShadowRN
    Se que? What?
    El gato = loco
  13. by   Saiderap
    Quote from kbrn2002
    3 dogs and 2 cats so yeah, I think I'm probably a little crazy. I would say an actual schizophrenia dx is kind of a stretch though.
    Seriously though, while it's true that many illnesses can be caught by not washing your hands and surfaces a psych disorder is not one of them. Pretty irresponsible reporting to suggest that is possible.
    kbrn2002 did you take time to read this report?

    Can you quote things out of it and tell us why you feel that it's irresponsible?

    "When people ingest T. gondii, it recruits the same neurotransmitters, which govern the behavior of both humans and rodents."

    Am I wrong to believe this?
    Last edit by Saiderap on Nov 22, '15
  14. by   Whispera
    I read the article and it's reporting on the work of a couple of people who have done some work to correlate toxoplasma gondii with schizophrenia. One is a well-recognized psychiatrist that I respect. It seems it's possible there is some correlation. In any case, if you have cats, it's always a good idea to wash your hands after cleaning litter boxes, as well as surfaces on which they walk, regularly. They do walk around in their litter boxes, after all!

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