The “real” reason behind the Crazy Cat Lady syndrome –

We all know of crazy cat ladies. A perfect rendition of a crazy cat lady has been done by Matt Groening in Simpsons (we are talking about Dr. Eleanor Abernathy MD JDfrom the popular TV Series). But have you ever thought that this kind of cat obsessed behavior can be more than just a quirk of personality?

There are people (more in number than you can imagine) who live surrounded by cats. Their love for felines can be considered a fetish of sorts. And in a few disturbing cases from different parts of the world, many forlorn, single old ladies had been partially devoured, post-mortem, by their feline friends, before their bodies were found. Don’t get us wrong, we are not creating a premise for a horror story. We are trying to tell you why some people are so “cat crazy”.

What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmagondii is a single celled organism that is found in abundance wherever cat litter can be found. Most human beings usually contract toxoplasmosis by fecal to oral contact with cat feces, drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food or by receiving organ from individual already carrying the microbe. Since this microbe completes its life cycle in feline species only, it usually forms cysts in human beings.

What happens when Toxoplasma enters the human body?

These tiny parasites develop into rapidly dividing cysts that take shelter in human brains. These are tiny but extremely manipulative creatures. The infected individuals become less fearful of cats and show more adventurous behavior. The behavior modification is quite stark in children who are infected by T.gondii during birth or contracted the infection from their mothers during gestation.

This will blow your mind

Infected human beings can show a set of “weird” symptoms that are very similar to the traits of a “crazy cat lady”. The person becomes more suspicious of simple things, becomes withdrawn and is prone to breaking more rules. This infection is most commonly seen in women and that is why we see the recurrence of “crazy cat ladies” throughout popular media and literature.

A few scientists even drew a link between suicidal tendencies and Toxoplasma infection. Although, this theory is still being tested, it is no secret that single men and women, who live a life of solitude, are likely to adopt cats and are also likely to be victims of depression. Multiple demographic studies have shown a prevalent link between toxoplasmosis and increase in suicidal tendencies among people. For more information visit here.

Advanced detection techniques

The correct and timely diagnosis of toxoplasmosis can save thousands of lives. But in most cases, people with Toxoplasma infections show very little to no symptoms at all, except for minor quirks in behavior. There is no telltale sign that will help doctors diagnose and treat people for their symptoms. With the advent of molecular techniques like Elisa, diagnosis of toxoplasmosis may just become easier.

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