Have you ever noticed how a cat owner can become a cat person? One cat can lead to a house and garden with 5 or ten or more. What if there was a parasitic infection that comes from cats that may cause the alteration of the minds of people such that they overly adore felines? It just may be the case thanks to widespread infection of humans by a cat parasite infection called toxoplasmosis.
Cats naturally carry a parasite called toxoplasmosis which has a life cycle shared by rodents and cats. It can also spread to human hosts. The toxoplasmosis seems to have some symbiotic advantages for cats because the parasites alters the smell of cats and their urine in such a manner that rodents may be less fearful of them which has a side effect of attracting more rodents to the homes of infected cats for the benefit of cats having the rodents available for hunting. There maybe a trade off between the benefits of toxoplasmosis in helping cats to rid the local area of rodents and allowing more to gravitate in areas where the smell of cats would ordinarily keep them away. The toxoplasmosis smell of cat urine has also been found to be a sexual stimulant or pheromone to mice that can also bring them into a cat’s territory. The Toxoplasmosis actually needs the mice to come into contact with the cats to continue its life cycle. This is not the only disease spread from cats to humans as there is also cat scratch fever and cats can spread diseases like bird flu from birds they catch. It is possible that for thousands of years cat domestication was due to the toxoplasmosis altering the thought process of humans to adore cats and even worship them. To find out if you have toxoplasmosis you can probably get a medical test to confirm the existence of it in your body.
Toxoplasmosis may be the reason cat owners are said to live longer than non cat owners. If it is true that cat owners live longer on average than non cat owners there might appear to be some concurrence of statistic data because toxoplasmosis is so wide spread. Cow pox is a disease spread from cows to milk maids that is thought to have made them less susceptible to a variety of viruses including small pox and is the origin of the first pre viral and germ theory “inoculations.” It could be that toxoplasmosis is an infection that the rest of the population that is not carrying toxoplasmosis might want to be inoculated with? It could be that toxoplasmosis prevents pneumonia as a conjecture for why cat people might live longer if it turned out that pneumonia infections were prevented because of the existence of toxoplasmosis. No study yet shows that to be the case . Toxoplasmosis does present some dangers to humans including those with auto-immune diseases, women who are pregnant and others. Other studies show that exposure to taxoplasmosis may make people psychotic or impulsive and was probably determined on some statistical correlation if that is true. There may be other human symptoms and consequences such as mice being attracted to the home because humans emit a similar smell into the local environment that cats do because of the same toxoplasmosis infection. It could also be that the toxoplasmosis restricts access and growth of other parasites and diseases in the human body system similar in the manner that antibiotic fungus prevents growth of bacteria. This is probably being studied. It is true that you can grow some types of plants in your garden that prevent other plants from growing nearby them. It has been seen in the competition of buttercups with other types of plants where the buttercups somehow kill off the competition because they emit chemicals into soil that kills or stunts the growth of plants that would otherwise compete.
Children as young as new borns have long been exposed to cats and maybe come infected. Exposure at an early age could make children more aware or make them susceptible to become future cat people. It might improve the development of intelligence or subtract from it or alter it in a manner that not only makes cats appear to be cute and adorable but a necessity or even an addiction. Cats may have first been domesticated because of the toxoplasmosis. Cat haters by definition are more likely to be unexposed to toxoplasmosis which might seem to be a self evident observation. Maybe cat haters are just more unlikely to see things as cute because they have never been exposed or infected. It would seem that hello kitty is more loved by cat lovers than non cat lovers and this may also be the reason for the Japanese good luck cat being held in such high esteem.
Implications of any beneficial influences on humans on being infected by toxoplasmosis by domesticated cats means that it might be necessary for humans seeking to explore and to colonize space and nearby moon and planets that cats and mice together might be necessary for long term survival of the human species in new locations. Space colonists could also just be inoculated. Chances are if the moon or mars were ever colonized that rats and mice would find their way there and cats would become necessary to control the spread of destructive rodents.
If you have ever met a true cat lady who goes gattos over cats collecting ten or more in their homes while also feeding scores more outside chances are you are seeing the advanced stages of toxoplasmosis dementia . Cat collectors and cat ladies all need to be tested to find out if Toxoplasmosis is present in their bodies to see if that is a contributing factor in making their entire lives cat centric. There are also people who behave as if they are cats. No one knows exactly why. Cat people tend to purr together or spend ours watching birds. No one is sure why which yet another reason to have them tested for toxoplasmosis infection.