Your kitty is in the clear: People who grow up with cats in the home are no more likely than anyone else to develop mental illness, British researchers reported Tuesday.
They looked for evidence that a common parasite carried by cats might affect the developing brain, making people susceptible to schizophrenia, psychosis and other symptoms of mental illness. The study of nearly 5,000 people found no such evidence, they reported in the journal Psychological Medicine.
“The message for cat owners is clear: there is no evidence that cats pose a risk to children’s mental health,” Dr. Francesca Solmi of University College London, who led the study team, said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
The suspected culprit …