Friday, 6 July 2012

Source Cats Protection on Facebook
Following recent press articles suggesting that women who own cats are a suicide risk, Cats Protection would like to reassure worried cat owners that there is no need for concern.

A number of newspapers published a story earlier this week about a study that found that Danish mothers were more likely to have developed antibodies to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii if they self-harmed at a later date....

However, according to the NHS, this study ‘does not prove that T. gondii infection actually caused the women to self-harm. There may have been various mental health, medical, personal or social causes which this study has not explored. Furthermore, this study looked at the association between self-harm and women with antibodies against T. gondii rather than those who owned cats’.
Therefore, Cats Protection is keen to reassure cat owners that they need not worry and urge anyone interested in this issue to read the available NHS information here:

Background about Toxoplasma gondii
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis, which is a common infection that occurs in most birds and mammals, including humans. It can be caught from handling raw meat, unwashed vegetables, contaminated water sources and cat faeces.

In most cases, toxoplasmosis does not cause any symptoms. However, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems need to take extra care to avoid becoming infected and advice about prevention can be found here:

Cat owners are statistically no more likely to get toxoplasmosis than non-cat owners and people are more likely to contract the disease from ingesting undercooked meat than from a cat.

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