CHICAGO (CBS) – Feeling inexplicably angry? Your cat may be to blame.
CBS News reports that researchers at the University of Chicago have linked cases of irrational anger in people to a parasite that is commonly found in cats.READ MORE: Gov. Charlie Baker Says Biden's Air Travel Restrictions Are 'The Right Move'
The parasite called toxoplasma gondii and can be passed from felines to humans through cat feces (take care when cleaning the litter box!) The Centers For Disease Control says about 60 million people have the parasite, and it’s thought to be pretty harmless.
But now, scientists believe there’s a connection between the parasite and a psychiatric disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Those with IED can exhibit rage in response to events that really don’t merit such an aggressive response.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 5,058 New COVID Cases, 24 Additional Deaths Over 2 Days
“Our work suggests that latent infection with the toxoplasma gondii parasite may change brain chemistry in a fashion that increases the risk of aggressive behavior,” one of the researchers said in a statement.MORE NEWS: News & Notes For Patriots-Titans
CBS News has previously reported that having a cat during childhood can be linked to later developing schizophrenia. But experts say it’s not fair to turn your anger on cats just yet and more research is needed into why people are developing these disorders.