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Cats are destroying the planet AND our minds

Domestic cats have been getting bad press lately for as one of the world’s top invasive species. Now, thanks to evolutionary biologist Jaroslav Flegr — whom National Geographic dubbed a ‘cat detective — we know they can make us all a bit cuckoo too. The guy discovered that the toxoplasma gondii parasite that’s pervasive in cats can infect not only rats, but humans.

He’s been there: ‘I thought it might explain some of my strange behaviors—ones that are nonadaptive for me but adaptive for a parasite that needs to get to a new host… in humans, we found that it greatly slows reaction time, which can influence the risk of a traffic accident. Infected people also tend to be less conscientious. And our male subjects considered the scent of cat urine to be quite pleasurable.’ Uh oh. Consider yourself warned.

About the author

Low Lai Chow travels light and is working on exercising demons from her past. Find out more about her at lowlaichow.com.

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