Scientists Link Cat Bites To Depression In Women, Somehow

But I thought kitties were supposed to stave off depression? The whole world is a lie.

Recommended Videos

Cat people say that kitties are great for your mental health – but science begs to differ. A new study published in PLOS ONE shows that, of the 1.3 million patient files studied over 10 years, 41% of people who had once hit up a hospital for a cat bite later returned to be treated for depression. Oh, and the researchers don’t know why.

Not only did almost half of people with cat bites later suffer from depression, but the study also showed that a whopping 86% of those patients were women. That means if you’re a lady who has at some point been bitten by a cat, there’s about a 50% chance you’re going to be diagnosed with depression for reasons unknown. Uh… this is kind of the worst.

The scientists behind the study have a couple of running theories. The first is that depressed people – particularly women –  are more likely to own cats (make of that what you will). They also theorize that depressed people act in a certain way that makes cats more likely to bite them, because apparently cats hate sadness (?).

But the most likely possibility is actually that cat bites can transfer the bacteria Toxoplasma gondii to their human owners. Remember T. gondii? That’s the little bacteria making its way up to the Arctic to start killing beluga whales! T. gondii has been known to cause changes in the brains of infected humans, sometimes leading to self-harm and even suicide.

Regardless, if you’re a cat-owning lady, you might want to get screened for signs of depression, stat.

(via Popular Science, image via kniemla)

Meanwhile in related links


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
related content
Read Article Watching Neil deGrasse Tyson Take Terrence Howard to School Is So Satisfying
Screencap of Neil deGrasse Tyson in his YouTube show, "Star Talk." He is a Black man with a salt-and-pepper afro and a salt-and-pepper mustache wearing a black-and-white patterned buttondown shirt.
Screencap of Neil deGrasse Tyson in his YouTube show, "Star Talk." He is a Black man with a salt-and-pepper afro and a salt-and-pepper mustache wearing a black-and-white patterned buttondown shirt.
Screencap of Neil deGrasse Tyson in his YouTube show, "Star Talk." He is a Black man with a salt-and-pepper afro and a salt-and-pepper mustache wearing a black-and-white patterned buttondown shirt.
Read Article What Caused the Weekend’s Major Aurora Borealis Phenomenon?
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Read Article Entomologist Brought to Tears in Response to Her Positive Book Reviews
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Read Article Important Science Alert! NASA Just Sent a Cat Video From Space!
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
Read Article Scientists Make Major Breakthrough in Treating Morning Sickness
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
Related Content
Read Article Watching Neil deGrasse Tyson Take Terrence Howard to School Is So Satisfying
Screencap of Neil deGrasse Tyson in his YouTube show, "Star Talk." He is a Black man with a salt-and-pepper afro and a salt-and-pepper mustache wearing a black-and-white patterned buttondown shirt.
Read Article What Caused the Weekend’s Major Aurora Borealis Phenomenon?
Aurora Borealis over a farmhouse.
Read Article Entomologist Brought to Tears in Response to Her Positive Book Reviews
Dr. Megan Wilkerson book: A to Z Bug Facts Coloring Book: Explore 28 Insects With 60+ Unique Facts
Read Article Important Science Alert! NASA Just Sent a Cat Video From Space!
An orange cat chases a laser on a couch with technical graphics superimposed on the image.
Read Article Scientists Make Major Breakthrough in Treating Morning Sickness
A young pregnant woman of African decent sits on a sofa in the comfort of her own home as she cradles her belly with her hands. She is dressed casually as she looks down at her belly with anticipation.
Author
Sam Maggs
Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.