They keep rodents out of your home, but could be bringing something else in.
Cats have a firm place in history. They were the favored pet during the Chinese Song Dynasty and revered in ancient Egypt as protector of the home. Just about anyone looking to keep mice and rats at bay has loved to have one around.
But are there other specific benefits to keeping cats?
Any independent cat lady will quickly tell you the company they provide is soothing (as long as they aren’t clawing at you). A calm cat can be a perfect companion.
And Science has shown that exposure to cats, along with cows, can help protect children growing up on farms from developing asthma. Immunologists from the University of Zurich have discovered that sialic acid in farm animals provides effective protection against the inflammation of lung tissues. Bonus! All those microbes do play an important role, after all.
So, what about the dangers?
Researchers continue to find links between toxoplasmosis– an extremely common parasite- cats, and humans disease. Domestic cats are prone to harboring this infection, and you can contract it when you come in contact with the feces in its litter box. Toxoplasmosis causes mild, flu-like symptoms, which can become worse.
Links between mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety syndrome have been drawn between the infection and humans, although it’s not a sole cause.
Some studies suggest that the infection can actually influence how extroverted, aggressive and risk-inclined a person is.
Yes or no, when it comes to cats? Well, the rats and other vermin they keep away could bring you the plague, so it’s a toss up. Always wash your hands after cleaning house and wear gloves.
For more on animals and asthma, click here.