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Being a cat owner linked to mental illness, new study says

Sigh, the crazy cat lady stereotype will just never die.

While there is certainly an argument to be made that many non-crazy people own cats, a new studypublished in Schizophrenia Research says that being exposed to cat poop can drive you nuts.

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Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine studied a group of adults diagnosed with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and found that the vast majority of them had cats as pets growing up. Then, they looked into the correlation further by examining cat feces.

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It turns out cat poop contains a parasite that can cause Toxoplasmosis, which initially gives flu-like symptoms, but is linked to mental illness year later. Freaked out? Luckily researchers say the solution is simply washing your hands after cleaning the litter box — you don't have to get rid of your cats.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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