Disputing the studies that linked pet cats to human mental illness, a new study argues that spending childhood with a cat doesn’t cause mental illness (schizophrenia) later in life.
A team of researchers from University College London analyzed data from nearly 5,000 kids who participated in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents & Children, which tracks the people’s health born in 1991 and 1992.
The researchers found no link between children’s childhood spending with cats and their chances of suffering mental illness later in life.
Sharing their findings,the researchers said, “We found that children who were born and raised in households that included cats at any time period – that is, pregnancy, early and late childhood – were not at a higher risk of having psychotic symptoms when they were 13 or 18 years old.”
The findings of the study are particularly relevant since previous researches suggested that there was a direct correlation between spending childhood with a cat and developing schizophrenia.
The researchers reported their findings in the Wednesday (Feb. 22nd) edition of the journal Psychological Medicine.