La Cañada High School

Parasite That Makes You Love Cats?

Believe it or not, if you love cats, you have a parasite inside you. But don’t worry, 30 to 50 percent of the world is already infected with it.

This parasite is called Toxoplasma Gondii. It is capable of infecting all mammals but only able to sexually reproduce in domestic cats. But before we get into this topic, you’ll need to fully understand what a “mutation” is.

A mutation is a change in physical or chemical characteristic of an organism which is transmittable to offspring. Mutations occur when an organism sexually reproduces and something goes “wrong.” However, not all mutations are bad. After all, mutations are the only way for an organism to evolve. For example, humans only got this far because of mutations.

Now lets get back on track, like I said before, Toxoplasma Gondii can only reproduce in cats. More specifically, the digestive track of domestic cats. In other mammals, these parasites can only clone themselves. Cloning does not cause any mutations, so this parasite will never evolve. However, if it is in a cat, it can sexually reproduce which will eventually lead to a mutation. And if a beneficial mutation occurs, the parasite evolves.

In Humans

All cats have this parasite, and sometimes, Toxoplasma Gondii accidentally comes out of the cat. The main reason they come out from the cat is when the cat defecates, the parasite is in the feces. When you clean it up, some of the parasite gets on you and manages to get in your body. After that, they make a long journey up stream into your brain.

After they are in your brain, they make you love cats. The reason for this? The parasite wants you to love your cat and pet it and care for it. If you start really caring for it, the parasite gets a chance to get out of your body and go back inside the cat where it can reproduce.

However, lets say you don’t really like cats, yet. Then you go to your friends house and touch his/her cat. There is a high chance that the parasite is inside you now. You go home with a sudden obsession over cats. You watch cat videos and go to pet stores to check them out. Whats happening is that the parasite is trying to get you to buy a cat so it can go back into it. Amazing right?

In Rodents

Toxoplasma Gondii also infects rodents. The parasite makes human love cats, and the parasite makes rodents attracted to cat urine. It also slows down the rodent’s reflexes. So this rodent will go to the litter box of the cat and it will be easily eaten by the cat. So in a way, it is a mutual relationship but Toxoplasma Gondii is still considered to be a harmful parasite.

But don’t worry, you will rarely show systems for Toxoplasma Gondii in you except a love for cats.

1 Comment

  • Reply Doug Campbell February 24, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    No, not all people who like cats have Toxoplasma Gondii. And several scientific studies have shown no correlation between any human behavior.

    OF COURSE ABOVE WRITTEN BY T.GONDII — ah, gotta write it — INFECTED PERSONNNNNNN — must press — NO, YOU WILL NOT PRESSSSSS. meow? meow? [sound of human playing with keyboard]


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