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In some cultures and regions, women with cats are considered spinsters. This is particularly the case when they have no husband, children and multiple cats. Many have come to associate these women with people who have trouble being in relationships or finding partners.
Cat lady is often a term that is linked to those who are also animal hoarders. That is, people who have a large number of cats. Many times they have so many that they are unable to properly care for them and they are often ill. Usually these animal hoarders suffer with other mental illnesses that make them unaware of the dangers they are creating for themselves and the animals. They are usually ignorant to the severity of their situation and often interventions of some sort are needed to get the person and the cats the help they need.
There have been famous cat ladies in pop culture and even documentaries or movies that highlight these feline-loving women. Still, this is not considered a positive title to have. Cat lady syndrome is becoming a more commonly used term that is backed by some scientific research.
Studies have found a parasite that is present in some cats. It is known as Toxoplasma gondii and it is associated with mental and behavioral disorders in people. Some suggest that this can have a big affect on the health of cat owners, especially of those who have multiple felines living in their home.
Risk is heightened when dealing with multiple cats, many that are ill. Hoarding cats is expected to result in negative impacts on physical and mental health of pets and owners. It can also lead to problems with the animals and keep them from living happy and healthy lives. Some cats die. Those who survive are often extremely ill. Typically the homes are unclean and owners cannot properly care for each one of the cats.
Those who know people like this should seek help for them. Most of the time they are unaware of the need for changes. In fact, they are often under the false belief that they have control of this situation. This is why interventions are so common in these situations.
Those who are in these positions are often not mentally well. They can benefit from support by others, including medical professionals. It is also important to intervene for the sake of the animals. Although it is not the intent of the cat lady to harm the animals, they do so in these situations. Owning too many animals is unsanitary and problematic, no matter how much care and attention the cats are receiving. People should report cat ladies to help them.
About the Author: by Olive Pate