January 24, 2017 02:50 PM

That warm ball of feline fluff that always comforts you during the hard times, is being accused of making PMS more difficult.

According to The Telegraph, a new study found that cats, more specifically the parasite found in their feces called toxoplasma gondii, may be the cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe form of PMS, which includes physical symptoms and psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Cats and toxoplasma gondii, which can also be found in spoiled meat, have made headlines before. The parasite can cause an infection in humans that shows no symptoms, which can be dangerous to pregnant women. The infection has also been linked to the development of mental illness, including schizophrenia.

Researchers from Juarez University of Durango State, Mexico, who conducted this new study, reported that the women they studied who had the parasite exhibited symptoms similar to PMDD, but also acknowledge the study only looked at a small sample of women and that its conclusions should be treated with caution.

Health officials recommend that all cat owners clean their cat litter regularly and wear gloves while doing so. Pregnant women should avoid cleaning cat litter boxes entirely.

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