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  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Parasites, Pussycats and Psychosis

The Unknown Dangers of Human Toxoplasmosis


  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Offers a detailed 800 year history of cats as pets

  • Lists strategies to minimize the chances of becoming infected with Toxoplasma gondii

  • Written by an established expert in the field

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xviii
  2. Psychosis as a Zoonosis: Clues from Covid

    • E. Fuller Torrey
    Pages 1-10Open Access
  3. The Rise of Cats and Madness: I. The Renaissance

    • E. Fuller Torrey
    Pages 29-41Open Access
  4. The Rise of Cats and Madness: III. The Nineteenth Century

    • E. Fuller Torrey
    Pages 71-109Open Access
  5. Additional Links Between Toxoplasmosis and Psychosis

    • E. Fuller Torrey
    Pages 111-120Open Access
  6. Sentinel Seals, Safe Cats, and Better Treatments

    • E. Fuller Torrey
    Pages 121-133Open Access
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 135-140

About this book

This open access book analyzes the evidence linking Toxoplasma gondii to the increasing incidence of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the United States. Initially establishing that infectious agents are regularly transmitted from animals to humans, lead to human disease, and that infectious agents can cause psychosis, it then examines the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in detail. Infecting 40 million Americans, Toxoplasma gondii is known to cause congenital infections, eye disease, and encephalitis for individuals who are immunosuppressed. It has also been shown to change the behavior of nonhuman mammals, as well as to alter some personality traits in humans. After discussing the clinical evidence linking Toxoplasma gondii to human psychosis, the book elucidates the epidemiological evidence further supporting this linkage; including the proportional increase in incidence of human psychosis as cats transitioned to domestication over 800 years. Finally, the book assesses the magnitude of the problem and suggests solutions.

Parasites, Pussycats and Psychosis: The Unknown Dangers of Human Toxoplasmosis provides a comprehensive review of the evidence linking human psychosis in the United States to infections of Toxoplasma gondii. It will be of interest to infectious disease specialists, general practitioners, scientists, historians, and cat-lovers.


  • Open Access
  • zoonosis
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • domestication
  • madness

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, USA

    E. Fuller Torrey

About the author

E. Fuller Torrey
Associate Director, The Stanley Medical Research Institute
Founder and Board Member Emeritus, Treatment Advocacy Center
Professor of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, MD 20816

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Parasites, Pussycats and Psychosis

  • Book Subtitle: The Unknown Dangers of Human Toxoplasmosis

  • Authors: E. Fuller Torrey

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: E. Fuller Torrey 2022

  • License: CC BY-NC-ND

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-86810-9Published: 30 November 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-86811-6Published: 29 November 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 140

  • Number of Illustrations: 7 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Clinical Medicine, Diseases, Psychiatry

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)