Owning a cat increases your risk of postpartum depression, study finds

Today there are more than 14 million cats in French homes, according to Le Figaro. While many of us enjoy their company, these little furballs could nevertheless have beneficial effects on the mental health of women who are about to become mothers. This is revealed by a new study published by Japanese researchers in the journal Social Science & Medicine on July 11 and which The Independent and Slate echoed. Indeed, there is a link between owning a cat during pregnancy and a greater risk of postpartum depression. Conversely, if the pet is a dog, the risk will be lower than normal. “The type of animal you own has a role in maintaining good mental health in mothers before and after giving birth,” the study states.

The team of scientists, led by Dr. Matsumura, came to such a conclusion after collecting information on the demographic and socioeconomic status of 80,000 pregnant women in Japan. The latter responded five times to a questionnaire about their physical and mental health, their medical and obstetrical history or their lifestyle, between the start of their pregnancy and the first birthday of their child. They were then asked if they had a cat, a dog or both. In total, nearly 9,000 women said they lived with a cat, just over 4,000 said (…)

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