If you're a cat owner who frequently gets terrible premenstrual syndrome (PMS), science suggests your feline friend could be to blame.
According to a report published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, a parasite found in cats can cause symptoms similar to terrible PMS, Cosmo notes.
The parasite, toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), is a single-celled parasitic organism and only reproduces in cats (but can be found in other animals and birds, too), the Mayo Clinic notes.
In the study, researchers tested 151 women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a severe form of PMS) and found almost seven per cent of the women were exposed to T. gondii.
"Results of this first study on the association of T. gondii infection and clinical characteristics of premenstrual dysphoric disorder suggest that this infection might be linked to some symptoms of this disorder," researchers noted.
If you do come in contact with this type of infection, the Mayo Clinic notes it can cause headaches, body aches, fever and fatigue. Symptoms can be worse for people with weakened immune systems. Again, very similar to PMS.
But as Cosmo notes, this doesn't necessarily mean you need to part ways with your kitty. To avoid ingesting the parasite, always wear gloves when you clean your cat's litter box and always, always, wash your hands after handling litter and cat feces.
There are other foods to watch out for as well. As the Mayo Clinic adds, lamb, pork and venison are "especially likely to be infected with T. gondii" when under-cooked. Unpasteurized dairy products may also contain the parasite.
And if you don't have a cat but still suffer from terrible PMS, one recent study showed your parents could also be to blame.
The study found premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in particular — a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) — could be genetic.
If you are feeling severe symptoms or something unusual at any point, talk to your doctor right away.
And maybe give your cat a cuddle tonight.
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