When you hear “crazy cat lady,” you probably think of Debbie Mazella, because she feeds every cat within a 50 mile radius of the radio station and neuters any stray or feral she can catch. Well, you thought wrong because a new study says the stereotype is bogus. There is no such thing as a crazy cat lady!

Researchers at UCLA claim that cat owners are, emotionally, no different than dog owners.  To come to that conclusion, they analyzed the mental health of over 500 young adults and found no link between the crazy cat lady stigma and those who actually own felines.

Researchers would play distress calls from different animals and study each participant’s reaction, specifically which sounds triggered the most anxiety and depression.  Then, they would test the mental-health and social abilities of the participants.

The study found that all pet owners felt the animal distress calls were a lot sadder than did the participants who didn’t own an animal, making them more sensitive.  Obviously, dog owners reacted more negatively to dog sounds while cat owners reacted more strongly to cat sounds.  But the sad dog whines, overall, elicited the most negative reactions, which the study says rivals the response to human baby cries.

Finally, the study concluded that cat owners, specifically, were no more depressed, anxious, or socially inept than the other adults with and without pets.

The study wrote, “We found no evidence to support the ‘cat lady’ stereotype: cat-owners did not differ from others on self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety or their experiences in close relationships.  Our findings, therefore, do not fit with the notion of cat-owners as more depressed, anxious or alone.”

So to say that Debbie is a “crazy cat lady” would be inaccurate, however, if you remove the word “cat,” you nailed it!

The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Click HERE to check out Debbie’s Kitty Corner & Kennel Club

Here’s are the only two cats that live in Debbie’s house: “Dolly Dagger” and “Rockstar Cat Cornell”…

Joel Katz is a cat who blogs about cats, he also likes pasta.