Okay, this article doesn’t actually spell out why catgirls are so popular but reading closely would strongly suggest a potential reason. I’m summarize for those who don’t want to read the full article but I strongly recommend checking the article out because it’s such an interesting read.
A Czech scientist, Jaroslav Flegr, has been studying Toxoplasmosis which as some people probably know is a disease that originates in cats and is the reason why pregnant women are not supposed to go near litter boxes. To everyone else this disease was apparently not that big-of-a-deal, something akin to a mild cold/flu that people get over in a couple of days, but this scientist’s studies and the corroborating studies suggest this disease is far more serious.
The protozoa behind Toxoplasmosis looks like it is a cause of Schizophrenia in a sizable percentage of people as well as having the ability to rewrite a person’s behaviors in a set way. The schizophrenia side I’ll leave alone because I’m interested in the behavioral modification properties here.
This protozoa reproduces inside cats and apparently hit upon a novel way to ensure it’s spread to other cats – infect animals that cats eat and then alter their behavior to help ensure that cats will eat the infected animals. This is done in many ways including the lengthening of reaction times (so if you’re a rat and come upon a cat it takes longer to decide to run away thereby allowing the cat a better chance at getting the rat) and reducing the levels of weariness to open spaces (so if you’re a rat and come upon a situation where a cat might be laying in wait instead of being cautious you walk right in and get pounced upon) and making those infected more physically active (increases the chance of being spotted by cats).
Another way this disease accomplishes it’s goal is to rewire the brain to make the smell of cat pee an attractive smell. This was first shown in male rats but has recently been shown to be the case in male humans as well. The scientist being interviewed confirmed that it might be possible to use cat pee as an aphrodisiac towards infected males. Coupled to that it also alters the pleasure centers of the brain and increases the sex drive.
Now do you see where I’m going with this. If it does all this, I think it’s very possible that this protozoa is behind at least some of the fascination for catgirls.
I know what you probably thinking, I don’t have a cat so I don’t have to worry. I thought the same thing until I read that the most common vectors of infection is eating undercooked meat and eating vegetables that weren’t properly cleaned. According to the article 10% – 20% of Americans are infected, France has a 55% infection rate with the rest of Europe being somewhere in-between the two rates. It doesn’t mention what the infection rate in Japan was but it probably isn’t much lower than America’s.
Like I said, an interesting and thought-provoking article.