Ailurophobia refers to the extreme fear of cats. Some people find them cute because of their eyes, wit, and fluffiness. Also, they even treat them as beyond of being an animal. Cat owners see them as a playmate, friend, and own child. However, there are people around the world who developed this phobia because of many reasons.
Despite being a small, good and loving pet, some people still fear cats for many reasons. It is bad for the physical and emotional health.
The following are causes why there are people who have fear of cats:
Cats are tiny and sweet looking. They go near to you for time and attention. However, there is a possibility that a cat may scratch any part of your body when they feel that they are in danger.
Some people are afraid of them because of bad experiences, like scratch or bite from a cat. The pain from these little creatures that made them go to hospitals.
- Bad luck
Black cats give a stroke of bad luck. People from some countries believe in this idea about them. Some say that they are witches that roam around and observe their victims like pregnant women.
People who see black cats spit anywhere. Afterward, they stamp it to avoid bad luck. Some religions also passed this idea that twisted the minds of some people.
Like other phobias, you can develop this fear when you adapt what you observe around. A child may learn that this animal is dangerous and fearful if they saw it from the people around him. The past generation can pass the phobia of cats to the present one.
It is also possible to fear when you allowed a child to watch cartoons or movies where cats acted as the bad character. They may grow up believing in their minds that cats are harmful. It is necessary to be careful of the things or movies that you let your child watch. It is advised to give proper guidance to them.
Seeing photos, watching videos, or encountering cats along the way can trigger a person with Ailurophobia. Someone who suffers from this fear can experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in your chest might affect your breathing.
- An increase in your heart rate may occur.
- You may shake and tremble when you get close to cats.
- Sweating is possible when you see pictures of them.
- You get dizzy and uncomfortable if cats are just around.
Phobia of cats may result in not socializing with your relatives or friends who have this pet at home. You often decline their invitations because you want to avoid seeing and hearing the voice of cats. Having this fear can make you suffer from anxiety and isolation.
It can also make you feel annoyed and nervous immediately whenever you are outside. You often think of the possibility that you may encounter cats. It can make you feel bothered and conscious of what is around you.
According to a study conducted by people with this phobia, they are afraid of cats because of their ability to eat anything they see. One famous example of this is when they eat and scratch your clothes in your room.
There are also people saying that cats are abusing the attention you are giving to them. Some think that they even change their mood and tones depending on how you will respond to them.
5. Level of Fear
There is a difference between the levels of this fear. For mild cases, you may experience the following:
- You don’t like their presence.
- Avoiding is your only way, so you cannot encounter them.
- You don’t experience too many symptoms. But, you are worried if they are around.
For extreme cases, the following are the symptoms which is a sign that you must get treatment already:
- It happens when you don’t know how to react when you see cats.
- You can’t calm yourself without the help of others.
- The fear doesn’t go away. It just always get worse.
Animals are naturally harmless, especially pets at home. However, they can only cause harm if they sense that they are in danger. Therefore, the fear of being around cats is easier to overcome with some professional help.