Wednesday 21 May 2014

The Irrational Fear of Cats

Witches are conjured up
The irrational fear of cats is called ailurophobia. A fear of cats may result in a phobia.  A phobia may result in a fear of cats.  The two seem to be bound together but we're not sure.  A phobia is a “persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that is excessive and unreasonable, given the reality of the threat" (American Psychological Association-glossary).

Ailurophobia is also called felinophobia. The former is more commonly used word. Ailurophobia is one of many anxiety-related disorders, which have been defined such as: agoraphobia (fear of crowds), acrophobia (fear of heights), and arachnophobia (fear of spiders).

A phobia about cats does not seem to be linked to a dislike of cats.  I guess it has to be a fear, an irrational fear.  What causes the fear?  I don't think even scientists are always certain about the causes.  The fear may be the result of a bad interaction with a cat at an early age.  That is the common sense answer.

Although many children may have a fear of certain animals at an early age, they often grow out of it but adults who continue to retain a fear of certain animals including of course cats appear not to have grown out of the problem.

The symptoms of a cat phobia may include: sweating, dizziness and breathlessness.  Sometimes the symptoms could be more severe such as heart palpitations and a full-blown panic attack.

Treatments range from traditional psychotherapies to behaviour therapies and hypnosis.


  1. Oh come now, don't be childish. Of Course humans are afraid of cats, as cats are the natural predators of primates.

    1. Yes, the largest cats are but smaller cats are not and therefore it is irrational to be fearful of them.


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