What is Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats?

The ailurophobia or fear of cats is a common phenomenon. The name Ailurophobia is taken from the Greek terms where Ailouros means Cats and phobia means fear. This fear is very irritating in nature. The patient develops severe symptoms like breathing problems when the person is near a cat or comes in contact with cat fur. This is a very genuine problem and lots of people face it.

What is Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats?

Causes of Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

The most common of the causes of ailurophobia or fear of cats is due to some traumatic incident in the past. There might have been some cat attack that the patient had faced during an early point of life which usually leads to this ailurophobia or fear of cats. Also if the patient had witnessed any painful incident that his or her closed one went through when attacked by a cat. Coming across images showing harmful cat attacks is another strong reason that leads to the development of ailurophobia or fear of cats in the person. Many people who are superstitious about cats can also develop this fear within themselves. If you believe that a black cat crossing the road can lead to accidents then you might face this ailurophobia or fear of cats too.

Signs and Symptoms of Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

The ailurophobia or fear of cats as mentioned earlier causes extreme anxiety in people. People develop so much fear of the animal that they avoid any place where cat can be sighted. A simple thought of a cat or a picture may trigger the fear and the person might start panicking and this is a symptom of ailurophobia or fear of cats. People forget to realise that the fear is not relevant and they become very careful about cats and carry cat foods everywhere or even protective sprays like pepper sprays to keep the animal away. The patients start screaming when they notice a cat. They run away from places where they can notice a cat even which is also known as the flight or fight response. Always these people should be having a guide with them so that they can be safe of the cats.

When the ailurophobia or fear of cats increases then certain health hazards may occur like people may face breathing troubles, they might faint. Vomiting, nausea, dizziness, uneasiness, development of rashes and paleness of skin can be noticed too. When the fear is heightened they the patient starts sweating and can get a panic attack or a heart attack.

In case if you are visiting some place where there is a cat then the fear can take over you and it may be difficult for you to remain at that place for long. You shall require visiting a doctor then to receive a treatment.

Tests to Diagnose Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

No proper tests are found for diagnosing ailurophobia or fear of cats yet but you can go for a psychological analysis to find out if you have the ailurophobia/ fear of cats or not. Also there are medications that you can take to calm yourself down if you having a panic attack due to the fear

Treatment for Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

You can attend psychotherapy to keep your fear in control. One of the therapy is the cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT for treating ailurophobia or fear of cats where you shall be made to realise how you developed the fear within you and help you get over it. Another therapy is Morita therapy where you are shown a picture of calmness and then a picture of a cat to help you control your emotions. The exposure therapy is very helpful way to treat with the ailurophobia or fear of cats where you shall be shown ways to control your fear while being exposed to the cats or pictures of cats. The discovery of reason of the fear helps to carry the treatment forward.

Prevention of Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

Prevention is always better than cure. Once you realise that you are developing ailurophobia or fear of cats you must visit a doctor and get help immediately. You shall avoid circumstances that might lead to the panic attack. You shall go with the flow. You shall try to get past the feeling of the fear.

Prognosis/Outcome for Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

If you are entering into a depression then the treatment which is clinical will require a few years. At least the usual treatment to get over the ailurophobia or fear of cats requires a few months.

Lifestyle Changes for Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

You shall be able to cope with the fear. You can choose to adopt a cat so that you can get over the fear of it. You must learn to control to emotions and distress yourself to fight ailurophobia or fear of cats.

Home Remedies for Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

If you have a phobia of cats then adopting a kitten after completing the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) shall be very helpful as suggested by the doctors. You hall learn to watch cats to get over your fear.

Coping with Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

Coping with the fear becomes very difficult when the fear increases with you. You should go for treatments before the fear manifests itself and practise the lessons which are taught in the sessions in order to properly cope with ailurophobia or fear of cats.

Recovery Period/Healing Time for Ailurophobia or Fear of Cats

The doctors study the reason of your fear and help you accordingly. The recovery period/healing time for ailurophobia or fear of cats depends on the treatment method and the type of psychotherapy. You can also learn if the fear can manifest again after you are treated once for it from them.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 20, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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