What Is Ailurophobia?
Ailurophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of cats. People with this disorder fear cats to a point that they cannot stand being in their presence or even think about them (right diagnosis 2012). While it is normal for anyone to have a fear of certain types of animals, this fear does not usually hinder the normal operation of their lives. For the ailurophobic, simply knowing that an encounter with a cat is imminent can lead the sufferer to change his or her plans in order to avoid being in the presence of a cat. Those who fear cats, or Ailurophobes, may suffer intense anxiety reactions in the presence of felines, and this phobia is more common than most people realize (right diagnosis 2012). Ailurophobia (sometimes spelled elurophobia or aelurophobia) derives from the Greek words for cat, (ailouros) and fear (Phobos). Ailurophobia is an intense fear of something that poses no actual danger. While adults with Ailurophobia realize that these fears are irrational, they often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety (right diagnosis 2012). The cause of Ailurophobia is no universally specific explanation for ailurophobia. Rather, it is the various unique experiences of each individual that leads to the development of such a disorder (right diagnosis 2012). Some examples of experiences that could have resulted in the development of ailurophobia include early life traumatic events that involved cats, witnessing such events, or even upbringing by parents or caregivers that stressed a fear or aversion towards animals such as cats. Ailurophobia results from the inappropriate triggering of the biological fight-or-flight mechanism in response to cats. The most common cause of cat phobia is having a frightening experience in early childhood that involves a cat, usually being bitten or scratched (right diagnosis 2012). Some people may not even remember the experience that...
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