phobia of cats

What is the phobia of cats and how can it be overcome

Sometimes we may hear that someone has a phobia of cats, so what is this case And how can it be treated

Phobia of cats :

The phobia of cats is represented by the occurrence of an excessive reaction, a feeling of anxiety and constant fear at the sight of cats, although people with this condition are fully aware that their fear is unjustified and irrational, and in fact, the horror of people with a feline phobia is not limited to their fear of scratching or biting the cat only, but they are afraid of the feline entity itself or their evil spirits according to their description.

Signs and symptoms of cat phobia :

In general, the attempt of a person with a phobia to flee or escape for long distances to fade or avoid facing the thing he is afraid of, and this is also noticeable in those who suffer from cat phobia, which is a usual and common occurrence although it is not associated with real danger, and we mention the symptoms of cat phobia that may appear when exposed to cats:

  • Panic.
  • Horror.
  • Awe.
  • Tachycardia or an increase in the speed of its heartbeat.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sweating.
  • The desire to flee or escape.
  • Trembling or trembling.

Causes of cat phobia :

One of the most important reasons why some people may be afraid of cats is the fear of physical harm that cats can cause, or the fear of the evil entity of cats, and the following is a detail of this:

Physical harm :

Cats, which some may see as cute pet creatures, are of the big cat species; the most important of which are lions, tigers, and cheetahs, there is no denying that there is a predatory side to cats, and perhaps people who have previously been scratched or bitten by cats may realize the predatory side of cats more than others, and these people most likely have a higher susceptibility to cat phobia, and some people may be afraid of certain types of cats and not all of them, for example, some may be afraid of male cats, which pose a greater danger to them than cats some are afraid only of wild cats that they may encounter abroad but are not afraid of domestic cats that have been disposed of Of its claws, however, there are many people who are afraid of cats of all kinds without exception, since cats are associated with a negative event or situation to which they were previously exposed.

The evil spirit of cats :

Considering cats as a symbol of evil may indicate some kind of thinking defect, and this belief has always been associated with religious and historical dimensions, so we find that many specialized therapists are keen to take into account the religious beliefs of people who have this view.

Treatment of cat phobia :

The phobia can be controlled in some cases by avoiding the causative agent, namely cats, but often this will not be as easy as we think, so people who have trouble avoiding the things that trigger their phobia can resort to treatment, as many types of phobia are recoverable, and among the treatment options available are the following:

Self-help methods:

Self-help techniques include various styles of therapy, some of which include the following:

  1. Relaxation techniques: these include breathing exercises, as they can help a person to rest and relax in situations of stress or severe anxiety.
  2. Visualization techniques are exercises simulating something that arouses a person’s fear, where a person imagines in his mind how he could succeed in facing cats or something that actually arouses his fear and anxiety.
  3. Self-help groups: these involve meeting a group of people who suffer from a phobia about the same thing, such as cats, and discussing among themselves and suggesting ideas and solutions that may help them overcome their fears about this thing.

Cognitive behavioral therapy :

Cognitive behavioral therapy involves the idea of talking with a person with a phobia of cats, and this includes helping people to distinguish or identify the forms of irrational thinking they have about something, and to find out the behaviors that maintain or increase their anxiety and tension towards this thing, which is one of the very effective treatments to overcome the phobia, where the competent behavioral therapist trains the person on some strategic methods to adapt to the phobia and deal with it in a logical and rational way, and in the end, these methods may reduce feelings of fear and tension towards the thing causing the phobia.

Exposure therapy :

The idea of exposure therapy is based on a person facing the thing that causes him phobia gradually and trying to cope with it so that his fear decreases with time, if, for example, a person is afraid of cats, the therapist may suggest reading books about cats, and if the person reconciles with the idea of books, the therapist can resort to giving him pictures of cats, until he finally reaches the ability to hold cats with his hands and overcome his fears.

Medicines :

There are few cases of cat phobia that require resorting to medications, because many people benefit a lot from behavioral therapies, and the medications that the doctor can resort to in some cases are: antidepressants or beta-blockers, in order to alleviate the anxiety associated with phobia cases.

The influence of cat phobia :

Phobias of all kinds can affect a person’s ability to go about his daily life. a person may suffer from anxiety, stress, and severe depression. when a person’s phobia worsens, his quality of life may be affected and develop for the worse either because of the phobia itself and/or through attempts to avoid or not show it to others. a phobia may direct a person towards wrong behaviors, and sometimes anxiety associated with phobia cases can be a source of heart disease in men and women.

Reasons to see a doctor :

If the unjustified fear of something, such as cats, affects the quality of a person’s life, and if the anxiety associated with phobias affects a person’s ability to carry out his daily activities, whether at work, school, or in social circles and relationships with others, and should communicate with a mental health doctor.