Ailurophobia is a specific phobia known to be an irrational and persistent fear of cats. This phobia is also known as Elurophobia, Felinophobia or Gatophobia.
Like all other fears and phobias, Ailurophobia is often created by the unconscious mind as a defense mechanism. This phobia may have been obtained from a real life scare that has something to do with cats and was linked to an emotional trauma. Ailurophobia may also be triggered from seeing someone else experiencing the same trauma. If the negative impact of the unconscious mind remained strong enough, patient will automatically sense the negativity in his emotional feelings and may act as reminder of danger when seeing cats.
This specific phobia manifests itself in various ways. Sufferers may experience it most of the time, but for some, it may only come as a reaction to a certain stimuli. There are various possible situations that may trigger this fear such as the sight of a real life cat, purring of the cat and the thought that a cat might attack the person when he or she is outside, seeing cats in television or even in pictures, cat-like toys and the thought of accidentally meeting a cat in the dark.
There are various ways to treat Ailurophobia and treatment advice may be obtained from a psychiatrist or other therapy specialist. If the patient is strongly motivated, he or she will be able to recover from this phobia slowly and will become accustomed to touching fur by first touching various types of velvet. Through this, the patient will then become accustomed to cat toys and then to a kitten.