I have phobia with cats!

Philippines
October 1, 2008 7:51am CST
I was 5 years old when a cat jumped on me and scatched my chest. I was so little then, I cried a lot. I was so shocked and so was my mother. I swear, I did not provoked the cat, I was just playing by the lawn, and then the cat jumped on me from nowhere. From then on, I hate cats. I never get near them. I never let my children get near them. I certainly don't want them around the house. However, honestly, I wanted to get rid of this phobia. I think I'd like to like them now. I know I can be a good pet owner too. But how do I put away this phobia of cats I have each time I see them? These past few days, my issue of cats bothers me a lot. It even gives me headaches. Hay!!!!!! :(
2 people like this
18 responses
@mistcat (29)
• United States
2 Oct 08
The best way to deal with a phobia of any kind is to slowly expose oneself to the object that causes the phobic reaction. Read about them. Look at a picture of one for as long as you are comfortable doing so. Eventually, when you are comfortable, reach out to pet one that is near. The cat may sniff your hand and then bump with the head or it may run off or it may bat at your hand. These are all normal reactions and depend on the cat's personality. It takes time and patience to get over a phobia. Though expecting to get to a point of owning a cat might be a bit optimistic but not impossible.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
I'm so glad that you understand exactly what I feel. Other suggestions I got say that it is just an easy thing to do. But I really believed otherwise. It's really not easy and I know it will take a little time and effort. You see, I have this fear for over twenty years or more now. I don't think I can put the fear away with just a wink of an eye! Right? Thanks for the response, Mistcat! Your response is really appreciated. :)
• United States
3 Oct 08
You're welcome. I understand where your coming from because I have a phobia of spiders. It has taken many years to be able to be in the same room with them. Or not run past a tree or bush I know they infest. Phobias are hard to reason with, however, repeating to yourself some of the things that are said here, like the fact that you are bigger than the cats, will also help in the long run.
• United States
3 Oct 08
Please don't take my response as an indication that it would be easy or fast. The process is simple (in that it is simple to explain) but a lot depends on how deeply the trauma got burned into you. Each of the steps might take a while. I would think that a cat phobia would be easier to overcome than a spider phobia because it is much harder to look at a spider and think "it's cute."
@ShadoCat (92)
• United States
2 Oct 08
If you are an average sized adult, you are about 12 times the size an adult cat. It can't do more than give an annoying scratch. Unfortunately, a phobia is about *irrational* fear and just knowing that it can't hurt you doesn't do much about the phobia. You could just decide to go thought life with a "I'll leave them alone if they leave me alone" attitude and never really have to get rid of the phobia (it's not like it'll cause you many problems). However, if you want to get rid of the phobia, the best way is to *slowly* become desensitized. The most important thing is to take it slowly. the last thing you wnat to do is trigger your phobia because that'll just plant it deeper. Being on a group that talks about cats is a start. Looking at pictures of cats would be a next step. Start with kittens because they are the most harmless. Go to the library and check out some books about cats, mostly ones that talk about their habits and the care and feeding of them. The more you know in your rational mind, the less leverage the phobia has on your irrational mind. The next step is being around cats, If you have a pet store or animal shelter near you, let them know that you have a phobia of cats and would like to see some of theirs to help get rid of it. If the owners are animal lovers, they should be glad to help. Just hang out near the cage and watch them. Again, start with kittens. Once you feel up to it (and take it slow), have the owner hold a kitten so you can touch it and pet it. Once you start touching it, you'll realize just how fragile it is under all that fur. Work your way up to the point where you can ask the owner to place a kitten in your hands. Then move on to adult cats but make sure that the owner of the store introduces you to the gentle ones. Some of the adult cats that end up in stores or shelters have been abused and have psychological issues themselves. You don't want to have to deal with a cat's issues while your are dealing with yours (plus some of the damaged cats can be pretty violent). At about this point, make friends with people who have cats (if you've spent this much time at a pet store or shelter you've probably met them already). Visit them and just learn how to be around a cat in a relaxed, social setting. At this point, if you wish, you might try adopting a cat. I would go for an adult cat that you have already dealt with because it will have a known personality. A kitten is cute but you never really know what you'll get when it matures since you don't have experience raising a cat. I hope this helped.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Thank you, thank you for that wonderful help. You know what, I even took note of each of the points you suggested. I printed it out and I will bring this home and have it posted right at the door of my room. I wanted to be reminded all the time so that I can do just as you suggested. It's really very good. Somehow, I start to understand this phobia I have. And I hope to overcome this as soon as possible. I'll keep you posted! You hope this helped...it sure did!!! Thanks again and regards!!!
• United States
3 Oct 08
I'm glad you are planning on working through the phobia. Personally, I like cats even though I'm slightly allergic to them. In fact, I'm typing now with a cat on my lap, laying on my left hand. His head is bobbing as I type. He doesn't seem to mind though. He was in my chair but I'm bigger so I got the chair. You might try reading about phobias in general. It might help you figure out what's going on in your own head. In general (the books will have technical terms for this), behaviors and responses are like paths in a field. The more times you walk that path, the deeper it gets and the easier it is to keep walking that path and a traumatic event digs a deep trench. Thus, the event when you were 5 probably created a "I'm going to die" reaction. That digs a very deep trench instantly. The only way around this is to start taking your mind on a different path. Any time you think about a cat and get the "fear response" you deepen the path your mind has created. That's why I stressed to take things slowly. Just for training, you might want to come up with a phrase to say to yourself every day that is positive. Do not use a phrase that has a "not" in it, that confuses your mind. So, "cats are harmless" is better than "cats will not hurt me" because your brain hears that last phrase both with and without the not. And since hearing it without the not lets your brain follow the deep path it already has, it'll pick that interpretation. By building a path of "cats are cute" or "cats are harmless", you give your brain an alternative to the phobic reaction. That combined with desensitizing will help you put a lid on the phobia. Good luck.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Oct 08
Thanks again for spending time and sharing what you know with cat phobia. All the points are noted and I will try hard to have them in my mind all the time. Thanks again! Regards!
@winterose (39917)
• Canada
1 Oct 08
okay it is a process, I am a counsellor and you don't usually get away from phobias in one session, start by talking about them, read about them look at pictures of them, when you feel comfortable with that, go see some baby kittens, touch them, hold them, when you are comfortable with that then take a baby kitten in your home, but continue to pet them and hold them. Let them smell around your house, then keep one over night, if you are comfortable with that get yourself a little kitten and grow up with it.
@owlwings (40035)
• Cambridge, England
2 Oct 08
Winterose, as a counsellor you may be interested in reading the story that I posted the link to in my response. Here's the link again: http://www.emofree.com/a/?3252/Fear/fear-sarahcatphobia.htm EFT is a technique that many therapists and counsellors (as well as just ordinary people) have found of immense value in their work. Some use it alongside their other therapeutic and counselling skills, others have found it so effective that they now use it almost exclusively. The website is packed full of accounts from professionals and otherwise describing their experiences of using it. The Getting Started package is completely free and describes the technique in detail so that you can try it for yourself. It would take you, at most, half an hour of your time to learn and to begin to use. If you choose to explore further after that, I can recommend the very reasonably priced DVDs which have many hours of video of practical sessions and examples by Gary Craig (the 'inventor') and by other therapists. Gary first developed the technique as a modification of Thought Field Therapy and used it on vets who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of them who had been troubled by nightmares for years were relieved of their burden in just a few minutes' therapy.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Thanks for a free consultation. Hehehe... Your advice is very nice. Sure, it will help me with the problem with cats I have. It's also true that I requires hard work to overcome my fear. Regards, Winterose! Thanks again.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39917)
• Canada
3 Oct 08
thanks so much for the info, I am disabled now and I do not counsellor anymore, except sometimes on the internet, hat is about it,
@neildc (17253)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
3 Oct 08
I barely remember that experience of yours, maybe that happened when you were in QC with mom. Anyway, sorry to hear that. But now that you are already grown-up and is now a mother, I guess you can easily throw away that phobia. Ow, I remember when we are kids, I brought a kitten in the house. But late grandpa Mac always gets angry with me with the cat, why? Because the cat always poohs inside the house. So what we did, Kuya Bot and I brought the kitten somewhere far from the house so it cannot get back home again. Poor little kitten.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Hahaha... Grandpa Mac is just like me, right! And I'm his favorite, right! Maybe I get influenced by him with this dislike of cats around the house. I don't know. Hehehe. You made me laught with this story about you bringing home a cat. When Kuya Bot comes on Sunday, I'll tell him this story. I'm sure he'll remember... He loves cats too. I know he has cats at home. I even saw a picture of his daughter with a cat on their lap.... Whew! I'll someday have my own cat too. This struggle of my fear of cat is beginnig to be a challenge for me now. Regards!
@tessah (6621)
• United States
2 Oct 08
felines have the habit of pouncing things that move.. regardless of what they are. the kitty that jumped you when you were little.. prolly just thought of you as a plaything, and wasnt attempting to be malicious. mabe thatll help you put this into better perspectives.. maybe not. but with my own daughter when she is irrationally afraid of something.. i will take her by the hand and force her to do whatever it is she is fearing so that she can learn by experience that there isnt anything to be afraid of.. this dispells the fear, and shes fine after that. knowing mommy loves her and wouldnt ever allow anything to harm her gives her security to brave whatever it is. as an adult.. you are aware that yer fear of a tiny housecat less than an 1/8 of yer size is rather irrational. force yerself.. youll see there isnt any need for the fear..and might make a friend in a furry critter in the process
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Ok, you must be right. I'll do what you say. I'll really force myself into getting a little closer to these funny little felines... Anyway, I really love to have them it's just that I wanted to get rid of this phobia I have. Regards, and thanks again for the response!
@owlwings (40035)
• Cambridge, England
2 Oct 08
One really excellent way of getting rid of any kind of phobia is a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique. It's a simply learned (and free) system which involves tapping on various acupuncture points. You can learn it and apply it to yourself in just a few minutes and, once learned, you will find many more ways in which it can be helpful. You may like to read this account first and then use the links on the page to learn more about the technique and download the Getting Started Guide. http://www.emofree.com/a/?3252/Fear/fear-sarahcatphobia.htm
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
thanks for the link that you sent me. i hope that all the help i got from myLot will eventually get rid of my fear of cats. yours is one of the greatest helps i got. Thanks again... Regards.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
2 Oct 08
You may need professional help with this. It is understandable that you would fear cats after an experience like that, you poor thing! I adore cats, I always have abd I have two and I can assure you that they are not all aggressive. I have found female cats affectionate and passive more so than males (I have one of each). If you would like to ever own one check out the web for the more passive breeds. Do you know anyone who has a cat? Perhaps you could visit theirs and slowly get used to being near a cat and working your way up to actually touching or holding one. It may work as long as you are patient with your self. Good luck with this, I hope you will learn to love felines as much as I do!
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Before I go see a doctor, I think I'll try some of the advices given to me here in myLot. I think these will help me with my problem with cats... That case, I won't have to pay and spend much. Thanks! Happy myLotting!
@philjas (1134)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I think it's great that you want to get over your phobia! My husband has a friend who got attacked by a cat when he was 15 and since then he "hates" cats too - he doesn't really hate them he's just deathly afraid of them. He's a big man over 6 feet tall but he panics whenever he's in a room with a cat. He can stand at a distance from them, we have four cats so he's gotten used to them being here but he won't go near them. Except one night he came into our house, and one of our cats was near the door and he actually reached out and patted him on the head. I was completely shocked! I don't think he's ever done it again since, but I think just the constant exposure and realizing that THESE cats don't mean him any harm is what did it. So I think you can get over your fear too. Somebody had a good suggestion about looking at pictures of cats first, then maybe try to visit some friend's who have cats so you can be around them but at a safe distance?
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
I don't hate them, too. Your husband's friend is just like me. I don't go near them and panics if caught up in a room with a cat. But unlike him, I really don't touch a cat eversince that incident when a cat jumped on me. And when I look at a cat, and see that he is staring at me, there goes the phobia again. I even close the windows and doors whenever I see cat outside that looks my way. You're right, there's one suggestion is very nice. I might just start with the pictures and be with them not too close. Thanks for the response Philjas! Yours is just as helpful as other's advices. I'll add you up... Regards!
1 Oct 08
Hi Kat, Maybe when you handle a little kitten you might feel different, I know when things like that happens to you when you were a cjild, it is always with you because I was bitten by a german shepherd dog when I was a child and I was so scared of dogs but my friedns have dogs so and I soon learned how to trust them and even cuddled a german shepherd which is twce the size of me and now I just love dogs, I have also have two beautifull cats. Tamara
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
I think I'll try to study and play with cats from afar. I don't think I can touch them now. HuHHH!! The thought of it makes the hair on my arms stand. hehehe... But I will really try hard to be familiarized with them. One of my daughters like to have a kitten in the house. Sadly, I'm showing up to be the villain in her will to adopt one. When I am ready, we'll get one. Regards, Tamara!
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
1 Oct 08
How are you with pictures, books or movies of cats? You could start reading books about cats and looking at pictures and movies to desensitize yourself to cats. Once you aren't stressed by those things start looking at live cats from really far away. I mean far way, like across the street. When you can do that without being afraid or stressed keep slowly looking at cats from a closer distance until being near a cat doesn't cause any fear or stress. Any time you are really stressed go back one step until you conquer your fear.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Hello, TheCatLady! I really like your advices. I think I'll start with the pictures. You're right. I should familize myself with pictures first, then books and movies. In that way, I can understand them and eventually understand myself on how to deal with them. I'll also study them from afar, like you said. You must be very fond of cats, huh? Are they really loving pets?
@radinrr90 (157)
• Malaysia
1 Oct 08
I really love cats. But my uncle really afraid and feel disgusted when he see a cat. I don't know his story.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Can you ask him why he was disgusted with cats also? We can share stories...
@minx267 (14645)
• Hartford, Connecticut
1 Oct 08
U may need to see a therapist or a hypnotist.. I know it's hard to remember to when you were 5, but was the cat the jumped on you a kitten? because sometimes a young cat can be so playful they will just pounce to play. not realizing you were so little and may have not been trying to Hurt you intentionally- hell I have never known a cat myself that has intentionally tried to hurt anyone. I think in most likely hood it was just trying to play with you. or something on your clotes that caught it attention. My young cats do that all the time -trying to grab the string hanging from my sweatshirt to bat at.. BUt I know when it is an irrational fear - how hard it is to get rid of.. I have a fear of spiders.. and I can look at them if they aren't moving but if they are.. I run the other way. lol
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
Ohh, yeah. You must be right. I haven't thought of it before, that the cat or kitten must only be playing with me. But as a 5-year old, it really frightened me. I haven't heard of cats hurting people myself, unless we provoked them. Hahaha! All this time... yeah!!! I really haven't thought of that!!! Hahaha. It's just the fright I remember!!!
@julianarw (1524)
• Netherlands
1 Oct 08
I don't have phobia with cats. Only I don't get use to it with animals around me like cats and dogs. I just don't dare to close with them. Maybe because my parents not allow me to touch those animal when i was grew up in my own country. My son, 2 years old, he is dare to touch cat and dog.
• Philippines
3 Oct 08
It's ok, maybe you're just not interested with pets. There are really those people who loves pets, others don't. Your son must be brave to touch those little pets... I can see that pets are ok for as long as you managed to guide the kids. C yah!
• India
2 Oct 08
but i love cats
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
2 Oct 08
hypnosis helps people overcome their fears. some people, including celebrities, have gone to hypnotists to stop smoking or drinking. you can also buy a dvd or cd at a store for hypnosis and do it yourself. i have a hypnosis tape that helped me cure my insomnia.
• China
2 Oct 08
you do not like cats only because that a cat even scatched your chest ,but i feel cats are a kind of friendly animal ,there are a cat in my family ,my parents and me ,including my relatives all like it ,because it is lovely and funny ,it often make all of my family full of laugh .
@rizna19 (10)
• Sri Lanka
2 Oct 08
i hate cats as well.Infact I am allergic to cats.Their fur causes me to get a wheeze!so i stay away from cats as much as possible.
• India
1 Oct 08
i think you want to maintain a cat this may change your phobia