This page tackles phobias concerning cats from two perspectives. Firstly, I discuss the unusual situation where the family’s cat is terrified or has a strong dislike of the husband; the cat suffers from “husband phobia”. Secondly, I present a couple of videos which discuss a person’s cat phobia, called “ailurophobia” (liking cats is called ailurophilia). In this case, the phobia is cured.
It is perhaps unfair to pick out the husband. A cat might be fearful of the wife but amongst wives and husbands it is probable that husbands are more likely to be the “victim”.
The two obvious reasons why a cat has “husband phobia” is because the cat is not well socialised to accept men and/or the cat may have had an early bad experience with a man. Secondly, the husband may be around the home less and when he arrives home from work he may (a) make noise (b) be wound up, move quickly and be a bit scary – to the wife as well 😉 (c) try and make friends with his cat and in doing so make matters worse because the approach is too sharp, noisy and rough.
At heart, the way forward is to try and socialise the cat to the husband. This may be difficult because the cat’s dislike of men is fixed. The cat may have an association between men and a bad experience. It may be possible to gradually unlock this connection by:
- letting the husband feed the cat and perhaps use treats and to touch and stroke the cat at the same time.
- letting the husband gently approach and play with the cat
- making sure the husband speaks at a lower volume and becomes less dominant around the cat (getting down on hands and knees to approach the cat). The whole demeanor of the husband should be less unintentionally threatening. Movements should be slow, handling should be gentle, voice should be melllow and calm etc.! Patience should be the key because my feeling is that if a cat is husband-phobic it will take a long time to change things.
However, a pleasant spin-off might be that the husband becomes a better husband for the wife at the same time!
In the video the cat phobia was simply described by a “life coach” as being caused by a mental association that develops because of a single incident. A phobia is a “neuro-association”. Something happens that is traumatic and the person links feelings to it. It is learned behavior. On the basis that cat phobia or any phobia is learned behavior, it can be unlearned. The connection between cat and fear is broken. The lady in question describes the moment, at 14 years of age, when her cat phobia was created. Over many years the fear was hardened and built on.
The videos show a transformation in the woman’s feelings towards cats. However, disappointingly, we don’t see what the life coach does with the “patient”. Anyway, the video is instructional and it does show how a fear of cats can be radically and quickly cured.
An interesting aspect of this is that a lot British people holiday in the Mediterranean. These are countries such as Greece, the Greek island of Corfu, Cyprus, Malta, Spain etc.. Stray cats and outdoor cats are commonplace. A person who is fearful of cats cannot go on holiday in these places. If the husband or wife has a particular desire to routinely holiday in the Mediterranean a partner with a cat phobia is a major problem.
P.S. Videos sometimes go wrong because they are pulled from YouTube for various reasons. If that has happened, I apologize but it is out of my control.
P.P.S. Photo (modified) by by MrGuilt on Flickr