Categories: Ailurophobia

Modern cat-phobics mirror those of Medieval Europe

If a person dislikes dogs he or she probably has a good reason e.g. the person was bitten as a child or even as an adult. In lieu of that reason is that they probably don’t like animals, period.

However, cat-phobics are a special breed of person who have an irrational fear of cats. It is the same sort of fear suffered by people with snake or spider phobias. Although a phobia about snakes is grounded in logic because snakes can be poisonous.

In medieval times it was cat-phobia which lead to the mass killing of millions of cats in Europe. In the USA there is a significant minority of people who revile cats of all types but particularly feral cats who they denigrate as smelly – ‘they stink of urine’.

These are the irrational rants of cat-phobics. As the cat becomes ever more popular the cat haters become more vocal. This is because the cat in more often ‘in their face’. This appears to be true with respect to feral cats (although great work is done by TNR volunteers).

There is no absolute certainty that we will avoid a return to the attitudes of medieval Europe.

Perhaps the 20th century was the golden age of the domestic cat. It may be downhill from here unless more is done to reduce the number of irresponsible cat owners who create, through carelessness, more feral cats.

There are two major driving forces behind the dislike of cats (1) they kill ‘innocent’ wildlife and (2) they spread disease. These are the reasons given but they are underpinned by cat-phobic attitudes.

This attitude harks back to medieval times when the cat was accused of spreading the great plague in London. The cats were incorrectly accused of transmitting the disease. This mirrors today’s rants about disease-spreading feral cats. I have heard that so often it has become boring.

Even some veterinarians who volunteer their services in TNR programs are criticised by their colleagues for ‘abandoning cats’. TNR is very contentious and has been the subject of millions of hours of discussion between kill-the-feral-cat advocates and TNR advocates.

Even though the domestic cat has lived with wildlife in the US and the UK for hundreds of years they are still the subject of passionate debates about placing restrictions on ownership such as limiting their numbers and curfews. Some of the players in these discussions are cat-phobics. You can’t persuade them to alter their attitudes.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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