Do cats know when we’re afraid?

When we refer to fears or phobias, we should especially mention the phobia of cats or ailurophobia , which is an irrational fear of cats. Normally, it is associated with the ignorance of the species and all the myths that associate with it. But does it impact our cat? Can it affect him?

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In YourCatCareguide we will answer your question: Do cats notice when we are afraid? Many people do not even want to approach them and when they try to do so, they are so afraid that they give up. Let’s see some techniques to improve this situation for both the feline and the human thus improving the relationship between them!

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What does ailurophobia mean?

It is the extreme and irrational fear of cats . The word comes from the Greek ailouros (cat) and phobos (fear). It is very common in people who do not know the species or do not like animals very much, and in the latter case they are usually afraid of not only this species.

As most phobias are created by the subconscious as a defense mechanism, it is not very easy to control because it is a psychological problem. There are several causes that can cause this problem:

  • Bad experiences in childhood. The memories are etched in the subconscious appearing before the presence of the animal. He may also have observed the parents’ fear of this species and adopted the behavior as their own.
  • Not interested in knowing the cats , which is revealed in a slight fear or scorn, since he has never had contact with cats and prefers to ignore them.
  • Bad luck . There are people who believe in false myths that cats bring bad luck or that they are related to witchcraft or the devil.

Symptoms in humans

When there is this phobia or fear of cats, we have a series of actions that we sometimes do without repairing, but cats do. We have different degrees of fear, some are very light, people who neither touch nor give affection, simply pass and ignore, or in other extremes we have those who say “please close your cat, I’m very afraid.”

In the case of a person who is very fearful of cats , there are a number of symptoms that are caused by the presence of these animals:

  • Palpitations
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Nasal allergy or cough
  • Nausea and indisposition
  • Feeling of suffocation

These may be some of the most visible reactions in people to the presence of a cat, very similar to a panic attack. They should be treated by psychologists to get over the phobia. But, curiously, in cases of milder fear, it is usual to observe that the cat is closer to these people . What causes them to get closer to people who are afraid of them or resist touching?

Cats smell the fear.

We have all heard that both cats and dogs feel fear . Is it a myth or reality? It is a reality , especially considering they are predators and need to get their food to survive.

When we are afraid of something we sweat and usually sweat is cold. Hands and nape sweat and accompany this strange sweat, we release the famous adrenaline , which our “hunters” can recognize from miles away. It is something we can not control, just as the cat feels the presence of a mouse or when a lion notices the presence of a deer.

However, it is not exactly the adrenaline that releases smell, but the pheromones that the body releases in the face of stress. Here we must also emphasize that pheromones are generally detected by individuals of the same species, so the cat does not always notice a different smell. So what causes the cat to quickly sense fear in people?

In fact, it is attitudes that denounce us. When we have full confidence in the animal we try to establish eye contact to touch or play with it, but when we are afraid, we look down and try to ignore it. When the cat does not make eye contact with us, it interprets as a sign of friendship and approaches . So we explain why they approach people who fear them and do not want them around. It is part of the body language of cats , we perform without giving and the cat interprets in a positive way.

The gaze of cats is part of their body language, both with their own species and with other species. When cats face other cats they often maintain eye contact, such as when hunting for prey. In the documentaries, we see the lions staring at the “future prey” and crawling up to it.

When we establish a very strong eye contact with a cat, especially when it does not know us, it is likely to hide or ignore us, since it interprets us as a threat. On the other hand, if we try to ignore it, it will come closer since we pose no danger to it.

If you want to read the similar articles in Cats do you know when we are afraid? , we recommend you to enter our Curiosities section of the animal world .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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