Ailurophobia – fear of cats
Ailurophobia is the persistent and irrational fear of cats and is also known as ‘felinophobia’, ‘elurophobia’, and ‘cat phobia’. In general, people who suffer from this phobia have been attacked by a cat in the past or as a child, or have simply witnessed someone else being attacked by a feline. Sometimes just watching a few videos of aggressive animals is enough to trigger your phobia.
Individuals with ailurophobia can experience an extreme panic attack even when they just think about cats, imagine scenarios with them, hear them meowing and seeing them on the street. For example, if you are afraid of cats, when you see a cat walking down the street, your brain begins to imagine scenarios in which the cat jumps on you and attacks you and then you start to panic and become extremely anxious. Your brain will think that you are in danger and will start acting accordingly to protect you.
It is speculated that Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great suffered from this phobia. So, it seems that even strong people who have taken part in various battles and risked their lives can be afraid of small animals.
Alektorophobia – fear of chickens
Unlike ornithophobia which is the overall fear of birds, alektorophobia is the specific phobia of chickens. Being a specific phobia, people’s fear is irrational. Of course, individuals who suffer from different types of phobias know that their fear is irrational, but they can’t control their feelings and psychological reactions.
As with other disorders, the symptoms of specific phobias – in this case alektorophobia – differ from person to person. For example, while some people experience extreme panic attacks and anxiety, others hate to eat chicken as well as other birds, such as turkey and duck. This can also be a reason why they become vegetarians and vegans.
People who grew up in rural areas are more likely to develop this fear as they have been surrounded by a lot of chickens and maybe they have experienced a traumatic event involving chickens.