Ailurophobia is the abnormal, extreme, and persistent fear of cats, sometimes more specifically of being harmed (such as attacked, bitten, or scratched) by a cat or cats.
Those affected have been known to go to extreme lengths to prevent themselves from coming into the proximity of cats and to prevent cats from approaching them. Even cats, including kittens, that are pets of trusted friends and family and pose no treat, may cause great distress.
More general information about extreme fears such as Ailurophobia:
Extreme fears (phobias) such as ailurophobia can lead to a variety of disturbing symptoms such as breathlessness, difficulty in thinking or speaking clearly, dizziness, a dry mouth, a fear of dying, a fear of "going mad" or losing control, a sense of feeling sick, the inability to concentate, inability to make decisions that are usually simple, nausea, palpitations, shaking, sweating profusely, or a severe anxiety attack. Not everyone who has ailurophobia is affected by all possible symptoms, and some individuals may also have other reactions.
Even though many adult sufferers of ailurophobia (and/or other fears/phobias) are aware that their fears are unreasonable, many still experience severe anxiety even when just thinking about the subject or situation they fear. However, phobias such as ailurophobia are known and are a relatively common form of anxiety disorder that may be treated conventionally using cognitive behavioral therapy including exposure and fear reduction techniques. Drugs may also be offered, typically anti-anxiety or anti-depressants - particularly during the early stages of treatment. Other forms of treatment offered may include hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or other similar therapies.
Note that the list of phobias in this section is not complete. There are very many more phobias, including some some obscure fears, that have specific names. See our list of phobias.