Some people think cats are cute, others (usually including cats themselves) think they are superior beings. And some people are unfortunate enough to suffer from a fear of cats or – slightly more unusual – a fear of cats watching them. Cats can get creepy like that and they don’t have the same social skills we have to know that it’s not the done thing.
So, what can you do if you suffer from a fear of cats watching you? It’s not like you can do that thing from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and hide behind a towel. That would just look weird.
And cats don’t react the same way as dogs, who tend to break eye contact if you stare back at them.
Possibly the best thing to do is ignore the feline that’s eyeing you up. If you’re able to do that, it’s certainly what I’d suggest that you do first.
Next, if you’re able to move away from the cat, that will obviously work. But often the creatures are found at friend’s houses so that isn’t always a good option.
Obviously keep your distance from the cat as much as possible. A lot of our fear comes from the sharp claws and teeth that these supposedly domesticated creatures have and – more importantly – are quite happy to use on anything within easy reach.
If your cat-caring friend is open to persuasion, you could talk to them about cats being one of the main ways that humans get exposed to toxoplasmosis. But most cat lovers won’t hear a word said against their supposedly friendly creature, so the chances of that working are slim. But at least it gives you a reason for your fear that is grounded in science and may cause a few of your friends who are sitting on the decision fence about whether or not to look after a cat (since no-one really owns these surprisingly independent creatures) then that may help by not increasing the chances of you encountering a cat.
Another option is to reduce your fear by using a technique such as hypnosis.
This works by you either visiting a local hypnotherapist or, as is increasingly common nowadays, just downloading a pre-recorded MP3 and playing it to yourself a few times.
Hypnosis works with your mind to change how you react to cats. You’re unlikely to end up being a cat lover just by listening to a hypnosis track but that’s not really the idea of doing so – it’s more to get you so that you don’t freak out if one of those felines deems to be in the same room as you.