Getting Started -
Phobias can develop from a single
experience or from continued exposure to the fearful stimulus.
These phobias may develop because
of an inherent sensitivity to the stimulus (i.e. a genetic
predisposition) or due to exposure to a highly traumatic
experience associated with a stimulus (e.g. a carport collapsing
on the pet in a windstorm, cat being in the car during a car
accident, being locked in a closet, etc.).
With multiple exposure to a fearful
event a cat may become more intensely reactive if it is
reinforced by receiving attention or affection by well meaning
owners who are merely trying to calm the pet down.
Although some pets react with mild
fear responses of panting and pacing, others get extremely
agitated and may become destructive or panicked.