7 facts that everyone with ailurophobia wants you to know

Cat lovers are a certain sort of person. And that’s great, a lot of people are that sort of person, and to be frank: Someone has to love those awful little creatures, because not everyone does. And yes, to be fair, dog people are always weird too. But dogs are just kind of generally dumb and furry and love you unconditionally. It’s easy to see why someone can fall in love with a pup right away. But a cat? They’re creepy enough that some people have an actual phobia of felines. Whether it’s serious or not, there are some facts everyone with ailurphobia wants you to know.

Because your “sweet little kitty cat” is giving them serious bad vibes.

Historically, we feel bad for cat people, and are totally glad cat fandom is getting its shine at last. Until the dawn of the internet, being a “cat lady” was basically a slur for single women who lived alone with their cat(s). So it’s undeniably good that now cat lovers can share memes and pictures of their cats without shame. But while some people are cooing over those sweet little faces, others are shuddering — and that’s valid too.

Here are some things you friend with ailurophobia wants you to know:

1Your cat doesn’t even like you (or at least how you smell).

According to Dr. Cynthia McManis, a veterinarian and the owner of Just Cats Veterinary Services, cats spend about 50 percent of their day grooming themselves — or obsessively licking their coat. You might notice that after you snuggle with your cat, it retreats and goes and grooms itself for like an hour. Do you know what it’s really doing? Ridding itself of your scent. Like, it doesn’t want to smell like you.

2Cats will eat you like it’s nothing.

If you die, studies show that a cat will start eating you within one day, even if you feed it delicious food and buy it a cute sweater. One. Day. Scientists have studied dogs in the same situation and found that they’ll wait at least a week. At least they have some freaking respect.

3They’re emotionally abusive.

You know that cute little Snapchat you took the other day with your cat “cuddling” all up on you while you binge-watched the Gilmore Girls for the 50th time together? Yeah, that’s not cuddling. It’s a way for your cat to make sure that they’re property by getting their scent all over you. Also, those sweet little purrs? Studies show that cats change their tune depending on how they know you’ll respond. Your cat basically owns you.

4They’re actual killers

Yes, many animals are natural-born hunters. But a 2013 study found that domestic cats kill 20.7 billion animals like mice and chipmunks a year. And 3.7 billion birds. To make matters worse, the study found that these are domesticated cats doing all this murdering. So they just had some Fancy Feast, a nap on the couch, and then they go out and hunt birds and little field mice for sport. And you let these a**holes in your house!? Ailurophobes are not having it.

5They’re total loners.

Cats like to be alone. It’s the first thing any cat owner will tell you, nervously laughing as their cat saunters away after giving you some stank eye. Cats actually thrive on their own. They don’t want or need you. Dogs, meanwhile, have been socialized over time by hanging out with humans and being the best pets ever, which means their brains are actually bigger and more complex. So despite what you might have heard in Homeward Bound, dogs rule, cats drool.

6A parasite makes you love cats.

The only reason you are a cat person in the first place is possibly because of a protozea called Toxoplasma gondii that’s found in about 30 to 50 percent of human brains. A bunch of scientists found in a study that when T. gondii was in a rodent brain, it made the mouse not scared of the cat and becomes attracted to the smell of cat piss. So the mouse walks into a trap all because of some parasite in its brain. And yes, T.gondii — which can only reproduce in cat intestines, BTW — also makes you not grossed out or scared of your cat. Once it gets in your brain, it’s there forever. Even if your cat is a jerk or eats you. Think about that for a minute.

7Oh, about that T. gondii.

So your cat is already mind f*cking you into loving it with a parasite that lives in their poop. Great. Another thing T. gondii can do? Kill you. Yup, the T. gondii can cause toxoplasmosis, which can give you headaches, fever, and muscle pain for weeks. In pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system, it can be dangerous, though treatable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Studies have found a possible link between toxoplasmosis and suicide, too. Let’s not forget that most cats also insist on pooping right inside your apartment in a little box you’ve set up for it somewhere. Did we mention mind control? Sorry, everyone, your cat is creepy and could be trying to actively kill you. Why aren’t you scared of it too?