For those people who have a fear of cats they are also known as Ailurophobes or to have Ailurophobia, the sight of the domestic cat can be extremely terrifying.
Especially if they see it feeling threatened, hair standing on end, tail straight up, and hissing, this can actually induce an anxiety attack. It’s very important should you run into someone who has this phobia, that you do not push them to get over it. The fear is real, and according to the person’s health condition, it could actually be dangerous.
In order to get over a phobia such as this, a person is probably going to seek out counseling. First of all they have to understand why cats scare them, and then have to learn how to relax, and not let a cat terrify them.
According to their level of fear, they may elect to get over the fear without counseling. In this case you can meet their support, and perhaps, introduce them to a newborn kitten, before heading out to those that are bigger.
There is nothing as innocent or as helpless as a newborn, with their eyes closed, and their rooting noses looking for milk. Then perhaps, a person with a fear of cats can watch the litter of kittens slowly emerged into baby kittens. Of course, at this level of therapy, be sure that the mama cat is either extremely relaxed, or is not in the room at all.
Remember, there is nothing more terrifying than a mother protecting their young, and this could set the person back quite a bit, should they see a mama cat who feels like her kittens are threatened.
Should your friend not be able to handle newborn kittens, and still want to get over the fear of cats, perhaps looking at pictures can be a start. Be sure to start out with those cat pictures where they’re being sweet and nice, and are not in any way feeling threatened.