There's this latest type of cat video taking the Internet by storm lately and it has been cats freaking out.
If you haven't seen one of the numerous viral videos of cat owners startling their cats with cucumbers, well it actually goes like this: pet owners sneaking up behind their cats and placing this harmless garden cucumber behind them, the moment their pets noticed it, the frightened kitties started leaping into the air, running for safety or preparing themselves for a battle.
So this leads most of us to the question why are cats scared of cucumbers? Are cats and cucumbers really mortal enemies? What makes them react this way?
Well, if you want to know the answer then please keep on reading below.
What Makes Cats Terrified With Cucumbers?
So the other day, I was killing time watching random clips of the most trending videos on YouTube until I ended up on cute pet videos. Then I noticed a clip that says “Cat Scared by Cucumbers Compilation”. I never knew that cats can be terrified with a harmless vegetable so I opened the said clip out of sheer curiosity and watched it.
In the video, different types of cats were recorded jumping in the air out of absolute shock and horror upon the sight of cucumber. Yes, just your regular, green cucumber!
Why are cats scared of cucumbers? What made them do that funny, exaggerated reactions?
Well, I found out that is not actually about the cucumber. You can place one whole pineapple behind them and it can still potentially terrify your poor pet. Cats are alert and sharp animals, so it is natural for them to always keep their guards up and have excellent situational awareness.
Have you noticed that in most of these videos, cucumbers were deliberately placed behind cats while they were actually peacefully enjoying their mealtime and their heads are buried in their food bowl? Cats only eat after making sure that they are not directly susceptible to any threats by anything or anyone in the vicinity, this means that cats associate their food stations as a place where they feel perfectly safe and secure. So whenever you cat starts to notice this green cucumber lying on the floor behind her, it will freak her out just because she wasn’t expecting it to be there.
Well, this is probably the reason why we can never find a video of a cat seeing a cucumber from a distance and then start walking up to examine it. In fact, according to an animal behavior specialist, Roger Mugford, told the Telegraph, “I think that the reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed whilst their heads were down in the food bowl.”
Another certified animal behaviorist, Jill Goldman told National Geographic that one more reason could be that they may associate cucumber with snakes, which are undeniably terrifying, deadly predators. I think we can all agree that the moment we turn around and see a snake, we might have the same reaction.
Is It Acceptable To Scare Your Cat With Cucumber?
Watching a cat leap into the air out of pure fright might make some internet users laugh really heard, but do you know that there is nothing amusing about this at all? Especially to the cat that's being exposed to this experience.
So before you go and try this fad video for yourself and add to the countless videos on YouTube of cats vs. cucumbers you should know that, as National Geographic noted, it is not going to be good for your cat. As I have mentioned above, cats can get really scared by the unexpected appearance of this green invader, which causes their normal “startle responses” and makes them want to retreat as soon as they can. In an effort to get away from the supposed ‘green threat’, a cat may possibly break something as she tries to leap away or hurt others in the area, much worse is that since her reflex fear reaction can be really forceful, she might injure her own self or land something injurious.
This may also lead to long-term stress for your little pet, which is clearly not a good thing. Jill Goldman was also noted saying, “If you do it for laughs it makes me question your humanity”. A University of Bristol’s cat-behavior expert even called the craze to be “despicable” and “an incitement for people to scare their cats and then invite people to laugh at them.”
The other thing that can possibly happen is that your cat will realize that her regular food area is no longer a safe place. Can you imagine a cat anxious just to eat? Cats that are under stress can no longer be fun pets. Anxiety can lead to harmful results like destructive behavior and not using the litter box. These issues are one of the common reasons as to why cats are sent to shelters.
Moreover, if you are repeatedly frightening your cat, her brain could associate you with fear, even if you had nothing to do with causing the fear. Remember that whenever pets feel safe in their surroundings, anything you do that will change that might violate the trust and destroy the bond you have with you and your pet. Of course, we don’t want that to happen.
You can never tell what’s going to make a video go viral these days, but one thing is for sure, you should never go testing out various fruits on your pet cat because you might scare this poor little one and might cause her to injure herself. Trying to prank your cat this way is not just wrong in all aspects, but actually quite cruel.
Though the answer to the question why are cats scared of cucumbers is not yet back up with science, we can’t really say how cats feel about cucumbers unless they suddenly start talking (now that’s probably scary). We can only assure that it’s the unexpected sight of a cucumber behind them that’s terrifying, not the cucumber itself.
Anyway, I hope this article was able to answer your question and has helped you on how to take care of your cat even more. If you still have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to leave it in the comment section below; I would love to hear from you.
Don't forget to share this article with your fellow cat lovers too!