Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers?
Everyone has seen those viral videos of cats jumping up in fear when they see a cucumber behind them.
In the videos, the felines face away, and their owners secretly place a cucumber behind them. When the cats turn around, they are startled by the fruit that wasn’t there beforehand, jumping very high up and usually comically.
And while many find it very amusing to watch their furry friends jump up in the air over something that is mostly water, many are still left questions why cats are afraid of cucumbers.
Cucumbers might remind cats of snakes
Here’s the deal, we will never truly know the real answer as to why this fruit makes cats jump in the air afraid, but there are a number of theories.
The first thought is that cats are not actually afraid of the cucumber itself. Many believe that because cucumbers resemble snake, it causes that cat to jump.
“Cats are genetically hard-wired through instinct to avoid snakes,” Con Slobodchikoff, animal behaviorist and author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals, told ABC News.
The size, color, and length looks just close enough to a snake to cause their genetic fears to kick in, causing the initial jump. Also, usually why you don’t see cats running from cucumbers when you place it in front of them.
We all have seen the videos where you put a fake snake near someone and watch them freak out. Same could be possible for cats.
Cats don’t want the cucumber to be behind them
The second theory is more around their feral instincts. The sudden appearance of the cucumber behind them, usually when eating, spooks them.
This is similar to startling someone by sneaking up behind them. When cats are eating or drinking, they are at one of their most vulnerable, so something sneaking up behind them would cause them great fear.
Why You Should Not Scare Your Cats With Cucumbers
If you noticed, all throughout this post I have mentioned that many people think it is funny. Not that I find it humorous.
And in full transparency, the first few times I saw the videos I did laugh.
It wasn’t until I started thinking about the cats and doing the research that I started to feel bad for the cats.
And while the videos seem funny and similar to pranking a family member of friend, the same is not true for your pet. In fact, it can even cause harm to your pet’s health.
Trying to scare your cat with a cucumber could cause cats to injure themselves, break something, or lead to prolonged stress.
Unlike humans, they don’t get to yell at you and tell you to stop. Actually, they have no idea it is a joke at all. They were just scared, and their human did not protect them.
Cats do so many funny things, let’s stop trying to scare them with cucumbers, whatever the real reason may be.