Why are cats scared of cucumbers? Recently, I landed on pet videos on the internet and found that there have been videos of a variety of cats recorded by their owners leaping in the air out of shock and fear upon seeing a cucumber. Yes, cucumbers! Your average, green crop from the supermarket.
It surprised me to see how cats reacted. They were terrified. I felt sad for them. These poor kitties, scared of cucumbers, on video with their owners laughing. It had actually gone viral. I thought that this should be researched and understood.
I feel confident that most cat owners don't want to do things that truly do terrify their cats, and most likely the people on video actually didn't realize how scared of cucumbers these cats were.
Cats and Their Reaction to Cucumbers
Cats getting frightened by the cucumber prank creates unnecessary trauma in them. In general, cats are afraid of anything unexpected that’s coming their way!
These videos typically have felines facing away, and their owners secretly place this behind them. When the cats turn around, they are startled by the vegetable that wasn’t even there before, only reacting to it by leaping back as a fear response.
While the videos of cats’ reactions seem funny, the question remains if it is safe to do that to cats and why they seem to be afraid of cucumbers?
Cucumbers May Look Like Snakes to Cats
As it turns out, it’s not the cucumber settled behind a cat that scares it, but pretty much anything that sneaks up on a cat can definitely terrify it! Cats are sharp and alert, so even in safer spaces, they always keep their guard up and have good situational awareness.
If you have seen such videos of cats getting scared of cucumbers, you might have noticed that cucumbers are deliberately put behind cats when they are peacefully enjoying their times with their owner or enjoying a food bowl.
Did you know that cats only eat when they are sure of the safety of their surroundings? In other words, cats associate their ‘food stations’ as areas around the household deemed entirely safe and secure.
So, putting the vegetable around them when they least expect it will allow them to think twice about ever considering their food station as perfectly safe.
Most experts agree that it isn’t exactly the vegetable that scared the cats. However, one of the most popular insights is that cucumbers can be seen as snakes to cats.
Cats have had instinctual reactions to unforeseen forces. Whenever they are surprised with cucumbers, they might think it’s a snake coming to attack them. This results in a jolting mini heart attack as their reaction to it.
Cats don’t want cucumbers to be behind them
When a cat spots a green cucumber lying on the floor behind them, the cat has an extreme reaction because the cat wouldn’t expect the vegetable to be there.
Cats wouldn’t normally find cucumbers lying on the floor, so the sheer novelty of the whole thing freaks them out.
Take a look at this video clip:
Here’s why you shouldn’t try to scare cats at all
Although the videos showing cats afraid of cucumbers and other fruits are entertaining, feline experts or anyone who's an animal behaviorist will advise against pranking your cat in other similar ways.
Clearly, this isn’t good for their health and could cause cats to injure themselves, break something and getting injured in the process, or lead to prolonged stress.
Cats love to live in a place they know they can feel safe and build trust. Scaring cats in their originally safe spaces just defeats the purpose of ever caring for cats in the house.
They may question your intentions with them and feel a lack of trust, instead. Developing unnecessary anxiety, cynicism, and aggressiveness towards you as a learned behavior.
So it’s extremely advisable not to scare your cats at all if you mean to provide them with a good home to have a good head space.
The more you foster trust with your cats the more they connect with you better. Scaring cats isn’t a good way to go when you want the best for them.
The consequences of scaring cats
The number one requirement for pets is to feel entirely safe in their environment, and anything you do to change that violates your pets’ trust and confidence.
This already shatters the bond you have so diligently built with your pet.
The other consequence that will likely happen is the moment when your cat can starts to learn that their food area is no longer a safe place. Imagine your feline friend feeling anxious about eating in the same area they used to be safe in?
This is generally frightening to a cat. Even with something as harmless as a vegetable could lead to serious injury as the cat’s reflex fear reaction is both instinctual and forceful. This gets cats to crash into furniture or land on something dangerous.
Stressed cats aren’t fun pets. Developed anxiety can cause issues of destructive behavior that can put other pets and your things in harm. These are the issues that are commonly the reasons why cats are taken to shelters instead.
The moral of the viral video
I know that going viral on the internet is a very trendy thing to do with pets, but trying to create a viral video at the expense of another person or pet just isn't right. Scaring a cat through this way is not just wrong, but can be a form of animal cruelty if it gets to the extreme.
However, if you mean to reduce your cat's fear of cucumbers, it’s best to ‘introduce’ your pet to cucumbers gradually and from a safe distance.
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