Why are cats so scared of cucumbers? What’s the big deal?
Are you one of those people who can’t put their phone down at times when scrolling the internet, spending way too much time looking at adorable kitten videos while you may be supposed to be doing other more productive things?
I personally can be found guilty of doing this, scrolling through kitten memes and videos for hours and hours on a daily basis almost.
If you have been doing something like this maybe just once or twice, or even have a pet cat yourself then you may have just discovered something very strange about these animals…
They seem to be terrified of a simple green vegetable!
Cucumbers in fact…
Well if you do love cats and learning more about them, then you should definitely be interested in learning more about why this is, and why exactly cats are so scared of cucumbers, and how did this fear originate?
Do they just hate vegetables..?
Table of Contents
Are Cats Scared of Cucumbers? Is It Real?
If you have ever in fact, spent an unhealthy amount of time on social media looking at cats and browsing through adorable cat videos, you may have seen them react or jump out of fear at the sight of this seemingly harmless vegetable.
It would not have sounder so weird if it were an isolated incident.
However, the majority of cats are scared of cucumbers and scurry away as soon as they see one.
So, is this real? Are cats really that scared of cucumbers? why is this?
While you may dismiss the idea of these graceful feline animals being scared of cucumbers, it is 100% true.
In fact, cats are afraid of these green fruity things and run away from these after just one glance. Hundreds and thousands of pet owners have captured their cats running away from cucumbers and shared these videos online.
Why Are Cats Scared of Cucumbers?
While there are a few theories about this common reaction among cats, there is really no definitive answer to why cats are so scared of cucumbers as a whole.
Let’s explore these theories in better detail and try to get to the root of this mysterious phenomenon.
The Cucumbers Remind Them of Snakes
This is one of the most popular theories regarding this out there on the internet.
It makes complete sense when you think about it, and look at it from this perspective but they do kind of look like snakes which we are all fearful of.
Moreover, this theory is even backed by some of the leading animal behavior scientists and the best ones around.
According to Con Slobodchikoff, animal behaviorist and the author of “Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals, he says this:
“Cats are genetically hard-wired through instinct to avoid snakes.”
This is why cats jump up and run away scared at the sight of anything that even slightly resembles the snakes.
Moreover, according to Con, this reaction is not only limited to cucumbers but also extends to any other objects that resemble the appearance of a snake.
This goes to show us that cats are not necessarily scared of the cucumber itself, but anything that has a long body and is shaped like a snake.
Cats are born with an instinctive fear of snakes.
When they see a cucumber or anything that resembles a snake, it immediately triggers the fight or flight pattern among these feline creatures.
However, the majority of cats tend to choose the flight option and to get as far away as possible from the cucumber or the object of their torment.
Predators and apex animals are known to attack and eat cats, and this strong primal fear has been passed down to modern era cats in their DNA.
Therefore, cats are born with a natural fear of snakes and other predators that may sneak up on them silently and eat them.
The Sneak Attack Scares Them
If you have ever seen the videos of cats getting scared of different objects, you must have noticed that the cats are only particularly scared of such objects when the owners sneakily place these behind them.
The sneak attack surprises the animals, and their natural instinct is to immediately flee the situation. (1.)
And not always so gracefully.
Any object placed surreptitiously behind a cat will without a doubt startle it. In fact, anything that surprises a cat from a blind corner out of nowhere will terrify them and cause them to act out in reaction to the sneak attack.
Cats are known to be pretty quick, smart, and alert at all times.
Therefore, these animals know to keep their guard up at all times and protect themselves in all possible situations.
That is something to admire in them.
Situational awareness is a natural trait among all felines, and anything that infiltrates that circle of constant awareness causes them to act out and react in absurd manners.
In the majority of these videos, pet owners tend to purposely place cucumbers and other objects behind cats when they aren’t looking.
This ends up terrifying the cats, and they run away startled from the cucumbers.
Imagine if someone would place a plastic spider right behind you…
Additionally, you must understand that cats only let down their guards during meals and safe places, when they are sure that they are not in any immediate danger.
According to Dr. Roger Mugford, an animal behavior specialist, cats are scared of an object suddenly appearing behind them when they were enjoying their meals and weren’t paying attention to their vicinity.
Jill Goldman, an animal behaviorist in southern California, further explains this reaction among cats and ties it to the startle reaction.
The unexpected appearance of an object behind a cat initiates the startle response among cats, and they act out.
According to him, the cats quickly get away from the unknown object and then re-assess it from a safe distance where it can not hurt them.
This was later proved to be true when the experiment was carried out, and cats went to a safe distance to look back at the object. Moreover, some cats even came back to the object and bravely sniffed it to make sure that it was not a threat to them.
If you think the startle response is limited to animals, you should know that all living beings possess this trait.
As a human, you must have been scared or startled by sudden loud noises and visual surprises.
Your heartbeat must have raced up as a reaction to the foreign and seemingly threatening unknown stimuli. This is common among cats as well.
Once their heartbeat slows down again and the reaction to the stimuli or surprise has passed, they resume their normal activities without worrying about the object any more.
This goes to show that cats are not necessarily scared of the green cucumber itself, but the sudden appearance of a seemingly threatening stimulus behind their back.
Also read: How long are cats pregnant?
Why You Should Not Try to Scare Your Cat
As a pet owner, you must love your cats with all your heart.
Looking at them all day, playing with them, and making funny videos to share with your friends is just an amazing bonus that comes with nurturing and loving these fun animals.
However, scaring or pranking animals is never a good idea.
Moreover, startling any animal may result in severe health consequences, according to modern research.
Cats and other animals are particularly vulnerable to stress, anxiety and depression.
It may not sound like much of a problem maybe at first, but invoking the startle response among any vertebrae animal (animal with a spine), may result in life-long stress issues and mental health issues.
This extends to your cats as well.
The videos of different cat owners scaring their adorable little kittens and cats may sound interesting and entertaining at first, but people really shouldn’t be doing this or laughing at this even.
Scientists and animal behavior experts recommend against it, as it can result in lifelong health issues for your pets, especially cats which are so sensitive.
As a human being, constant exposure to unexpected surprises and loud noises can result in lifelong depression and anxiety.
It is a proven medical fact that human beings who constantly have to go through loud noises during their daily commute and have to suffer through traffic jams and horn noises all day are more prone to having heart diseases and chronic depression.
You don’t want that for your cat, do you?
Loud noises, unexpected surprises, and threatening stimuli keeps the heart racing and tense for a while.
The blood pumps through your body at an alarmingly high rate and can result in some severe irregularities in the long run.
The blood levels keep on rising, and human beings with exposure to such things are known to develop severe blood pressure issues later on in life.
The same goes for your cats and other pets. Constant exposure to unexpected surprises and “pranks” may lead to horrible health issues, such as chronic depression and anxiety.
This can further translate into dietary problems as well for your cats, and it can result in severe health consequences as your cats will refuse to eat in peace due to the fear of pranks.
Moreover, cats can easily hurt themselves during this, and the startle response may result in prolonged stress.
Some studies indicate that the startle response forces the cats to act out in a weird manner, and they may not be aware of their surroundings anymore… like tends to happen to individuals who are suddenly incredibly scared.
This response forces the cats to run away incredibly fast from the object and towards (and through) anything that comes in their path.
The collision between the cat and any object that happens to be in their path on their way to safety can result in severe injuries to their bones or even their neurological processes.
Cats are known for maintaining a high level of situational awareness at all times.
However, when they are startled, and their situation awareness is infiltrated so abruptly and brutally, they lose control of their surroundings and run away from the object towards any direction at high speed.
It they run into something, it can lead to brain damage or fractures.
This may cause a lifelong illness or disability in your cats. So don’t try to scare them, it is not funny and not worth it.
Cats used to be praised and worshiped back in the day in Egypt.
Nowadays, these feline beauties have become an essential part of our lives.
Loving and caring for a pet, especially a cat, can help us get rid of the daily stress that so often causes us frustration and pain.
Making a cute or adorable video with your cat is also an amazing part of the experience that comes with having a little house tiger.
However, startling cats just for a funny video or hoping to get “likes” at the expense of your pet is never a good idea and just downright cruel.
Keep your cats safe and away from any danger.
Nurture them, love them, care for them but keep the cucumbers away from them.
They may think it is an actual snake.