You've probably come across videos of cats getting scared out of their wits once they spot a cucumber around them. In most cases, these cats either flee in fear or bounce into the air. However, the big question is, are cats scared of cucumber? If they are, what is the basis for such a fear? If you're wondering about the answers to these questions, read on to learn more.
Cats are hard-wired to fear snakes
Although there is no definitive proof that cats are afraid of cucumbers, it could be that the snake-like appearance terrifies them. Cats are genetically hard-wired to panic at the sight of a snake. According to animal behaviorist and author Con Slobodchikoff, cucumbers have a snake-like appearance. Therefore, when a cat first spots a cucumber, its first instinct will be to flee. It is only normal for a cat to bounce into the air once they spot something slithering around them. It's a defense mechanism for them to avoid getting bitten by the snake.
It's not just the cucumbers
Although it may seem like cats are intensely scared of cucumbers, it may not be the cucumber in question that they are entirely afraid of. When a cat spots anything that looks like a snake, the immediate response would be that of instinctive fear, much like a humans response who dislikes snakes. However, since cucumbers are more shaped like snakes than most other shapes of vegetables, the response they produce is greater than others.
Why you shouldn't scare your cat with cucumbers
While pranking your cat with cucumbers to watch the response may feel like all fun and games and could help you get views on your video sharing platform, it really isn't. In fact, your feline companion could have dire long-term mental effects. After all, most people wouldn't like or appreciate someone scaring them on purpose. According to Slobodchikoff, scaring any animal puts it at a serious risk of experiencing psychological damage.
Ultimately, whether it's your cat or any other pet, the result will be fear of not only cucumbers but a host of other things as well. Moreover, apart from the mental torture, your cat may end up hurting itself or break something of value in the house.
Furthermore, it's not only the cucumbers that scare the cats. The environment where the cucumber was presented to the cat also plays a vital role in the response.
Therefore, you should be considerate of how you present somethings like cucumbers around your cat. You need to be careful when you play with your cat because the outcome may not be so pretty. They get startled by the sudden appearance of cucumbers, and it may lead to long-term stress and fear. More on: are cats afraid of cucumbers? Can be learned here.
It is important to realize that it's not only the cats that feel threatened by unknown objects around them. It's normal even for human beings to feel a startle response once they feel or see something unusually similar to what scares them. You will probably scream or jump around. It's the same feeling for the cats too.