Well, actually they do not. The cats definitely don’t afraid of cucumbers. Probably you’ve seen those “funny” videos on the internet. The cats in these videos are just startled by the jerks who sneak up behind them and place unfamiliar large objects there while they’re busy eating. You’d also be startled if you turned around and suddenly there was a traffic barrel or palm tree right behind you that wasn’t there two seconds earlier. See the video I took below. You can see clearly my cats do not afraid of a cucumber. In fact, they play with it.
In recent months, “Funny” cat videos are getting viral on the Internet, in which pet owners stealthily place a cucumber behind the cat when it is eating. When the cat turns around and notices the cucumber, it freaks out and leaps into the air, terrified as hell.
If you do have a cat, please do not pull this prank on them. They do not have the cognitive skills to understand the concept of juvenile pranks. It might be funny to you, but the result will be that your cat will have considerable constant stress because the home in when he/she thought was safe has suddenly become unsafe.
But why would a cat get terrified of a non-moving object as simple as a vegetable?
Why do cats seem afraid of cucumbers in the popular videos?
Animal behavior experts do have an answer for that and it can make you think twice before doing the same thing to your cat.
Dr. Roger Mugford, a specialist in animal behavior, said,
“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. Cats have to be suspicious of the unknown: it could represent the danger of a snake or another predator. I suspect that there would be the same reaction to a model spider, a plastic fish, or a human face mask. So not an inherent feature of cucumbers, just their unusual context.”
“Pranking” your cat by placing a cucumber or any other snake-shaped object near them when they looking another way can also cause them to injure themselves or break something once they try to leap away. It can also lead to long-term stress.
Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like a Cat, says:
“Placing cucumbers near where cats eat may confuse the cats further because they often associate those areas with safety and security. That’s a cruel thing to do.”
Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, told National Geographic that the cucumbers were triggering the cats’ natural startle reflexes. She also added,
“If you cause stress to an animal, that’s probably not a good thing. If you do it for laughs, it makes me question your humanity.”
In short, don’t scare your pets. Be very kind to them. How can you be that cruel to them? How can you make fun of their fears? Love your pet. Love cats, these amazing creatures.
- Why are cats afraid of cucumbers? on Quora