Why are Cats Scared of Cucumbers?

Have you ever wondered why are cats scared by cucumbers?  After watching some viral YouTube videos, we got to the bottom of this cat vs cucumber thing. Seriously – we did thorough research on this curious topic.  This whole thing started after a cat owner secretly placed a cucumber behind the cat.  When the cat turned around, it freaked out and jumped into the air.  Since then, many people are trying to experiment with the cat vs cucumber game for their cats.

why are cats so afraid of cucumbers

So, what is the real reason for cats being so afraid of a green vegetable (well, cucumber is botanically a fruit if you’re wondering)?  Is it because they think cucumber is a snake or an animal that would attack them?  Or, is it in cat genetics because back in the days one of the cat ancestors was attacked by a giant cucumber?  Well, the thing is – cats aren't scared of cucumbers. But Gandalf...just kidding.

Cats might think the cucumber is a snake

There is no exact answer to this mysterious thing, but experts have a couple of theories.  Animal behaviorist and author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals, Con Slobodchikoff said to ABC News, "Cats are genetically hard-wired through instinct to avoid snakes. Cucumbers look enough like a snake to have the cat's instinctive fear of snakes kick in." Ah! The mystery resolved!

Wait! It’s just one expert’s idea.

Cats don’t like sudden surprises

According to Mikel Delgado, a certified cat behavior consultant (Ph.D. in animal behavior and human-pet relationships, CSU Berkeley), the unexpected appearance of a cucumber scares the cat just like we get scared if someone suddenly appears behind us. Cats can get scared of other things such as banana behind them if they did not expect while focusing on an activity like eating or drinking.

cat vs cucumber

 Picture credit: Christin Hume

Another certified applied animal behaviorist Jill Goldman, explains that cucumbers behind the cat trigger the cats’ natural response when they are frightened.  They would jump back or run away as quickly as possible.

So, we hope you unlocked the cat vs cucumber mystery.  

Be nice to your cat

Even if you really want to try out if your cats scared of cucumbers, please don’t do that.  Here is why.  Experts advise that if you’re trying to prank cats with cucumbers, it can damage their well-being.  Cats can get stressed out.  Mikel Delgado told Mentalfloss, “People inadvertently make the cat more afraid because they’re forcing it to interact with something they’re fearful of. Stress can have really serious health effects on cats.”

Not only that but also the cat can get injured when it’s running or jumping away from the cucumber. We hope no one wants their cat to break a leg and suffer because of a prank. If you do it for laugh, then we have a serious question about your humanity.

Instead, bring new objects like harmless toys as a good source of mental stimulation for your felines.  So, be nice to your kitty cat and comment below what you think why cats are scared of cucumbers. 



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