The Detroit Post
Monday, 29 November, 2021

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumber

James Smith
• Wednesday, 07 October, 2020
• 15 min read

In the videos, the felines face away, and their owners secretly place a cucumber behind them. Although both the videos and the cat reactions are shocking, the question remains as to why are cats afraid of cucumbers.

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“ Cats are genetically hard-wired through instinct to avoid snakes,” Con Slobodchikoff, animal behaviorist and author of Chasing Doctor Doolittle: Learning the Language of Animals, told ABC News. This is similar to startling someone by sneaking up behind them, Mike Delgado, a certified cat behavior consultant who studied animal behavior and human-pet relationships as a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, told Mental Floss.

Although the videos showing cats afraid of cucumbers and other fruits are entertaining, experts advise against trying any similar pranks at home with your pet; doing so isn’t good for their health. National Geographic reports trying to do so could cause cats to injure themselves, break something, or lead to prolonged stress.

If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last five years, you’ve probably seen them: The hilarious viral videos of cats losing their adorable little minds when confronted with a cucumber. They started making the rounds way back in 2015, but a new one turns up now and then to the delight of cat lovers everywhere.

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© Step Songhai/Eye/Getty Images, Elisa Severe/Getty Images you notice your cat is extremely skittish, a vet visit is in order. A professional may be able to pinpoint the cause of the anxiety and come up with a treatment plan on a case-by-case basis.

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Though the over-the-top reactions can be funny to viewers, the cats fear is real, unnecessary, and possibly dangerous. Stress can cause behavioral and physiological issues with kitties, especially ones that are already prone to anxiety.

If you’re lucky enough to have been chosen by a cat, don’t mess with their emotions by intentionally frightening them. Cats are scared of cucumbers because it’s their natural reaction to anything that sneaks up on them without making any noise.

If you take the time, 5 hours or so, you’ll get sucked into the powerful Charybdis like whirlpool of internet content. In the video, cats of different types were recorded leaping in the air out of sheer shock and fear upon seeing a cucumber.

Cats are sharp and alert animals and as such, they always keep their guard up and have good situational awareness. “I think that the reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed while their heads were down in the food bowl,” says Dr Roger Mumford, an animal behavior specialist.

Cats wouldn’t normally find cucumbers lying on the floor, so the sheer novelty of the whole thing freaks them out. Unknown objects that might look threatening initiate the cat’s “startle responses”.

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The jumping, increase in heart rate and aggressive response is how the cat responds to a surprise. Upon experiencing the stimuli, the cat’s muscles stiffen and it arches its back.

The cat’s heart rate increases and its fear response is heightened. You’ve probably jumped or screamed at the sound of a sudden loud noise, you’re heart-rate increases and you’re jittery for the next minute or so.

After the sudden stimulus has passed, it takes a while to return to normal, the heart beat to steady as well as hormone levels such as adrenaline to normalize. This arc involves the brain stem, the lowermost part of the brain connecting to the spinal cord, parts of the limbic system involved in sensing fear and threats, and the hypothalamus and associated pituitary gland which release hormones such as adrenaline that cause many of the physiological changes in the body.

As mentioned earlier, cats get really scared by the sudden appearance of a green invader makes them want to get away as soon as they can (hence the leap in the air). Sustained anxiety and stress can reduce the overall well-being of your pet and impairing their immune system making them more susceptible to diseases.

Repeated exposure will, eventually, make the cat comfortable with the cucumber or whatever else. Soon, they’ll be able to differentiate that a cucumber isn’t a snake and just a harmless edible cylinder.

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Comprehensive Clinical Psychology Behavioral Brian Research Society Of Biological Psychiatry He likes Harry Potter and the Avengers, and obsesses over how thoroughly Science dictates every aspect of life… in this universe, at least.

These poor kitties, scared of cucumbers, on video with their owners laughing. Cats getting frightened by the cucumber prank creates unnecessary trauma in them.

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.

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.

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.

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Cats wouldn’t normally find cucumbers lying on the floor, so the sheer novelty of the whole thing freaks them out. 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.

Cats love to live in a place they know they can feel safe and build trust. Developing unnecessary anxiety, cynicism, and aggressiveness towards you as a learned behavior.

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. Developed anxiety can cause issues of destructive behavior that can put other pets and your things in harm.

Scaring a cat through this way is not just wrong, but can be a form of animal cruelty if it gets to the extreme. Cats are afraid of cucumbers because it's their natural reaction to anything that sneaks up on them without making any noise.

Cats tend to be scared or wary of the unknown, as it could represent the danger of a predator, and in the case of a cucumber, a snake. Meanwhile, Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, told National Geographic that it's possible that cats first instinct is to assume that the cucumber is a snake, which can be a deadly predator.

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Ever since those videos became popular, everybody has been wondering the same thing: are cats actually afraid of cucumbers? Even so, it seems that not everybody can agree on a true reason why cats seem to always jump at the sight of a cucumber, but there are some pretty solid theories that can help us figure it out.

While some may not even flinch at all, others jump a mile high and hiss and scratch at the cucumber that was placed behind them. Some people think that the root of the fear could come down to instincts that have been instilled in cats since wild times, when they were left to fend for themselves in the wilderness.

Although it may be an uncommon theory at this point, some people do still think that cats are simply afraid of cucumbers. The experts aren’t too sure about the truth of either one of those statements, but the evidence seems to point to an entirely different theory as to the true cause of this fright.

Mike Delgado, who was mentioned earlier, helped shed a little of light on the truth behind this subject. He explained that cats are creatures of habit, which means that they get used to their familiar tasks and activities and become upset or agitated if something disrupts their routine.

Considering the fact that many of these cucumber pranks” took place while the cat was distracted and busy eating, this theory sounds a little more reasonable than the others. Another animal behaviorist named Dr. Roger Mumford also supported this theory by saying that he thought the negative reaction was likely due to the surprise of finding a strange and unusual object suddenly placed behind them while they had their heads in their food bowls.

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You might think that the reaction is funny, but it’s anything but that to the cat being “pranked.” In fact, you might actually be causing a lot of harm by pulling this serious “prank” on your pet. Cats are sensitive creatures and could show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or not using their litter box with even the smallest onset of stress.

You could suddenly move and although your cat trusts you with their life they could jump clear out of the chair they’re comfortably resting in. I should preface this explanation by saying that intentionally scaring your cat is not a nice thing to do.

Cats are not graceful beings, despite what some people might think, but scaring them just might get you on their bad side. Well, to your feline friend, the look of this at quick glance likely reminds your cat of a snake.

My cats are allowed outdoors (save your judgement), and I think because of this they are less afraid of strange objects. If you were to set any random object that resembled a snake next to them they would be likely to jump.

It seems that people who do not understand why cats are afraid of cucumbers are not that in tune with the way the feline mind works. For us cat lovers, it makes perfect sense as to why they are afraid of this snake-like vegetable.

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No matter how you feel about cats, you’re going to find this one interesting: the unfunny reason why cats scared of cucumbers. Now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the memes, gifts, and videos of cats literally leaping into the air and fright at the sight of a cucumber.

This can look outright hilarious to us humans and it seems so random that an animal related to the ferocious king of the jungle would be so scared of a simple fruit. Don’t forget that cats are basically miniature lions that sometimes show dominance, impulsiveness, and a bit of neuroticism.

Domestic cats, even though you always find them lounging on top of a bookshelf or dozing on your couch, are still highly skilled predators and always in a state of heightened alert when they hunt for their prey. They’re wary of flashing lights, the infamous laser dot, noisy toys, and any moving items before them.

Via YouTube Certified animal behavior specialist Dr. Roger Mumford, puts it down to simply being caught off guard during a moment of vulnerability. According to Dr. Constantine Slobodchikoff, an animal behaviorist and professor at Northern Arizona University, the long green shape of a cucumber looks enough like a snake to have the cat’s instinctive fear of the reptile kicked.

Our feline companions are hardwired to avoid these slithering beings at all costs because snakes can kill. Whether it’s because of the fear of the unknown or a phobia of snakes, it’s still not a good idea to pull the cucumber prank on your poor kitty.

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But once again, let’s take it from the experts: Dr. Slobodchikoff says “it can inflict psychological trauma, not only because of the cucumber but also the places where the green invader was presented to them”. According to the pet care site Vet babble, it can lead to anxiety, aggressive behavior, and even PTSD.

Based on a study conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Ohio State University, cats may exhibit sickness behaviors in response to unusual external events, like the infamous cucumber. So, be a responsible and caring mother cat by gradually introducing new items such as cucumbers to them.

Let them study it at a safe distance and get familiarized with the object on their own terms instead of shoving it in their face or behind their back. Since cats unlike their canine counterparts, our models of being cool, calm and collected seeing them go out of character is a rare and funny sight to behold.

That might be true that not all cats scared of cucumbers, it’s still not a valid reason to experiment this trick on them, even for the sake of science. Throw a cucumber at a cat and you might have fun seeing her reaction.

She is sure to jump, roll, make a weird sound, or flee within a minute. This is a common tendency of the cats to be worried about something that comes up without making any sound.

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Cats are extremely alert and sharp animals as they can keep guard of themselves. Their awareness makes it important for them to be terrified of anything that is unknown to them.

Do you know why a cat behave in such a weird way and why do they flee away once confronted with a cucumber ? In fact, is you look closely, cucumbers do have a similar shape of a snake.

Most fruits are round, take for example mango, guava, pomegranate, apple, and the list goes on. It is long in shape and has a rough and dark texture.

Or even, what is someone throws a fake clay cockroach on your outfit? Not only that, you can be preoccupied with other engagement and forget all about the cockroach incident after some time.

This is why they stay engrossed with the traumatic experience for long and it haunts them. Not only that, a cat can be traumatized and fall sick in the long run.

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A simple (according to you) cucumber can produce an extremely adverse effect on the health of the cat and raise its blood pressure level. Such prolonged stress can be extremely harmful for the cat.

Suppose a situation where you are making salads for your guests or for your keto diet, and the cat suddenly appears. Also, the cat can harm herself if you have choppers, knife or other such sharp instruments lying around.

We can tell you how to avoid such a clumsy situation and keep yourself and your lovely ball of fur safe and secure. When you are busy dealing with cucumber, make sure to keep the cat engaged with something else.

Also, we recommend you to find a calm and quiet room, and not the kitchen while chopping the cucumber as the cat may come searching for you otherwise. Although we all hear of the meme and see all the videos, it's clear that cucumbers are not the best toy to play with cats.

We suggest using other methods to play with them, ones that won't be as jarring and scary to them. Maybe you’ve never heard of it before, but yes indeed cats are afraid of cucumbers.

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In fact, the clearest of these researches is the study of Learning Animals’ Language by Behavior Doctor Doolittle and animal behaviorist and writer Con Slobodchikoff. Therefore, an experiment was made to show another object when the cat turned around, but the cat did not show a reflex like in cucumber.

Because cats think these long and curvy things can resemble a snake. This shows that they may have been a gene from their ancestors who lived before the water.

A lot of people are sitting at home right now thinking, Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?” But to take it the extra mile and test it out with your furry friend isn’t very nice.

When I was in high school, I discovered that my I could pretend my dog, Buster, was invisible and freak him out. I would call him, but when he came, I would start frantically looking for him around the house.

Years ago, Animal Planet aired a countdown of the deadliest predators. A house cat was the world’s deadliest predator.

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That is because they have very, very strong instincts, remnants of a time when their ancestors were wild and free. However, cats, like every other animal on the food chain, were also occasionally the prey.

It’s like that feeling in a horror movie when the character thinks they’re safe, and then they turn a corner and a knife-wielding murderer is in front of them. The leap away the cat does is an instinctual act of preservation.

Stressing your pet out for no reason is not a good idea. Increased levels of stress for pets can cause behavioral problems.

Ex: Urinating outside the litter box, excessive grooming, decrease in appetite and aggression. Please, don’t risk injuring your cat for a laugh.

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