“ 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.
And just because your cat may look like a vicious beast when he or she is attacking a mouse, spider, or their shadow doesn't mean they should be treated like an apex predator by their trusted human. In the cucumber videos, you'll notice that the offending veggie is placed in the cat's environment while it is distracted by food, or another stimulus.
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.
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. 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. 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. The other consequence that will likely happen is the moment when your cat can start to learn that their food area is no longer a safe place.
Imagine your feline friend feeling anxious about eating in the same area they used to be safe in? 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. During the summer months, you will find many seasonal cucumbers in stores.
Cats are carnivores, but that doesn’t mean they don’t eat vegetables at all. Here I would like to introduce the benefits and precautions of a cat eating cucumber.
Cucumbers are vegetables found in various places, such as greengrocers and supermarkets. Cucumbers contain no ingredients that are harmful to cats and are safe to eat.
Cats do not have much power to digest vegetables, but small amounts are OK. The cucumber was able to tell you that the information “the world’s nutritious vegetable” is a misunderstanding.
That doesn’t mean its rich, but when you compare nutrients you’ll find that it’s not necessarily low. Make sure you understand the nutritional needs of your cat and decide whether to give it.
However, cats cannot convert and produce vitamin A in their bodies due to lack of enzymes. Potassium is one of the minerals that are indispensable to keep cats functioning properly.
Cucumber contains a lot of potassium, so giving it has the effect of excreting sodium (salt). Cucumber also contains vitamin C. Not very much, but about 1.2 times the content of tomatoes.
Therefore, when giving a vegetable rich in dietary fiber, it is necessary to closely observe the situation after that. Incorrect feeding of cucumbers can adversely affect cats.
Cucumbers can cause allergic reactions, so be careful with cats for the first time. Therefore, when feeding cat cucumber, be careful with the following points.
Give a small dose at first to see if you have any allergic symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, itchy skin, feeling sick, or red eyes. In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting are caused by a cold stomach.
Cucumbers are a vegetable that cools the body, so it can be a hot summer measure, but too much can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Gastrointestinal strength depends on the cat’s constitution, so start with a small amount at first, even if you know that you are not allergic.
However, the cat’s mouth is small, so if you give it a large cucumber, it will clog your throat or swallow it without biting too much and it will burden the stomach, so please cut it small enough to enjoy the texture. Vegetables are difficult foods for cats that are full carnivores.
In the case of cucumbers, slice them thinly so as not to put a burden on digestion. This is because potassium that cannot be excreted may remain in the blood and cause hyperkalemia.
Depending on the amount of potassium, cardiac function may decline, causing arrhythmias and, in the worst case, death. Even in healthy cats, high cucumber intake can lead to hyperkalemia.
If you give your first food, be sure to start with a small amount and adjust while watching. It is important to note that dressings for humans can contain onions and other components that can cause “hemolytic anemia”.
If you are eating good cat food, basically you don’t need any other meals. Consider giving cucumber when your cat is drinking less or has a reduced appetite.
Giving cucumber has the following positive effects on cats. Cucumber is a vegetable with low-calorie characteristics, so it is also suitable as a snack for obese cats.
Originally, wild cats lived in the desert, where there was a natural enemy, a viper. Cats, who have a delicate personality, are particularly likely to do so, with a high level of vigilance and fear of unfamiliar things.
Certainly, from the cat’s physique, it’s no surprise that long and slender objects lie down. It is surprising even to humans that they approach so unnoticed and suddenly appear in front of them.
On the other hand, never eat avocados, leeks, and asparagus, as feeding them may cause poor health. But cats who are obese or need hydration may give them a snack if they want cucumbers.
If your cat doesn’t want to eat cucumbers, you may want to consider obesity measures and hydration with other foods. Well the same happens to cats when under the pretext of having a fun time they are placed a strange thing at their side while eating quietly.
If you are a person with feelings and it does not do you any fun to see the cats suffer from the above videos then we explain the reason for their fear of cucumbers and other similar objects. Researchers such as biologist Jerry Coin expose the theory of “fear of the predator” and relate the reaction of cats to cucumbers with fear that they may feel how much they are in front of certain predators such as snakes.
In the same sense the animal behavior specialists Jill Goldman points out by relating the startle of the cat with the feline instinct and the fear of danger before a possible reptile. Specialists in animal behavior such as Roger Mumford speak of generic fear of the unknown rather than of a concrete terror towards some fruits.
Let’s say that the basic problem of the cats is not the innocent cucumber itself but anything static or moving, mysterious and that suddenly occupies its space. Remember that the place where cats eat is scared to them because they only take their food if they are in a quiet and peaceful area.
Do not forget that cats need to have everything under control to feel safe so anything that enters their comfort zone and is unknown and is synonymous with danger. Those videos that have been made viral online with the intention of making people laugh the truth is that they would not do so much fun if they were aware of the damage they can bring to cats.
Here the only one who laughs is the human while the poor cat already scary in itself experiences an extremely distressing situation which can harm his health and his mental well-being. All the circus that is assembled with cucumbers does not make sense because there are countless proposals to have fun with our cats respectfully.
They also delight us to see them entertained with a simple cardboard or toys created especially for them such as: stuffed animals, scrapers, balls, curlers, tunnels and other proposals which develop and test their physical and mental abilities. More than 21 million views have a collection of videos of cats and cucumbers that are posted on YouTube about this.
In the majority of videos we see a cat that eats calmly and suddenly when it sees an object like cucumber it reacts very quickly and turning with an unusual object that appears mysteriously of the anything. Whether you’re into funny videos or domestic pranks, you have surely stumbled upon at least one of them with the following set up: the cat, minding her own business, is startled with nothing more than a regular cucumber.
From the moment the first video of this kind went viral, there were a lot of theories and follow up “experiments” that tried to shed some light on this seemingly illogical occurrence. Some theories even drew the attention of scientists and cat behavior specialists, and we were finally able to get a satisfactory explanation once and for all.
We will list and explain all the theories and give you some interesting facts about the feline behavior. We will also discuss whether pranking your cat is a good idea or not, no matter how fun it is.
Many battles and many centuries later, the cucumber armies were victorious, and cats were exiled from their ancestral lands. But the stories of the cucumbers vicious sneak attacks that left cats bitterly defeated are still told to every new generation of felines.
The other legend says that cats were originally vegetarians, but then they encountered the weird green plant and tried to add it to the summer salad. Unfortunately, felines disliked the taste so much that they immediately switched to being carnivores, just, so they would never mistakenly eat a cucumber again.
The not so exciting truth is, you could probably get the same reaction with pineapple, tomato, or any other object if you place it in the cat’s blind spot. In this section, we will list all the theories and possible reasons for this peculiar cat behavior.
After all the confusion settled, the experts such as cat behaviorists and even neuroscientist entered the scene to explain the situation and weed out the misconceptions. In a study conducted in the early 2000s, it was found that primates have a natural aversion to snakes.
The individuals who had no inherent fear of snakes were under much higher risk of being bitten and dying, while others, who had a healthy startle reflex, were wise enough to move out of the reptilian’s way. Naturally, those that survive get to breed, and the fear of the reptilians became hard coded in our DNA.
This would be a classic case of the “fear of the predator” which is encoded into every living creature not standing at the top of the food chain. In fact, cats have reflexes that are on par with those of the reptilian family members, so they often see small snakes as easy meals.
Reptiles are considered to be unwelcome guests to many animals, not just because of the venom, but also because of how bad they can taste. This theory is considered false because, even if all of this is true, the bad taste of a certain critter is no reason for red alert.
This usually makes people think that cats are stuck in a world with only shades of gray, but that is also a misconception. The poor kitty was just resting or eating, minding her own business, when all of a sudden, something invaded her space.
Whichever of the aforementioned theories you choose to believe, it is important to notice one obvious fact: no cat was ever startled by a cucumber placed in her field of vision and at a distance. If you ever compared a cat (or human) face to that of a horse, for example, you will notice that ungulates have eyes set on the side of their skulls.
These gives prey animals a much broader field of vision, so they can easily spot predators. Cats, however, have a field of vision similar to humans (around 210 degrees) which means it is very easy to sneak up on them when they are distracted.
One minute there was no suspicious vegetable when she approached her food bowl, but all of a sudden, there is one right behind her, possibly ready to attack. In fact, it is so deeply implemented in our psyche that some people don’t even remember how they reacted in triggering situations.
The startle reflex can be expressed in different forms, such as crouching, protecting the head, or jumping, but the most immediate reaction is always getting away from the threat. Some have a very strong startle reflex and can react quite erratic, while the others can seem completely unaffected by the apparent threat.
It is a temptation hard to resist, whether you’re trying to get back at your cat for keeping you up all night last Monday or you just want a couple of good laughs. When the “fight or flight” reflex kicks in, no creature is fully aware of their surroundings, and they certainly don’t care about the expensive china in the cupboard.
Furthermore, your cat might begin to think that her safe places have been compromised and develop anxiety. Ask your veterinarian how he/she feels about the patients he/she gets as a result of domestic pranks gone wrong, and you might hear some really inappropriate language.
We are sure your cat will give you a lot of opportunities for laughter, even with no cucumbers involved. 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”.
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.
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.
While it’s a well-known fact that cats are scared of water, there are some other terrors creeping into their world from the produce section of your local supermarket: bananas and cucumbers. Igor user Larson compiled an outstanding album of our feline friends freaking out at the sight of them.
While some hypothesize that cats typically mistake the foods for snakes, there’s no real explanation as to why these kitties are so fearful of regular of’ bananas and cucumbers. So we turned to one of the most reliable sources for the truth on the Internet to figure it all out: Yahoo Answers.