Ever since a bunch of viral videos featured cats and cucumbers, people have been asking why are cats afraid of cucumbers? The answer is more complex than you might imagine. The videos showed cats leaping into the air with alarm after spotting the rogue cucumber, and they also made people curious to try the trick out for themselves.
All the videos follow the same formula—they feature a cat often eating food from their bowl while a cucumber is surreptitiously placed behind them. The cat then turns around and jumps into the air in horror when it sees the hateful cucumber, before it calms down a little and sniffs out to find what this intruder really is.
It all adds to evidence that for some utterly strange reason, cats just seem to be completely and utterly terrified of cucumbers. In fact there's even an entire Subreddit dedicated to cats and cucumbers.
Is It Ok To Prank Your Cat With A Cucumber
Good fun for us, but not so much for your poor scared cat. So before you go and try it out for yourself and add to the numerous videos on YouTube of cats vs cucumbers be aware that, as the National Geographic notes, it's not good for them. In fact it stresses them hugely, which is obviously bad.
“If you cause stress to an animal that's probably not a good thing,” Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, told National Geographic. “If you do it for laughs it makes me question your humanity." While John Bradshaw, a cat-behavior expert at the University of Bristol, calls the craze “despicable” and “an incitement for people to scare their cats and then invite people to laugh at them.”, author of Think Like a Cat agrees telling National Geographic "That's a cruel thing to do."
So Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers?
As for why cats are scared of cucumbers, what it is about this seemingly innocent vegetable that is so fearful, IFL Science explains that it might not be the cucumber itself, but instead the element of surprise, the sudden appearance of it behind them.
Animal behaviour specialist Dr Roger Mugford reiterated this point to the Metro website saying, "I think that the reason why are cats afraid of cucumbers and the subsequent reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed while their heads were down in the food bowl."
So perhaps if you placed a carrot there it might cause a similar reaction? Well, possibly. But it might also be the specific color of the cucumber which triggers the cats' response and makes them afraid, but why green?
Well, namely because they might be associating the color green with snakes which are a deadly predator.
This seems to be the most credible reason why cats react to cucumbers suddenly appearing in their vicinity.
Are All Cats Scared Of Cucumbers?
It seems that this is not the case and without either science to back this up or for cats to suddenly start talking and letting us know their feelings about cucumbers we can only assume that it must be similar to humans and spiders. Some of us are comfortable with them, some of us freak out and are afraid.
But whatever the reason, the fact is cats don't like things which move quickly, or things that unexpectedly turn up in their vicinity, or that they don't understand. And placing a cucumber near them when they're eating seems to trigger all these reactions. So could this be why cats are afraid of cucumbers?
Science doesn't seem to have the answer, so it seems you'll need to ask a cat to find out the real reason.
But basically it isn't a nice thing to do, no matter how entertaining it may be.