A few years ago, a series of videos went viral in the form of a challenge where cat owners had to place a cucumber near their cat, and as if it were a bomb, the cats immediately jumped in fear at the sight of the cucumber.
Frightened cats run away from cucumbers. Yes, cucumbers. This picture is probably familiar to you because it comes from one of those internet challenges that put animals in counterproductive and dangerous situations just for the laughs. That’s what happened when cat owners started placing this vegetable behind them or even throwing it near them, and as if it were a bomb, cats immediately jumped up in fear. This movement has become the humor of the moment without knowing where it came from. But why does this happen to them?
The answer is not entirely clear, but there is every reason to believe that cats’ fear of cucumbers may be because they think it is a snake. Jill Goldman, an animal behaviorist, told National Geographic in 2015. The color and shape of the vegetable can be mistaken for a snake that is about to attack them, so they jump and hide their paws to avoid it.
Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think like a cat, agree with these remarks. She adds that placing cucumbers near cats’ feeding areas, where their food and water bowls are, confuses them even more because they associate those areas with safe areas.
A natural fear
The mystery of why cats hate cucumbers is usually explained by the natural fear of snakes. To a feline, a cucumber may look enough like a cucumber to trigger its fear response and cause it to jump a few feet into the air to avoid being bitten.
The first thing you need to understand is that cats are genetically wired with the instinct to avoid potential predators, including snakes. So if a cat sees something crawling on the ground very close to him, he is afraid. In fact, nothing you wouldn’t do out of fear, maybe even snakes.
They thus demonstrate that having a highly developed hunting ability does not mean that they also have the ability to avoid being hunted, because in addition to being predators in their environment, they are also prey.
A space invasion
However, they are aware that they can be attacked at any time, as these animals are constantly monitoring the changes taking place around them, and crossing one in peace for a meal does not amuse them.
However, it may also happen that their reaction is not related to the vegetables themselves, but to the fact that the object is invading their personal space behind them. A sudden and unexpected change in their surroundings, like seeing a cucumber appear where there was nothing seconds before, is enough to alert them and cause anxiety and stress.
Before you prank your cat, remember that anxiety is a disorder that can affect pets too, so make sure you’re not playing tricks on them, cucumber or no cucumber.
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