It’s likely that at some point or another you have seen one of the viral videos of a cat being scared by a cucumber.
The cucumber has been quietly placed behind the cat while they are minding their own business, often eating or drinking, and when the cat turns around they react to the cucumber by leaping into the air and running away.
If you haven’t seen these videos, check out the clip below and you’ll see what we are talking about:
While laughing at these reactions and testing it on your own cat may be a viewer’s first response, there are a number of reasons why scaring your cat like this is not a good idea.
To understand more, let’s take a look at why cats have such an extreme response to a harmless cucumber.
Not all cats react so strongly to the sight of a cucumber but as the videos have shown, many do.
The question is why do cats scare so easily when they see a cucumber?
While there is no clear answer, here are a couple of the more popular theories:
Cucumbers: Cause for Concern?
In reality, it’s most likely the sudden appearance of a strange object rather than the actual cucumber that is the problem.
Your cat would probably be afraid of any unexpected object that, without warning, appears in close proximity to them, particularly when they are feeling relaxed in a place they consider to be safe.
Many of these viral videos show a cat who is eating or drinking while the person recording sneaks up behind them and silently places the cucumber on the floor.
As your cat’s food and drinking bowls are places they are very familiar and comfortable with, they will be relaxed and at ease in these areas.
Your cat won’t see any reason to be alert in this place of safety and security and because of this, it can be quite easy to sneak up on a cat.
When your cat looks up and notices that there is something strange and unfamiliar that has appeared directly behind them, they become startled.
The sudden appearance of the object is so unexpected that it gives them a fright, often resulting in them jumping and running away.
The reaction is not because they’ve turned around to see a dreaded cucumber, it is that they’ve turned around to see something unknown in their safe place.
Will a Cat React in this Way to Other Items?
Reinforcing the above theory, there are also videos of cats online showing them reacting to other objects in the same way they react when confronted with a cucumber.
These videos include reactions to other fruit and vegetables such as bananas and apples and show that it could well be due to the surprise of the item suddenly appearing rather than cats being afraid of cucumbers in particular.
The Cucumber Resembles a Snake
One popular theory is that, at a glance, a cucumber resembles a green snake.
A snake is a predator that can harm or kill a cat, so it is no surprise that a cat will be fearful of one.
Although most cats haven’t had any first-hand experiences with snakes it could well be instinct that kicks in and tells them that snakes (or long, green things that resemble snakes) are usually bad news and best avoided.
Thus, running away is simply a way for your cat to get away from the potential danger so they can then assess the situation from a safe distance.
This theory is also backed by the fact that cats are generally suspicious of anything that moves quickly, the fact that they have turned around to suddenly see a cucumber (or potential snake) behind them gives the impression that whatever it is, has very quickly and silently approached them which plays into the predator (or danger) theory.
Scaring Your Cat with A Cucumber Is Bad for Your Cats Health
We all seem to love watching funny cat videos online and while it can be tempting to have a go at filming your own viral cat video, it is best to avoid this particular trend.
Purposely scaring your cat is not good for their health.
While you may think it’s all fun and games because cucumbers are harmless, whatever the true reason is for their response it is a stressful situation to put your cat in.
In the videos, many cats are seen leaping high into the air as they get a fright and try to escape from the potential danger.
As this is the instinctive flight response kicking in, your cat could easily injure themselves or bump into items as they do their best to escape the situation.
Causing stress to your cat in this way may also leave them on edge and nervous for some time after, they may feel uncomfortable in areas they previously felt safe in and they could experience prolonged stress.
On top of all of this, your cat may exhibit behavioural problems and you could damage your pet-owner relationship.
All in all, it’s cruel and irresponsible to scare your cat on purpose.
Will My Cat React in the Same Way to a Cucumber on the Kitchen Counter?
It’s very unlikely your cat would get a fright by seeing a cucumber from a distance.
Having space between them and the unknown object gives cats the freedom to assess the situation and approach the item at their own will.
As long as you are not attempting to scare your cat with the cucumber there will be no problems.
Cats and cucumbers can coexist peacefully without any problems so don’t worry, cucumbers can remain on the menu!
What Are Cats Scared Of?
If cats are not necessarily scared of cucumbers, what are they scared of?
Cats are amazing predators but that does not mean they are fearless.
You have probably heard the term scaredy-cat and it is something that rings true for many cat owners.
Your cat may bolt and hide when they see someone they don’t know or when they hear a sudden noise.
The most common things that scare cats are unfamiliar (or sudden) sights, noises and smells.
Cats are sensitive to change and are cautious of things they have not seen before.
Due to their careful and cautious nature, purposely scaring cats is definitely not a good idea so leave the cucumbers in the kitchen and keep your cat happy.