Frightened cats running away from cucumbers. Yes, cucumbers. This image may be familiar to you, as it comes from one of those Internet challenges that expose animals to counterproductive and dangerous situations, just for the sake of laughter for some people. That’s what happened when feline pet owners started placing this vegetable behind them, or even throwing them near them and, like 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 isn’t entirely clear, but it seems cats may be afraid of cucumbers because they think it’s a snake. Animal behaviorist Jill Goldman pointed this out to National Geographic in 2015. The color and shape of the vegetables can be mistaken for a poisonous snake attacking them directly, which is why they jump so much they are terrified.
Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like a Cat, agrees with these observations. She adds that placing cucumbers near cats’ feeding areas, where their food and water bowls are, confuses them even more, as they associate these areas with safe areas.
A natural fear:
The secret to why cats hate cucumbers is often due to cats’ natural fear of snakes. For a cat, a cucumber resembles the aforementioned reptile enough to trigger a fear response and cause it to jump several feet in the air to avoid being bitten..
The first thing you need to understand is that cats are genetically programmed to avoid potential predators, including snakes. So, if a cat sees something crawling on the ground very close to him, he is afraid..
A space invasion:
They are aware that they can be attacked at any time, because these animals are constantly watching the changes happening around them, and coming across a predator by surprise is not a piece of cake for them.
However, it’s also possible that her reaction had nothing to do with the vegetables themselves, but because the objects behind them violated her personal space. Sudden and unexpected changes in their environment, such as seeing a cucumber appear where there was nothing seconds beforeare enough to cause panic, anxiety and stress.
Before you prank your cat, remember that anxiety is also a disorder that can affect pets, so be careful not to play with them, cucumber or not.