Let’s face it, many of us hate salad. Thankfully though, we have better ways of showing our disgust for it than the way felines do; by literally flying miles into the air to get away from it. In the past couple of years, we have noticed a spate of internet videos with cats and cucumbers where upon coming in close contact with them, they would lose their mind. It even became a trend, spawning its own dedicated subReddit known as the 'CucumbersScaringCats' where all cat owners posted videos of their cats being scared of cucumbers.
All these videos start in the same manner; a cat peacefully eating its food from the bowl, a human hand sneaking up behind them and calmly placing a cucumber slab behind them. Then begins the wait for the cat to notice the unfamiliar object! As soon as it turns around and spots it, it jumps as high in the air as it can, hitting a few shelves, walls or doors during the flight, breaking a few things, tossing over the food bowl, and ending with them making a run for their lives, trying to get as far as it can from it.
These cats and cucumber videos on social media platforms revealed very important but strange information about our feline friends. It isn't disgusting that they show by seeing a cucumber behind them, it is utter terror.
At first, experts found it oddly unsatisfactory. Why would cats, which are known to climb everything from walls to tall bookshelves and explore the darkest of alleys without any fear, be afraid of something as lifeless as cucumbers? After some behavioral research into the matter, they finally revealed the two possible reasons why they act the way they do. After you are done reading, the videos may not seem as funny as they do now, so buckle up!
What Science Has To Say About It?
Pam Johnson-Bennett, the author of the book titled “Think Like a Cat” believes that the reason why they lose with minds over a cucumber is because they associate those close areas with security. Anything that creeps up too close confuses the cat, and jumping and running away from it seems like a natural response.
Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, suggests that placing a cucumber this close to a cat only triggers its natural reflexes that tells it to stay away from unfamiliar objects that may cause harm. Speaking with National geographic about the matter, she remarked, “With a startled response, a cat will often try to get out of there as quickly as possible and then re-assess from a distance." She further claimed that since the shape of a cucumber resembles that of a snake, cats classify it in the same category of deadly predators.
Lastly, Claudia Vinke, a behavioral biologist at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands believes that cats experience a panic attack when confronted with a cucumber as it defies their core territory. Cats, by nature, are very sensitive about their territory, especially the area where they sleep and eat. When something in their territory swiftly changes, they fail to comprehend how to tackle the situation and thus, try to jump away from it. She also remarked that a cat will show a similar reflexive reaction if a plastic goldfish or any other object was placed instead of a cucumber.
Now that you understand the science behind it, stop doing it to your cat! Making them think that a deadly predator is nearby can result in injuries and long-term stress as they try to distance themselves from it. Moreover, their unexpectedly high leaps in the air might also cause many valuables in your house to break.