Why are cats scared / afraid of cucumbers?
Cats are scared/afraid of cucumbers because it’s their usual reaction to anything that scares them without making any sound or noise.
The Internet is a fantastic place. If you take the time, 2 hours or more, you’ll be indulged in the powerful whirlpools of Internet content. So, people often perform different experiments on living and non-living things, capture the reaction/outcome of that experiment, and post their videos on the Internet.
Recently, an experiment(in the form of a video) conducted on cats was posted for hilarious/funny reaction purposes. Different cats were recorded in that video, jumping in the air out of horror and fear while seeing cucumbers. Yes, just average seized, green cucumber!
Naturally, one should question the scientific truth of anything online. As it turns out, the fear of cats is real, of course, but the threat, i.e., cucumber, is not what causes them trouble. This means that the cat does not fear any soft fruit (correct classification for cucumber). Instead, it has more to do with the joke/prank’s nature when they are unaware of that.
As it stands, there are four definitive answers on the topic “Why cats are scared/afraid of cucumbers,” which we discuss below:
Some cats are afraid of green:
Trust us or not, some cats are scared of green, and they are afraid of any green thing. This is not unusual if you consider that some people are also scared of specific colours. Cats also have this tendency. They feel anxious and worried about the dark green colour. They are already nervous when they see the cucumber because of their colour.
Cucumber has a strange texture:
There is a fundamental difference between other fruits and cucumbers. Most fruits are round in shape, for example, mango, pomegranate, guava, apple, etc. These fruits are usually round in shape and have a smooth texture. They look like balls to your feline companions, and she likes to play with them. But there is a strange form of a cucumber. It is tall in shape and has a rough and dark texture. This frightens the cat, and she may run away quickly.
The resemblance with Snakes:
Experts suggest that the cat’s severe reaction is not about the cucumber, but rather the cucumber reminds the cat of the snake. Most Animal Behaviorists and Professional Veterinarians suggest that the cat is prone to panic, and it’s in his/her instinct to be afraid and respond for that reason immediately.
“Cats are genetically susceptible to avoid snakes, and things look like that. So, cucumbers look like snakes enough to intimidate cats, and when a cat sees a cucumber, the instinctive fear of snakes comes in the mind of cat immediately.”
Cucumbers are a prevalent cat threat because they look like snakes or other predators that attack cats and even eat. This resemblance to something threatening can be dangerous for a cat.
Immediate sneaking out of cucumber:
The fourth possible answer is based on the abrupt appearance of a cucumber. When a person sneaks out from behind, that frightened everyone. It may be a human, dog, or cat. Cats also sense that fear as humans do.
Michael Delgado is a certified cat behaviour consultant who studied animal behaviour and human-pet relationships as a Ph.D. Student at the Colorado University eagerly told Fox News that reports and videos of fruits and vegetables that resemble cucumber etc. scare the cats due to immediate response like we do. And this is correct up to some extent, and other well-known scientists support this cat-threatening view.
Roger McCord, on the other hand, called it a “fear of the unknown.” Cucumbers have never been a part of a cat’s life, so it’s normal for them to be surprised and scared when they see them. According to him, the same reaction will happen with banana, pineapple, or eggplant.
While we are not sure if these claims are valid, we know that affect cats, as we have seen in the videos. We recommend that you do not use your vegetables to scare your cat.
Experts explain that cucumber stimulates cats’ natural reactions. “With a startling reaction, a cat will often try to get out of there as quickly as possible and then look at it from a distance.” Other natural cat’s instincts are also vague, which is why you’ll want to read how to decode your cat’s behavior. It is essential to know what is right for your cat, rather than just following stereotypes.
A stealth attack on the Well Guarded cat:
As it turns out, the cucumber is not the only thing/object that bothers cats, but anything that sneaks up on the cat can potentially frighten it, including any fruit, vegetable, or non-living item.
Cats are alert and smart animals, and as such, they always maintain their guard and are well aware of the situation.
Cats only eat their food or diet when they are sure that they are not immediately threatened by anything around them. In other words, cats defined their “food stations/areas,” where they are perfectly safe and secure.
Such scary reactions from the threat of cucumbers are not limited to cats. Humans and other animals respond similarly to those surprise threats. You may jump or scream at the sudden loud noise, your heart rate increases, and you tremble at it in the next minute.
After a sudden stimulus passes, it takes a while for it to return to normal, the heartbeat stabilizes, and so do hormone levels such as adrenaline. The same goes with the cat, and after the scary reaction, they go far away from the object/cucumber and try to think and maintain their body balance.
What happens biochemically when cats become scared?
Scientifically the biochemical reaction and endocrine changes occur in cats due to sudden scariness by cucumber. This includes the brain stem(which is the lowest part of the brain connected to the spinal cord), parts of the well-known limbic system(involved in feeling fear and danger), the hypothalamus and associated pituitary gland that secretes hormones (such as adrenaline), which causes many physical ailments/changes in the body. These hormones and changes cope with the abrupt change due to seeing cucumber and keeping the body at balance after some time.
You may also be interested in our article on Cat Emotions: The Beginners Guide
Why shouldn’t you scare cats with cucumbers?
Watching a cat jump in the air out of sheer fear can make you laugh, but it’s not fun, at least not for the cat. As mentioned earlier, the sudden appearance of a green invader (cucumber) scares the cats, making them run away as soon as possible (so they jump in the air). A cat can break something, hurt others around it, or even injure itself during getting away.
It can also cause long-term stress for the cat. We should not make them feel stressed, scared, or nervous.
Research on the effects of shocking reactions on mice, other rodents, and humans has shown that repeated “surprises” can cause anxiety and constant stress. It also applies to cats and many mammals. Persistent anxiety and stress can reduce your pet’s overall health and damage their immune system, leading to disease.
Although the videos showing cats being scared of cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables are ridiculous, experts advise against having such fun at home with your cat, which is not suitable for their health. It can affect their heart and means they will not feel safe at home.
Trying to scare a cat like this is not only wrong but very cruel. Instead of showing a new toy or cucumber to them, try to introduce them slowly to your cat. Repeated exposure will, in the end, make the cat more comfortable with cucumber or anything. As a neuroscientist might say, they get used to it.
If you put a cucumber near a cat’s food, it can be painful for them, and your cat becomes aggressive. The area where cats eat is like a haven for them to feel at ease and relaxed.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of different games and toys to play with your cat. You can have fun with them without scaring them.
They will soon tell the difference between a cucumber and a snake and learn that cucumber is an edible thing, not a scary object.
Cats have an unreasonable fear of other things:
Despite the natural curiosity and courage of cats, there are other things they are afraid of:
The Teddy bear is the object not scaring all cats, but some are not happy with them!
A vacuum cleaner is one of them. Take it out and turn it on and then watch your cat jump and run, looking for a place to hide.
Fans are the other objects from which your furry friends will be scared easily. When the cats saw a fan, they ran away. The wind and speed of the fan are too much for them. If the fan is noisy, your cat will always stay away from it.
Fireworks are one of the few things that cats have in common with dogs. They are both afraid of loud sounds/noises, especially fireworks and thunder.
You can find any possible condition from which your cat is scared of in this best selling book, “Classical Cats: The Rise and Fall of the Sacred Cat” By Donald W. Engels
How Can I Help My Scared Or Anxious Cat?
The first thing you can do to help a scared or anxious pet is to no try and deliberately scare it with objects and food! But in all seriousness, when I was fostering an old boy something that really helped relax him was Feliway.
It took about a day to kick in but once it started working he was a completely different cat.
I also made sure I didn’t move things around too much so that he would have familiarity and comfort in knowing where things were.