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Cats and cucumbers, what’s that all about? Why are cats afraid of cucumbers? It’s a question that’s popped up ever since a series of videos went viral a few years back of pet owners placing a cucumber behind their cats. Which resulted in their cats leaping into the air with alarm and made people curious to try the trick out for themselves. In fact there’s even an entire Subreddit dedicated to cats and cucumbers.

All the videos follow the same formula—they feature a cat often eating food from their bowl while a cucumber is surreptitiously placed behind them. The cat then turns around and jumps into the air in horror when it sees the hateful cucumber, before it calms down a little and sniffs out to find what this intruder really is.

Good fun for us, but not so much for your poor scared cat. So before you go and try it out for yourself and add to the numerous videos on YouTube of cats vs cucumbers be aware that, as the National Geographic notes, it’s not good for them. In fact it stresses them hugely, which is obviously bad.

“If you cause stress to an animal that’s probably not a good thing,” Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, told National Geographic. “If you do it for laughs it makes me question your humanity.” While John Bradshaw, a cat-behavior expert at the University of Bristol, calls the craze “despicable” and “an incitement for people to scare their cats and then invite people to laugh at them.” Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like a Cat agrees telling National Geographic “That’s a cruel thing to do.”

So Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers?

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers - 05

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers img via NewfoundReads.com

As for why are cats scared of cucumbers, what it is about this seemingly innocent vegetable that is so fearful, IFL Science explains that it might not be the cucumber itself, but instead the element of surprise, the sudden appearance of it behind them.

Animal behaviour specialist Dr Roger Mugford reiterated this point to the Metro saying, “I think that the reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed while their heads were down in the food bowl.”

So perhaps if you placed a carrot there it might cause a similar reaction? Well, possibly. But it might also be the specific color of the cucumber which triggers the cats’ response and makes them afraid, but why green?

Well, namely because they might be associating the color green with snakes which are a deadly predator.

But whatever the reason, the fact is cats don’t like things which move quickly, or things that unexpectedly turn up in their vicinity, or that they don’t understand. And placing a cucumber near them when they’re eating seems to trigger all these reactions. So could this be why are cats afraid of cucumbers?

Science doesn’t seem to have the answer, so it seems you’ll need to ask a cat to find out the real reason.

But basically it isn’t a nice thing to do, no matter how entertaining it may be.

Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers - 99Why Are Cats Afraid Of Cucumbers img via WhyCatWhy.com

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