Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?
Like water, cucumbers are part of the non-exhaustive list of things that scare cats. You will undoubtedly have noticed it with your tomcat or observed it in one of the many viral videos online: the cat is suddenly frightened, he jumps and runs away at full speed at the sight of a cucumber placed near.
How to understand this blue fear towards a vegetable that is however harmless to cats? Experts in animal behavior can help you. Find out below all the reasons for cats' unusual fear of cucumbers.
The explanation of experts and specialists in animal behavior
In the opinion of experts, the cause of this fear does not lie in the cucumber itself, but in the representation that the cat has of this vegetable. Thus, it is not a harmless cucumber that your cat sees but a dangerous predator, a reptile or even a snake for example. Hence his startle reflex and the rushed flight that you observe in most cases. Biologist Jerry Coine sums up this idea in what he calls the “predator fear” that inhabits these little felines.
Other specialists like Dr Roger Mugford evoke the idea of "fear of the unknown". Associated with the effect of surprise due to the sudden appearance of a strange object while the animal is focused on its bowl of kibble and does not expect it at all. His instinct logically dictates to him to flee in order to protect himself.
Especially since cats usually do not mix with cucumber, which makes it a very suspicious object. In addition, its elongated shape paradoxically brings it closer to a snake, something the cat identifies as a threat to its life. On the other hand, by removing the effect of surprise, experiments show that the cat remains serene and does not pay attention to the cucumber.
Fear of cucumbers, a source of stress for cats
As with us, exposure to fear can expose the cat to stress and negatively affect its behavior as well as its relationship with its owner. This is why animal behavior specialists advise against using a cucumber to terrify your cat, even for fun.
Introducing a worry factor into an environment your little feline considers safe will make him feel insecure. Therefore, he will be constantly on the alert, showing sudden aggressiveness towards you or your furniture. In the extreme, your frightened cat may wander away from the house and never come back.
You will understand that scaring your furball is not only bad for its well-being, but can also break the bond of trust and affection it has placed in you.