Scaring cats with cucumbers is the latest unexpected but hilarious feline-related craze to sweep across the internet. For some reason, cats seem not to like cucumbers, and owners have been on hand to catch the moment their startled moggy gets caught unawares by the world’s most terrifying vegetable.
But what effect does this seemingly harmless prank have on moggies, and why are cucumbers turning them into such scaredy cats?
These videos might seem funny to you or I, but our feline friends might not agree. Speaking to National Geographic, animal behaviourist Jill Goldman warns that causing stress to an animal in any way is “probably not a good thing”.
Because the cat is not expecting to see the cucumber on the floor, its natural startle response is triggered – “with a startle response, a cat will often try to get out of there as quickly as possible and then reassess from a distance.” This isn’t helped by the fact that many of these videos seem to take place in the cat’s eating area – somewhere they would expect to feel safe and secure.
But why is it cucumbers in particular that evoke this sort of response from cats? According to Goldman, moggies may instinctively associate the long green veg with snakes – a potential predator for cats in the wild.
So next time you think about spooking your cat with a cucumber, why not consider putting it in your salad instead.
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