You have probably seen videos on YouTube or social media of cat owners pranking their felines by placing cucumber at their blind spot. Surprisingly, the cats will be startled and leap back once they saw that greenish vegetable sneaking behind them.
You may be asking yourself, how come these calm and independent cats can be frightened by a lifeless green vegetable? are they really afraid of cucumbers? Or they just mistook it for something?
While there are a couple of theories regarding this issue, animal behaviorists and experts agreed that it isn’t necessarily the cucumber that makes them startled. So, what is it? Below are the possible reasons why cats are terrified of cucumbers.
They mistook it as their enemy
It is in the DNA of the cats to be defensive whenever they feel threatened and frightened, this instinctive behavior of them is hardwired to protect themselves from predatory lizards like snakes. Many experts and animal behaviorists believe that cats may wrongly identify the cucumber as snakes or other lizards, because of its color and lengthy shape.
Moreover, cats can perceive things differently if they are surprised and startled, and cucumber is apt to make them feel uneasy and scared.
They just simply caught off-guard
Cats always keep their guard up, especially when they are not in their safe zone. On the other hand, they likely to lower their guard when they think they are in their safe spot. The fact that the cucumber was placed in their safe zone where they didn’t expect it to be there may cause them to panic and be frightened.
If you saw the videos, you will notice that most owners pranking their felines while they eat. Why not? It may be the most effective way to catch them off-guard. Cats eat only out of harm’s way. That’s why when they turned around and see the green thing behind them, they were startled and jump because they didn’t expect it to be there.
Acoustic startle response
Since most cats have timid personalities, they can be startled easily and react to things differently. So, there’s a possibility that their acoustic startle response (a protective reflex located in the brain stem) increased the moment they saw the cucumber.
Cats showing startled behaviors is a bad thing and it can cause severe damage to them both physically and mentally.
Is it okay to prank my cat with cucumber?
Definitely not, it’s never a good idea to scared your feline. It can cause harm to them or they can cause harm to others, and because of fear, they can be. . .
Injured – Your feline might get hurt because he will likely try to get away from the area as quickly as he can once he saw the green monster, which can lead to serious injuries, and worst be killed if he runs away outside your house and hit by a passing car.
Anxious – Yup, anxiety is not only for humans. Scared cats are prone to anxiety, especially when they feel like they are in danger. So, think twice before pulling a prank on your feline, he may become anxious because of fear.
Harmful to others – Cats can be unruly and difficult to control when they are scared. They are more likely to run away from danger whenever they feel threatened, and because of this, they can be destructive to things and harmful to humans while fleeing.
Our purry friends can be funny naturally without even trying. Sometimes they do little cute things that make us smile. So, there’s no need to force them to do laughable things or make fun of them.
Remember, cats have feelings too, they can be scared, anxious, and stressed just like us humans. So, before pulling a prank on your feline, think about the harms that they may get from it. Be a responsible pet owner.
Gson is an independent blogger and a pet lover. He shares his pet stories at latestpaws. His articles are a combination of his passion for writing and his love for animals.