Why are cats so afraid of cucumbers? That’s likely the question on the minds of the throngs of people typing “why are cats afraid of” into Google, and Google suggestions automatically filling out the rest of the sentence with “cucumbers.” That popular question is a result of the below viral video, titled “Cats Spooked by Cucumbers Compilation.” Uploaded to YouTube on November 11, the video has swelled to more than 1.7 million views in approximately seven days. However, a new warning is informing cat owners why they shouldn’t scare their cats — with cucumbers or anything else.
“Naughty cucumbers are sneaking up on cats again. No wonder why cats get so easily spooked by them.”
While watching cats leap in the air after being startled by an unexpected cucumber might make for a funny YouTube video, animal experts are warning against placing a cucumber behind your cat at feeding time to see how the cat might respond. As reported by National Geographic, cats might mistake the cucumber for a snake, and that’s one reason for some of the cats having such a fearful response to the cucumbers — one that sends the cats leaping in the air to get out of there. As seen in the above video, at least one cat flips out and literally hits the door trying to bolt away from the cucumber.
Certain cats might tap the cucumber playfully and curiously. With the shape of a cucumber somewhat resembling a snake, it could account for some of the fear witnessed in the cats as seen in the viral cat video. However, cats aren’t just afraid of cucumbers, reports Metro, but their startle response can be triggered by anything suddenly shoved behind them unexpectedly while they are eating.
Cats associate their feeding spaces with a relaxing, safe, and comfortable place, and to place a cucumber quietly behind them in order to film their fearful response is being called cruel by some animal experts. Think Like a Cat author Pam Johnson-Bennett called the viral cat-scaring cucumber videos a mean trick to play on a cat.
“That’s a cruel thing to do.”
Indeed, the cats have likely let down their guards and are having fun chomping away on their Meow Mix when all of a sudden a dark green oblong object scares them, with the cucumber seemingly having sidled up behind their tails out of nowhere.
On Twitter, the “cat cucumber” phenomena rolls on, with various responses to the viral cat videos.
But like really, why are cats afraid of cucumbers? https://t.co/pIfeOg0W0l— Diana Tsui (@chupsterette) November 17, 2015
As some viewers are left to wonder why cats are so afraid of cucumbers, animal experts like Jill Goldman from California are busy warning cat owners not to jump on the viral video trend by scaring the life out of their cats for a laugh.
“If you cause stress to an animal that’s probably not a good thing. If you do it for laughs it makes me question your humanity. [A cat] would not normally see cucumbers on the floor. With a startle response, a cat will often try to get out of there as quickly as possible and then reassess from a distance.”
Notably, would-be YouTube stars might get unexpected results from a cat jumping willy-nilly all over the place out of fear of seeing a cucumber behind them. Another video, titled “Cats Vs. Cucumbers,” was uploaded to YouTube on November 15, and has received more than 723,000 video views since that time.
In order to prevent injuries or undue stress upon a cat, the cucumber-scaring-cat trend might be one to skip. With the National Geographic warning letting people know that it’s not nice to scare cats with cucumbers, the trend just might die out.
[Photo by J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo]