Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?
Does the cucumber have an unsuspected particularity in humans, but which would not have escaped the domestic animal ?favorite of the French? Nothing of the sort. To understand what is happening, just imagine eating peacefully in its cozy interior in perfect peace, without the slightest suspicious noise and surrounded by familiar faces. Suddenly, an unknown form finds itself in our living space. It’s hard not to have a startle reflex! It is exactly this mechanism that operates in our dear cats in these popular videos. In full delight, the muzzle in the bowl, their unscrupulous masters and camera in hand place the oblong object at the legs of the animal. His surprise is total and the blue fear imposes on him a more or less airy avoidance strategy, which causes our hilarity.
Of course, the shape of the cucumber is reminiscent of the snake , the cat’s natural predator that attacks on the ground (which would explain the jump), but the real line of thought rests rather on the unknown dimension of the intruder. Cats are rarely accustomed to crossing paths with cucurbits in their lives. They therefore have a protective startle reflex, amplified by the fact that the cause of their terror has landed sneakily and silently in their immediate surroundings. Finally, the cat protects itself first by projecting itself from a distance to then better assess the dangerousness of the situation. It’s just a precautionary measure.
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The dangers of scaring your cat for fun
More fear than harm ? Not so sure… The virality of his videos of cats maddened by a cucumber has prompted many kitty owners to seek to establish the proof through experience. These films now abound on the Web and experts in feline behavior are worried about them. Indeed, the stress undergone by the pet is, obviously, very intense. By choosing to surprise him when he was relaxed, the risk is to lose his confidence forever. If within her home and surrounded by people identified as harmless, the adorable ball of fur felt attacked, she may take to her heels, forever…
Ultimately, cats are no more afraid of cucumbers than bananas or any other oblong plant, they are afraid of the unknown and do not like to be surprised. Just present them a cucumber face to realize that it will only arouse simple curiosity or total indifference.
An inhuman and immoral experience
In these videos, the cucumbers scare Cats are often placed behind the cats while the cats are eating. Like any human being, it’s just natural to be surprised. Some pets do not have the same reactions and do not react since they know it is a simple vegetable while others react violently.
Experts, however, warn those with felines not to scare them as such, they have presumed that this kind of terror is caused by stress. Terrorizing your pet is not a good thing. Doing this experience for laughs challenges your humanity. An animal feels your emotion and to have its trust, you have to earn it.
A study made by experts on this behavior
After the publication of the first video, many cat owners wanted to test and try the experience on their cat. The result is spectacular, as the cats jump up and are frightened.
According to the explanations of a specialist in animal behavior Jill Goldman, several reasons can explain this fear.
Indeed, it is the startle reflex that amuses Internet users so much in this video. This brainstem reflex reaction helps preserve the eyes and the back of the neck. It is a question of prioritizing the flight in order to carry out an analysis of the situation in order to reassess the danger in a second step. According to Jill Goldman, it’s also possible that cats mistake cucumbers for snakes based on their shapes and colors. Cats regard these as deadly predators.
The two main reasons for this fear
To dig deeper into this topic, what could scare cats so much? Where does their deep fear for green vegetables come from? This strange behavior arouses the curiosity of experts. Daniel Fillion undertakes with a team of educators a study in a controlled environment in order to determine the cause of this deep fear. Mr. Fillion and his team have therefore tested whether the reactions of cats are similar when faced with other vegetables such as tomatoes, a banana, or even other objects such as a ball for example. Two reasons are therefore considered by these experts and two hypotheses are put forward:
The first: It is an unknown object in the cat’s usual environment.
The second: The resemblance of cucumbers to snakes by color or shape.
Regarding this last hypothesis, it is a genetic predisposition in mammals to be afraid of snakes. According to M Fill ion, “Several studies have shown that cats have an innate fear of snakes”. He goes on to say that “Their first reaction is not to run away, but to jump high”. Numerous scientific studies confirm that the innate fear of vipers is limited to sound and not to form.
For the well-being of your pet, our expert advises against repeating the experiment with other cats by making other humorous videos. This kind of behavior can cause strong trauma in these felines and can lead to a strong repulsion of the place where they feed. As their name suggests, pets are our friends and not useful beings for any humorous experience that may traumatize them.
A lot of people have seen the trending video on YouTube about cats being terrified by cucumbers or zucchini placed by their owners.
In the video, the cats are frightened. The experience has gone viral, however, they should not be exposed to this practice for their well-being. In this article, let’s try to understand why cats are afraid of cucumbers and zucchini.
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