Cats have a few phobias and one of the most famous is the one linked to cucumbers! You will definitely have stumbled upon one of those funny videos circulating on the web showings felines terrified at the sight of this green vegetable placed next to their bowl. So why all this fear?
Why cats jump when they see a cucumber
Cats are hunters and tend to be cautious by nature. They are also a little bit distrustful, in order to protect themselves from falling into traps set by predators, but they are also the nosiest creatures in the animal world. When faced with something they don’t know, they immediately think of imminent danger. Based on this, it is easier to understand better cats get scared when they unexpectedly find themselves next to a cucumber and jump like grasshoppers.
Two main causes that lead to this attitude in cats emerged from an interview, published in National Geographic, with Jill Goldman, an expert in animal behaviour at the University of California:
1) FEAR OF A PREDATOR. A cat mistakes the cucumber for a snake, a potential predator. Therefore, his fear comes from the fact that he thinks he is really face to face with this reptile.
2) FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN AND A SCARE LINKED TO THE SURPRISE EFFECT. A cat does not expect to see a completely unknown object in a place he considers safe and familiar, like his bowl, and so he finds himself suddenly caught off guard. Therefore, if we put a banana there instead of a cucumber, he might react in the same way.
Consequences of the scare
Seeing your cat leaping into the air and even doing a somersault and then running away like crazy, might make us smile, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is in no way fun or a pleasant experience for him. In fact, it causes him health problems such as anxiety and stress, so it is best to avoid playing this trick on him, as there is a risk of traumatising him to the point that he no longer considers his home a safe place.
There are plenty of other ways to spend time and have fun with your cat, so it’s best to put cucumbers in salad only and not in your cat’s bowl!