The Cucumber Myth: Why Do Cats Hate Them?
Kittens were meant to use the internet. From the earliest days of online content sharing (memes, videos, etc.), cats and their antics have been a staple. Countless websites—from Can Haz Cheezburger and Lolcats to those devoted to famous cats like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub—celebrate the absurdity that is the feline.
A disturbing trend has emerged in recent years, however, in which cat owners hide cucumbers from their felines and film the extreme reaction this elicits on camera. The effects are sometimes spectacular, with cats literally losing their minds, jumping for joy, and seemingly floating in the air.
Humans may find it funny when a cat has an extreme reaction to an ingredient in a salad, but cats may have a very different take on the situation. In addition to the psychological trauma this poses, some cats have actually hurt themselves trying to get away from it.
Okay, so what gives here Curious as to why felines shrink from cucumbers, Does a cat dislike cucumbers?
When it comes to cucumbers, why do cats cringe?
It has been hypothesized that cats avoid cucumbers because the fruits resemble snakes and cats do not care for snakes. While the premise that cats dislike being around snakes is sound, it's not entirely correct.
Cats are more likely to be curious than fearful of snakes, despite the fact that cats and snakes are natural enemies. A cat will likely paw at a snake, especially one as small as a cucumber, in an attempt to investigate it further.
Thus, this cannot account for the extreme aversion to cucumbers that many cats exhibit.
Would your cat have the same extreme reaction if you presented a cucumber to it first? In reality, they might just give it a whiff, poke around a bit, and go about their day. There were no overreactions or signs of anxiety.
Your cat may approach the cucumber with some suspicion because it looks strange to her, but she won't have a dramatic reaction to it.
What then, if not cats versus cucumbers, causes such a severe reaction? The truth is that the unexpected appearance of the cucumber behind the cat is what causes the most amusement.
Slim, deadly, hunting machines
Cats are expert hunters because they are hyperaware of their environments and can detect movement even behind them. Their sensitive noses can detect the faintest of scents on the breeze, and their perceptive ears are always on the lookout for faint noises that could indicate the presence of prey. Your cat is like a tightly wound spring; it's ready to spring into action at the slightest provocation.
When a possible threat appears seemingly out of nowhere, it is only natural for your cat to react aggressively. Poof It's as if a character from Harry Potter suddenly materialized.
Since cats aren't used to being sneaked up on (recall their heightened senses and early warning system), your cat may react defensively.
The heck is this It's new to this location. Honestly, I didn't get any kind of warning Not expecting it, I was caught off guard Can you believe this witchcraft
Why wouldn't gentle Fluffy be startled? The situation is not dissimilar to when you are in the midst of an intense concentration session while watching cat videos online and your boss walks in behind you. Wow, that's shocking
Thus, the element of surprise is more important than the type or shape of fruit. It's possible that your cat would have the same reaction to an apple or a bunch of grapes (though we wouldn't recommend trying this at home for the sake of your cat's health and happiness). In each of these clips, cucumbers have served as the villainous produce.
The true reason why you shouldn't startle your cat
As you may have guessed, cats aren't fond of sudden or drastic changes. In no way should you ever intentionally surprise or frighten your cat.
When startled, a cat will likely flee the area and return later to evaluate the situation more calmly. Your cat may sustain physical injuries from the sudden jolt and subsequent flight from danger, in addition to the psychological stress of the ordeal.
Cats' food bowls tend to be located rather close to the action in many of these videos. The food bowl is a place of safety for cats, so they won't be prepared for any unpleasant surprises, making this practice highly unadvisable (and cruel).
This kind of trauma can take years to repair if it happens to you and your cat repeatedly. For cats that are already more anxious than average, living in an environment where they constantly fear for their safety can have a devastating effect on their mental health.
That's a surefire way to make your cat irritable and hard to handle. Cats who have experienced trauma often display negative behaviors that are detrimental to the relationship. Anyone who has ever rescued a kitten from a bad situation knows how difficult it can be to gain the cat's trust again. From there, getting back to "Soft kitty, warm kitty" may seem like a distant dream.
You and your cat will both be better off if you don't try to sneak up on it with any kind of fruit, whether it's a cucumber or a bunch of grapes.
Plenty of humorous interactions can be had with your cat that won't cause any lasting harm or make fun of your cat. If you have any videos of your cats being themselves in a positive and healthy environment, please upload them so that we can all enjoy them at work.
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