Cats Are Not Amused by the Cucumber Joke: Stop Doing Them!
For some weird reasons, cats get really jumpy at the sudden sight of a cucumber. We have all seen those viral cats vs cucumbers videos on YouTube. There is no denying that it’s kind of funny watching them lose their minds and running scared to escape a harmless vegetable (cucumbers are actually fruits).
However, if you think about it, the cucumber prank is somewhat like bullying. Sure, anyone being scared of something as benign as a cucumber is giggle-worthy but scaring your cat intentionally just to score some social media attention is not something a pet lover should endorse.
Are Cats Really Afraid of Cucumbers?
Well, yes and no. The cucumber vs cat videos that are seen on social media are only of cats that react “funnily”. You never see videos of cats that do not react and simply walk by. That’s because they are boring. For every unsuspecting cat that reacts to a cucumber, there are many more that do not. However, the question still remains. Are cats genetically tuned to be scared of cucumbers? No, they are not. Have you ever seen a cat running scared when you are handling a cucumber in the kitchen? Probably not. The cruel scare tactics work only when the cat is caught off guard. This is why most of these video creators distract their cats with food or toys before silently placing the cucumber.
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Try the Cucumber Prank on Your Cat
It’s Not a Victimless Joke
According to animal behaviorist Dr. Christopher Pachel intentionally scaring a cat using a cucumber may lead to “mental and physical trauma” and it may end up causing behavioral issues such as PTSD, aggression, and anxiety. It’s also not that these cats are mildly scared. Some cats end up getting so startled that they jump meters in the air. The reactionary jump is so sudden that some cats mess up the landing. This often leads to serious physical injuries.
It’s Just for Your Entertainment
Any activity with pets should be mutually entertaining or nourishing. The cat and cucumber prank does nothing for the cat short of leaving them shaking, panicked, and scared. It’s also not about encouraging your cat to face its fears. As mentioned before, cats are not normally afraid of cucumbers. It’s the suddenness that startles them. So, thinking that this can be a learning experience for your cat is utter garbage. In fact, before starting any activity with your dog or cat, it’s important to seek out accurate pet health advice from vets and reputed pet health sites.
You Breach the Cat’s Trust
The reason some cats get so shocked is that they don’t see it coming. Cats consider their homes as their safe spots, especially when they are with their human parents. When you try and attempt the cucumber prank for cheap laughs, you immediately risk compromising the bond of trust between you and your cat. Is it worth a few dozen likes? Maybe not.
You Put Your Family and Property at Risk
The sudden reaction from the cat may take a toll on your personal property. There have been countless incidents of cats landing on furniture and knocking off objects in an attempt to flee from the cucumber. You are not safe either. In an effort to escape, cats may lunge at you or your family members and end up delivering nasty scratches.