Stop with the Cucumber Joke – Why It’s Hurting Your Cat
July 15, 2019
Daniel Keeling

Cats and cucumbers are not friends. Unfortunately for some cats, their humans have figured that out. There is no denying the humour of cats being scared of a harmless fruit. A cat’s otherwise not-impressed attitude towards life also makes their dramatic reaction all the funnier. 


Most cats who are caught off guard by the mischievously placed fruit are seen leaping high in the air and then scrambling away in a desperate flurry. Scaring cats by placing cucumbers behind them was big a couple of years ago. We have seen thousands of memes and videos of cat parents pulling the cucumber prank on their unsuspecting pets.  However, according to some experts, the cucumber joke can hurt your cat. Before we reveal the top reasons why you shouldn’t do the cucumber joke, here’s why cats get scared in the first place.


Why Are Cat Scared of Cucumbers?


Cats are genetically coded to hunt for their meals. This means they are always in a state of high-alert. That’s why they react to laser lights, moving strings, and other moving objects. When they are caught off guard by the sudden presence of a cucumber, their instincts tell them to react quickly to get away from the threat. In other words, they are not scared of cucumbers themselves. They get scared when they suddenly discover the strange fruit placed behind them.


To catch them off guard, a lot of pet parents distract their kitties with food before placing the cucumber. Feeding time is a relaxing affair for cats and the sudden appearance of a cucumber startles them and causes them to react. 


To understand why cats are scared of the cucumbers joke, you need to introspect. How many times did you get scared by a strange object when they suddenly appear in front of you? Viewing or feeling anything suddenly that can be considered out of the ordinary and unexpected may trigger a fear response in humans. We simply lack the cat’s ability to leap that high and thus our reactions are relatively muted. 


Another popular theory about why cats are afraid of cucumbers is they mistake it for a snake. The elongated appearance of cucumbers trigger an ancient instinctive response that causes them to evade the suspected snake bite. 


5 Reasons People Should Stop Doing the Cucumber Joke


Even though the craze of the cucumber joke was in its peak a couple of years ago, new videos still get uploaded every single day. Here are 5 reasons why people need to stop doing the cucumber joke. 


Can Cause Long-Term Anxiety Problems


The intense stress can cause cats to develop a long-term anxiety issue. Cat anxiety is a very real threat and vets often prescribe long term cat anxiety medications to control bouts of anxiety in cats that feel insecure in their surroundings. The stress caused by the prank may cause the cat to be jumpy and feel restless for days to come.


Cat May Injure Themselves


While their instinctive reaction is to leap away from the threat, they often have trouble sticking the landing. They can easily get injured if they end up landing awkwardly on an object or crash against the wall in an attempt to flee. Cats can even injure themselves on a broken piece of glass if they end up breaking something fragile.


They May End Up Damaging Household Items


In an attempt to flee, cats often knock down objects kept on tables. Since most of these pranks happen in the kitchen, chances of glassware getting destroyed is pretty high. 


Cats May Develop Trust Issues or React Aggressively


Not all cats flee, some react aggressively and can even scratch and bite their owner while the cucumber is being placed. Being scared of their parents can also develop trust issues and they may choose to maintain distance if scared repeatedly. 


Cats May Avoid the Kitchen or Even the Food Bowl


Since a lot of these pranks are orchestrated during the cat’s feeding time, your feline friend may start associating the kitchen or the food bowl with the threat of the cucumber. It may cause them to avoid the bowl or keep them from entering the kitchen. 


Sharing a space with your cat should be about mutual respect, trust, and love. And while placing cucumbers behind your animal friend can give you a few thousand likes and fun responses online, it isn’t really something you want to live with forever. Think wisely before you plan to pull a prank on your unsuspecting friend.