Why Are Cats Afraid of Cucumbers?


Cats are afraid of cucumbers because cucumbers resemble snakes. I mean, with cucumbers’ long slender outlook and curvy sides, what would you expect at a glance for your feline pet?

Cats have instincts that wire them to free from snakes to avoid fatal snake bites. Therefore, once they see a cucumber and immediately mistake it for a snake, the cat will definitely be scared.

Cucumbers Scaring Cats?

Do you remember the hashtag ‘CucumbersScaringCats’ on Reddit and social media two years ago? It seems that this is the season that cat’s fear of cucumbers caught people’s attention.

People would put a cucumber close to their cat, and they would watch the reaction. Some would put it without the cat’s knowledge while the cats relaxed, others while the cat ate. More nasty jokers would put it close to the cat while it slept, and the poor feline would be scared to death when it woke up.

What reaction do cats portray when they see cucumbers? Some jump so high that the ceiling is closer than the floor. Some run away so fast that they leave the room or the house. Braver cats will keep their distance and observe the cucumber, ready to run or reiterate if things turn the other way.

Why Are Cats Afraid of Cucumbers?

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There are two reasons why cats are scared of cucumbers;

Firstly, cats tend to think that cucumbers are snakes, given the slithery appearance of cucumbers (Con Slobodchikoff). Their immediate response is to escape a vicious encounter with the snake. Con Slobodchikoff

The different short videos show that the cat will not even think twice before running away from the cucumber. Even the bravest will first keep their distance before having a closer look.

Secondly, if the cat just turned or woke up to a cucumber, it will run away or jump up from. It will do the same with any other object that wasn’t there previously, not just a cucumber. I bet you would also do the same if something suddenly appeared in your way or where you hadn’t seen it before.

In this case, the cat will react out of shock and surprise at the sudden appearance of the cucumber Jill Goldman (animal behaviorist). It will startle the cat so much that the cat might not even want to come closer to that location again.

Cats, unlike most animals, live alone in most instances. It is not a surprise that most cat keepers have one cat. Therefore, cats have learned to take care of themselves, and one of the ways it adopts is being cautious of danger. It keeps out of trouble and only fights back when it has to.

Worst case scenario, the cat may end up injuring itself from the ordeal. It runs away without caring about its environment, and it could bump into a wall or a sharp object. While you did it for fun, you will end up spending on your cat for treatment.

Finally, some cats are naturally jumpy. They are so cautious of anything that looks like it would cause harm to them. In most cases, these cats have had a scary experience before, which makes them more aware of anything strange.

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Nevertheless, if you harvest cucumbers or constantly have cucumbers in your house within the cat’s view, you may realize that the cat is not as reactive. It will come close to the cucumbers and sniff them (Sara Atkinson, Yorkshire Cat Rescue).

In some instances, the cat will try to eat the cucumber. Actually, you may have realized that if you slice a cucumber for your cat, it eats it appreciatively.

Is It Bad to Scare Your Cat with a Cucumber?

Yes, it is. It would help if you did not scare your cat with a cucumber, especially now that you know why. It may be fun for you to watch the sweet little scared animal. Better still, receive numerous comments and likes on the video that make you happy.

But have you considered how the cat will feel? It looks great on video, but remember that your pet has emotions. If you scare it, you will trigger psychological torture in the cat. It will be afraid of the cucumber and the house or location where you put the cucumber.

Worse still, you will never be able to prepare cucumbers in front of the cat again. While you will crave the cat’s company in your kitchen when going around your chores, your cat will not be there for you. It will always stay away from you and your cucumbers.

Cucumbers are an excellent option for hydration and vitamin provision for cats. If you already put it in your cat that the vegetable is for a scare, the cat will not even appreciate eating it all. Then, you will have to find an alternative, courtesy of your own doing.

Cats are hunting animals, the same as leopards, cheetahs, and others in the cat family. This fact makes them prone to aggression. Your sweet, quiet cat can turn into a dangerous scratching animal if pushed. If your cat learns that you scared it with the cucumber and starts laughing at its reaction, it will avoid you. Next, you try to cuddle it, and it will show you its teeth and paws that are not as pleasing.

Moreover, cats are not just afraid of cucumbers. If you present the cucumber to your cat in a gentle way and appeal to their emotions, your cat could actually grow fond of cucumbers.

There are photos of cats sleeping or sitting close to cucumbers or on a pile of cucumbers. They enjoy the cool feel of the cucumber, especially during the summer season. This experience is far more fulfilling than seeing the scared cat.

After all, it could make a cute comeback on social media, and you would change people’s perspectives. More cat owners would try it, making a more friendly cat topic on the pet forums.

Last but not least, you will make a scared and tense cat or kitten out of a once-brave-pet. If your cat is always happy and all over the place, it will start to shun some areas. It will also stop its adventurous nature, fearing to relive the experience.

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What Does a Cucumber Do to a Cat?

Honestly, cucumbers are not harmful to cats. Cats do not keep off cucumbers because the latter are toxic or harmful to the former.

Interestingly, it is advisable to feed cats cucumbers occasionally. Cucumbers are rich in vitamins, roughage, and water. Some cats will never taste water until they are really thirsty.

Sadly, only the cucumber fruits are suitable for the cat. The cucumber plant is not as friendly. If your cat plays with the plant, it ends up with eye irritation or a coughing allergy. Hence, it would help if you keep your cat off the cucumber plants.

Should You Feed Your Cat Cucumbers?

Feeding them cucumbers is a nice and hidden way of ensuring that the cats stay hydrated. They also get other nutrients that their typical cat food will not offer.

However, cucumbers are suitable for cats only in small amounts. Give the cat a couple of cucumber slices to maintain hydration in the body.

If the cat takes a lot of cucumbers, the water will not be suitable for their system. They will have diarrhea or have stomach sensitivities. Note that cucumbers are not cats’ regular meal ingredients, hence the adverse reaction to excess.

How should you feed the cat cucumbers?

First, ensure that you peel the cucumber because the cucumber skin is quite tough for the cat’s gut to digest. Besides, the skin could contain chemicals or dirt, which washing could not get rid of. To ensure that your cat only takes the safe bit, peeling it is necessary.

Second, slice the cucumber for the cat. Small slices are more appealing and easier to eat for the cat.

Third, only feed the cat the cucumber occasionally. If it is a hot season, you can feed it twice or three times a week to boost its body hydration.

Do Cats Love Cucumbers?

Cats will love cucumbers if they are accustomed to the vegetable. It may be scary to the cats, but if you never scared it with the cucumber, it will take the cucumber as a type of food.

Cucumbers are sweet, and cats, being an interesting carnivorous breed, love sweet fruits and vegetables. Some cats love eating cucumbers so much that you have to regulate them for their health.

Some cats love cucumbers because they are a nice piece to play with. Unlike most foods, cucumbers are rigid, and their shape is easy to roll. They are also rough on the skin, which is excellent for handling.

What is a Cat’s Reaction to Cucumbers?

Cats react differently to cucumbers. If you surprise your cat with a cucumber;

  • It will run away
  • Jump up, startled.
  • It moves away quickly and looks at the cucumber aggressively.
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On the other hand, if your cat always sees you with cucumbers, or you present them for play;

  • They scratch the cucumber
  • They may also try to roll the cucumber for play
  • Some will try to eat it.

What Should You Do with a Scared Cat?

Once you realize that your cat is really shaken by the cucumber or something else, you should try to reassure it.

  • Primarily, remove the cucumber from sight because it haunts the cat.

Later on, you can present the cucumber to the cat more friendly to know that it is harmless.

  • If your cat acts frightened, you can take it on your lap and reassure it with a hug. However, if it acts aggressive, try to soothe it from a distance. Present it with its favorite meal, then give it space to recover.
  • Cats love to play, and you can give them their playing toys to relax their feelings. It might forget the tension and fright in the process.
  • There are situations where the cat’s mental health is badly affected. It stops eating and acts nervous all the time. In this case, you can visit your cat’s vet for a check-up. He/ she will give you instructions on how to handle the cat better or even give you relaxing medication.
  • Then, if your cat has a hard time eating it, get it softer food for its digestion, preferably gastrointestinal food, to soothe its gut. Sit around while it eats to encourage it.
  • Be on the lookout for other challenges that may culminate from the situation and mend it appropriately.
  • Most importantly, ensure that you don’t repeat a deliberate scare on your cat again. You have to protect it from others who may try the same as well.

Though cats will not easily forget a fateful ordeal, over time, if the case does not repeat, your cat will get back on its normal behavior. Or, at least it will not have a reminder of something nasty.

Why Are Cats Afraid of Cucumbers?

Cats are afraid of cucumbers when the cucumber suddenly appears. If it hadn’t seen the cucumber in the place, it was put before, and it associates it with a snake. And cats are afraid of snakes, hence the reaction to cucumbers.

However, if you give the cucumber to your cat naturally, it will not be afraid of the cucumber. It may love it, or at least sniff around it to get the fresh scent.

In a Nutshell;

Cats are afraid of cucumbers, but only when the cucumbers startle them. The look can scare anyone, and the cats will only react to keep themselves safe.

It is not advisable to scare the cats with cucumbers. You may inflict permanent mental torture, or you could cause a change in the cat’s behavior.

If you love cucumbers, introduce them to your cat in a friendly way. You will be surprised how much fun you can have with your cat around and with cucumbers.

Dinu Sri Madusanka

Dinu Sri Madusanka is a science graduate (B.Sc.) who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. He is a well-experienced writer with more than 7 years of experience. He interests in writing mostly animal welfare and advance technologies. Even though he is busy with research works, in his free time, he gives his contribution to several blogs by writing, reviewing, and analyzing information to provide more accurate and useful information for the reader. WalkwithCat is one of his major contributing places which is dedicated to improving the knowledge of cat parents.

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