FEAR can come in all shapes and sizes from the small spider to the existential crisis but for our pets they can be much stranger.
Viral videos and challenges have gone round in which pet cats jump at the sight of cucumbers and nobody seems to know why.
Why are cats scared of cucumbers?
The content of the aforementioned videos is simple and very familiar to anyone who has been on the internet in the past seven years – an unsuspecting cat is scared by a cucumber.
Often the poor feline would jump a mile in shock or fear at the humble veggie.
Their reaction is likely a combination of surprise and instinct rather than an ancestral fear of cucumbers.
Felines are very sensitive to their surroundings, with finely tuned ears and noses – therefore the sudden appearance of anything will make them jump.
When owners sneakily place a cucumber while the cat is distracted they are surprised when they look back to find it.
The extreme reaction comes from the fact that cucumbers are reminiscent of snakes.
Primal instinct tells animals that snakes are dangerous and they should react accordingly – resulting in the cat’s fear response and a viral video for their owner.
What else are cats scared of?
Cucumbers aren’t the only grocery which cats are unimpressed by, bananas are also a no-go.
Cats have a sense of smell which is 14 times stronger than our own so strong odours like fruity scents can be too much for their sensitive snoots.
While bananas are not toxic to felines, they can cause them some stomach upset so it may be linked to an innate sense of distrust.
Similarly to the cucumber videos, bananas have a vague snake shape to them and putting it down silently may cause alarm for your pet.
Banana peels emit ethene as they ripen, which cats can smell so they tend to avoid the fruit altogether.
Famously, cats have a strong dislike of water – in particular having a bath or getting wet.
Some feline friends adore a swim and big cats certainly don’t hesitate to chase prey into water – so why is the sink so terrifying.
It is likely down to how the water makes their fur feel.
You know the feeling when you’ve been caught in the rain, unsuspectingly, and now you’re soggy with hair slicked to your skin.
Cats probably feel the same!
They have to spend the next few hours grooming themselves and drying off – which they understandably wish to avoid.
Sometimes the fear of water coincides with a surprise look at their own reflection, resulting in a fright.
Usually this happens to young cats who are seeing themselves for the first time.
They may think this strange, scentless cat is an intruder in their home, causing them to fear for their safety.
Kittens and cats who have never seen a mirror may also launch into play mode thinking they have found a new friend.
This passes over time and you cat will adjust and begin to understand in some way that the cat in the mirror is no cause for alarm.