Why Are Cats Afraid of Cucumbers?

Cats are the undeniable stars of online videos. Whether it’s a kitten flushing a toilet repeatedly, or a cat playing the piano, people seem to be glued to their computers watching feline antics on You Tube and other websites. Just googling “cat videos” comes up with over 100 million results. Cat videos are such a pop culture craze; they even got a plug in Judd Apatow’s movie “Funny People”.

Lisa Acho Remorenko

For any of you who have ever owned a cat, you know that cats are curious creatures. From dust bunnies under the couch, to paper bags left on the floor, cats are known to investigate. A new craze on the Internet shows these inquisitive felines jumping with fright over a common vegetable – the cucumber. In most of these cat-versus-cucumber videos, cat owners are seen sneaking up behind their pets and placing the cucumber down as their pets are facing the other way. When the cat turns around and sees the cucumber, it leaps into the air and tries to get away as fast as possible. This begs the question – why in the world are cats so terrified of these harmless vegetables?

In all fairness to these poor felines, the majority of the videos show cats unexpectedly seeing a cucumber behind them when just seconds before there was nothing. Animal specialists believe that the cat’s reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed while they weren’t looking. It’s reasonable to assume that placing a loaf of bread behind the cat would elicit the same response. Dr. Roger Mugford, an expert in animal behavior states: “Cats are shown to be suspicious of anything that moves rapidly, makes a lot of noise or lights up erratically: essentially, anything that they don’t fully understand, which isn’t really that different from most animals, including humans. It’s also worth noting that cats are mostly solitary animals, and humans are as sociable as animals can be – so they’re baffled enough by us as it is. Freaking them out with unexpected cucumbers probably isn’t helping.”

For those of you who haven’t seen one of these cat-versus-cucumber videos, this one is my son’s favorite: CUCUMBER

It’s hard to say what our obsession is with cat videos. In the case of the cat-versus-cucumber videos, I know even my non-cat loving husband was glued to the screen. Perhaps it’s because we see cats as superior beings – more so than dogs – so when they act childish, we are amused. Or maybe it’s because cats don’t show their emotions as visibly as other animals (such as a dog wagging his tail) so when we see them being expressive we are amused. Whatever the reason, with these tough economic times and all the atrocities we see going on around the world, it’s nice to know that we can all get a free laugh and forget our worries, if only for a moment, by watching cat videos.

If you have a favorite cat video, please post an on-line comment and include the link.

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