Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?

Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?

Why are these fearful cats so afraid of cucumbers? Viral videos show cats scared to death at the sight of cucumbers, let's find out why.

- These cats are not so rude... when they see cucumbers.

Viral videos show cats running away in fear or jumping into the air at the sight of a cucumber.

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cat, cucumber pic.twitter.com/DhDn2sZgzr

— Diana Mazkalnin (@DianaMazkalnin) December 23, 2015

Why cats are afraid of cucumbers is a question that many can ask themselves without finding an answer, but for an expert it is no mystery.

"Cats are genetically programmed by instinct to avoid snakes," said Slobodchikoff, an animal behaviorist and author of "Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals." "Cucumbers resemble a snake enough to trigger a cat's instinctive fear of snakes."

This instinctive fear of snakes can cause cats to panic, he added.

"If a cat sees something crawling on the ground, it will often jump a foot into the air, a behavior that prevents a snake from biting it," Slobodchikoff said.

And it's not just cucumbers that can cause this type of hysteria in cats.

"Anything that looks like a snake could elicit an instinctive fear response," Slobodchikoff said. "Cucumbers are more snake-like, with their curved sides, than maybe corn on the cob or eggplant, so they produce a greater response."

But don't try to prank your cat with cucumber-shaped items just yet. Scaring cats can have long-term effects on their mental health.

"Any time an animal is frightened, there is a risk of inflicting psychological harm, and the animal will be afraid NOT ONLY of the cucumbers," Slobchikoff said, "but also of the environment in which the cucumber was presented to the animal."

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