Note: As I was researching the topic of cats and cucumbers, I found that most articles on this topic have a video compilation of cats and cucumbers embedded in them. They show cats being horribly alarmed by cucumbers. I am deliberately not embedding a video showing cats and cucumbers. This is because, as you will read in this article, scaring your cat with a cucumber is actually cruel and abusive. It is harmful to your cat’s longterm mental health and I do not want to encourage it by displaying a video of it.Do not scare your cat with a cucumber. To you, it is just a cucumber, but to a cat, it is highly traumatic. Click To Tweet
If you’ve already done it, please relax. Kitty will likely recover just fine, but, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, now that you know better, you can do better.
Cats and Cucumbers: What do the experts say?
I read a number of interesting theories about why cats and cucumbers are not friends. The one that seems to be most prevalent is that cats have an instinctive fear of snakes and respond to a cucumber as though it is a sudden snake in its environment. Another prevailing view in the cats and cucumbers question is that cats feel safe and secure near their feeding bowls and having any strange object suddenly appear is startling.
One theory I did not see, but that strikes me as a possibility is that the cat might view the cucumber as an eerie disembodied tail from an unknown cat.
Why is it bad to scare my cat even though it is hilarious?
All animals (including humans) are funny when they are startled. Is it funny to sneak up behind someone you love and yell “BOO!” or to honk your horn at your kids right after they get out of the car? You be the judge. However, we have all experienced being scared out of our wits at some point, so we can relate to how it would feel for our cats to be around cucumbers.
We may know that a cucumber is perfectly safe and harmless, but the cat does not know this. That is why combining cats and cucumbers is a very cruel prank. If you did not realize this and did it, just apologize to kitty (maybe with a treat) and move on with your life. However, if you keep doing it now that you know how mean it is, you need to ask yourself why harming a small animal’s mental health is fun or funny to you. Would you do it to your child?
Having fun with your cat
There are plenty of ways to have fun with your cat that are not cruel. Cats are very funny at times, but also very dignified. They hate to be laughed at, so try your best to hold it in. Cats love simple toys like string (do not let them swallow it), empty boxes, and any sort of dangling toy. Remember that cats are individuals, so what one cat loves, another may not.
Also, if you want some fun, many cats (not all of them) are very responsive to catnip. Yes, you are getting kitty high. However, there is no harm in it. Sure, kitty might end up being lethargic and living in his parents’ basement well past his prime. He might not get into the top choice colleges or get a big house or car. However, he will enjoy the experience of catnip (which he may like to sniff or eat). In turn you can have lots of fun watching (and videotaping) his crazy antics while he is high.
Those are some good, wholesome ways to play with your kitty that he (or she) will also enjoy that are not cruel or harmful. Remember: Cats and cucumbers do not mix.