Some “funny cat” videos went viral on the internet, in which the owners of the felines stealthily place a cucumber behind the cat when it is eating. When the cat turns around and sees the cucumber, he freaks out and jumps in terror.
Why is a cat terrified of an object that doesn’t move as simply as a vegetable?
Experts in animal behavior have an explanation for this reaction of cats and when you meet it, you may think twice before doing the same with your cat.
The reaction is due to the novelty and unexpectedness of finding an unusual object secretly placed while they have their heads bowed on the plate of food. Cats are suspicious of the unknown: such a cucumber for them may represent the danger of a snake or other predator. The cat would have had the same reaction if another object (a spider or a plastic fish) had been placed.
It’s not really the cucumber they’re scared of. What frightens the cat is the unexpected placement of something long and cold where there was nothing before. So it is not an inherent characteristic of cucumbers, only that they were placed in an unusual context for the cat and that causes its reaction.
After watching the videos available on the Internet it is evident that the cats are scared when they look at the cucumber, it seems something that threatens their life, the cats seem very scared and frantically escape for their lives.
Placing cucumbers close to where cats eat can be confusing for cats, because they often associate those feeding areas with “safe zones.”
Introducing your cat to new objects can be a good form of mental stimulation for your cat, but it should not be done with the aim of scaring him. If you deliberately try to startle your cat, you could cause it to injure itself, break something, or even cause prolonged stress. It is best to introduce new items to him little by little.
When your cats turn their backs on them, that probably means they trust that you won’t do anything wrong to them. Humans who try to scare them by hiding objects behind them are taking advantage of that trust. We shouldn’t be surprised if the cat stops trusting us after that, refusing to eat or use the litter box.
I mean, it must be alive. You know what else is long, dark and alive? Snakes And although your cat has never seen a snake, his ancestors did, and they developed neural mechanisms to deal with an encounter with them. And that simple mechanism is to startle and have an adrenaline rush. Fight or fly.
We all have a rough idea of what surrounds us. Without looking, think about what is behind you – you have a mind map, furniture, clothes, ornaments, gadgets, toys, maybe a friend, partner or relative. But if you suddenly turn around and see something that vaguely resembles a large spider that you weren’t expecting, you’re sure to get a big scare.
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