You may have seen the phenomena sweeping YouTube: videos of cats scared by cucumbers. It may seem harmless and hilarious but animal experts share another story.
Experts warn that scaring your pets and causing them stress is probably not a good idea. Many are frustrated that the videos have become trendy and incite people to scare their pets for a laugh. Experts and pet-lovers alike call the cucumber trick, mean spirited, cruel, and lacking humanity.
The reason cats are scared is because they would not typically see the cucumber on a floor, and a surprise object triggers their natural startled response. Some experts suggest that cats may also associate green with snakes, which are threatening predators. In addition, the cucumbers are often placed near feeding areas, a space cats consider a safety zone. The cats jump in reaction, assuming cucumbers are threatening.
Bringing new objects into your cat’s environment can be good mental stimulation, but your objective shouldn’t be to scare them. Experts suggest introducing items slowly or gradually over time. This is, of course, dependent on your cat’s personality and nature. Each cat reacts differently and should be treated as such.
The moral of the day is to keep cucumbers, or any other surprise object, away from your cat. Surprising and scaring your cat is not ideal to their psyche, could cause them to injure themselves, or lead to stress.
You may be surprised to learn cats can suffer from anxiety. In fact, cats can suffer from phobias, violent outbursts, impulse control, and even compulsive disorders.
Signs Your Cat May Be Suffering From Anxiety
There are several behaviors cats may display if they are experiencing anxiety. Some of these include scratching, biting, and going to the bathroom outside of the litterbox.
How To Treat Cat Anxiety
Before turning to drugs like Prozac (which can be prescribed for mentally unstable cats) you should first try to treat with environmental changes. Cats are predators and enjoy outdoor elements. Think about getting a fish tank, hanging a bird feeder outside of a window, get an automatic or robotic toy that resembles prey, or make a lofted perch. Another remedy is an empty paper bag, which cats love. Since cats are predators, you could also consider purchasing a puzzle feeder where cats can bat things around in order to get their food or treats.
Keep In Mind The Differences
You should also keep in mind that cats are not like dogs. They do not like excessive petting and that may be a cause of aggression.
According to Dr. E’Lise Christensen, a veterinary behaviorist with practices in Manhattan and Denver, you should not ascribe human emotions to a cat. Their behavior, especially urinating or defecating on your belongings is not because they are vindictive.
Anxiety issues with cats can be frustrating, but with a bit of patience and examination, they can be resolved.