People have been sharing videos of their cats’ extreme reactions to cucumbers.
Placing a cucumber behind a cat when it’s eating appears to startle them, causing some cats to leap into the air in fright.
The trend has spawned a dedicated subReddit called ‘CucumbersScaringCats‘, where users have posted videos of them testing the trick on their own cats.
Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviourist, told National Geographic the cucumbers were triggering the cats’ natural startle reflexes.
“With a startle response, a cat will often try to get out of there as quickly as possible and then reassess from a distance,” she said, explaining their terrified reaction.
Placing cucumbers near where cats eat may confuse the cats further, because they often associate those areas with safety and security, Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like a Cat, also said.
Ms Goldman said it was also possible cats may associate the cucumber with snakes, which can be deadly predators.
Cats are better than dogs
She added: “If you cause stress to an animal that’s probably not a good thing.”
[This article was originally published in November 2015]