Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Sophie. Sophie Wonders, “Why are cats scared of cucumbers?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Sophie!

Who doesn’t love a big, fresh, delicious salad? It’s both tasty and healthy! Do you have any favorite salad ingredients? Some people love to add bell peppers, olives, or dressing. Others go crazy over tomatoes and carrots. We don’t know about you, but we think our favorite salad topping is the best, hands down. There’s nothing better than crisp cucumbers!

And cucumbers aren’t just great on a salad. Some people turn them into our favorite hamburger topping—pickles! Others like to slice them up like chips and eat them with a dip. Lots of people even use cucumbers as part of their beauty routine. But somehow, with all these great uses, cucumbers aren’t for anyone. In fact, if you’ve been online lately, you may have heard that cats are even afraid of cucumbers. Why would that be?

We did some Internet research and watching a few viral videos. That’s how we finally got to the bottom of this business between cats and cucumbers. Have you seen any of these viral cat videos? If so, you know that it appears many cats are indeed terrified of cucumbers.

These videos show someone placing a cucumber on the floor behind a cat. Meanwhile, the cat is otherwise busy. They might be eating, drinking, or playing with a favorite toy. When the cat turns around and sees the cucumber, it usually has a strong reaction.

Some cats freak out, jump into the air, and run away. Others stare at the cucumber as if afraid it will attack them. Many cats appear very curious and wary. While some cats don’t show any type of fear, most of them do seem to be afraid of cucumbers.

What’s going on here? Is this a natural reaction that has been passed down? Have generations of cats feared cucumbers? Was an ancient cat attacked by a giant cucumber? Not likely!

Could cats hate the taste of cucumbers so much that they can’t stand the sight of them? How could they? Cucumbers are delicious!

Instead, scientists have a couple of theories about why many cats seem to fear cucumbers. Some think that cats may think cucumbers look like snakes. Mistaking a cucumber for a predator would certainly explain their strong reaction.

Others think that cats might simply be experiencing a fear of the unknown. They believe cats would have the same reactions to anything placed secretly behind them. It could be a pineapple, a plunger, a plastic spider, anything!

Animal experts warn that you shouldn’t go testing other items to see whether they’ll scare cats. Purposefully trying to scare cats — with cucumbers or any other items — isn’t nice. It can cause cats unnecessary stress that can be harmful to their health.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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