Have you seen the hilarious viral videos of cats getting scared and jumping like crazy because they see a cucumber sitting behind them? I have watched hours of these videos where a cat is eating or just sitting and then they turn to see a cucumber laying on the ground behind them and jump many feet in the air, sometimes they hiss and arch their backs, or run out of the room. They are really funny. I wasn’t sure it would work so I gave it a try with my cat and sure enough, he jumped about 2 feet in the air.

But what is it about a cucumber that makes a cat get so freaked out? According to animal behavioral scientists, a cucumber resembles a snake…to a cat. Cats are genetically programmed to avoid snakes and when they see one they go into full freak-out mode. They jump in the air to avoid being bitten.

The downside to this hilarity is that it triggers their flight or fight the nervous system and puts it on full alert. It can take hours for your cat’s body to calm back down after doing this. Because of this, and despite how funny it is, we do not recommend scaring your cat with a cucumber. Ultimately it is more mean than funny….to the cat.