Maybe you’ve spotted the latest cat video trend?
It’s scaring the living bejaysus out of them by placing a courgette behind them while they’re eating. When they turn around and see the unexpected veggie (but, maybe a snake in their eyes), they tend to jump sky-high in fright.
It’s funny, for sure, to watch cats almost jump out of their skin.
And, as it happens, watching cat videos—both funny and sweet—have been endorsed by science as being good for our health. Yep, they reduce feelings of sadness and anxiety and boost positive emotions.
However, that doesn’t mean we have free rein to deliberately upset our animals in order to create amusing videos in our own interests. Animal psychologists are tut-tutting over this latest trend. And, as an animal lover and cat servant, I’m inclined to agree.
Please don’t jump on the videoing-your-scaredy-cat-for-the-laugh bandwagon.
It may be amusing to watch, but cats can be anxious creatures and they already provide us with enough spontaneous laughter to earn their keep. It’s not fair to deliberately add to their woes.
In fact, according to animal psychologists, it’s detrimental to their well-being. Animal behaviorist Jill Goldman says, “If you cause stress to an animal that’s probably not a good thing. If you do it for laughs it makes me question your humanity.”
The cats react so bizarrely because the cucumber appears from behind them so unexpectedly. They go to eat and when they’re done and turn around, there’s this unfamiliar creature lying in wait behind them. (At least, from their perspective.) They jump high to escape the potential predator and escape to a safe distance to observe whether there’s a real threat.
And if repeated several times, for the amusement of humans, it can have the effect of undermining the cat’s sense of safety in their own home. Is that fun?
And, if nothing else will convince you, consider that whatever upsets your cat’s peace of mind can wind up costing you money in vet and cleaning bills. I know that when my cat is upset, I have a lot of extra washing and cleaning to do as she piddles anywhere and everywhere but the litter tray. And duvets are expensive to have laundered.
So, I definitely won’t be scaring Riley with a cucumber or any other veggies surreptitiously placed in her eating area.
But I do enjoy watching the odd cat video. And to thank you for taking the time to read my rant, here are some cat videos for your own amusement and pleasure.
Biggest cat fails:
Other funny cat moments:
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Bill Heng/Flickr