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Two cats hiding in a wooden house.

Why Are Cats Scared Of Cucumbers, Tinfoil, And Other Objects?

Like humans, cats also get scared by things. It may be in slightly different ways, and for different types of things. We should try to understand our cat’s behavior to spot the signs a cat is scared. This way, we can look out for our furry friends and help them to feel less scared in the future.

Why Do Cats Get Scared & What It Looks Like

Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment. They are quite like us humans, really. We often need a moment to adjust to a change in our lives and cats are the same! The sudden appearance of items can make cats scared and stressed. We should remember that cats come from ancestors who lived by themselves, which meant they were always looking out for number one. Personal safety was incredibly important too, as they needed to feed for themselves.

For longer term situations, where the stressor isn’t going away, you may see signs that your cat is not comfortable, like:

If you are worried that your cat is more nervous than usual, we recommend contacting your vet. There may be an underlying medical condition which is leading to your cat acting differently. We also recommend trying to resolve any issues that are making your cat scared and helping them to feel safer and more secure. FELIWAY® Optimum can help your cat feel less stressed as it releases calming pheromones.

Bengal cat playing in the home.

Another reason your cat is scared could be negative previous experiences. For example, if your cat has previously been startled by a vacuum cleaner starting up next to them, they may continue to have a negative association with vacuum cleaners going forward. To help this, you could try positive reinforcement whilst using the item to help your cat understand they don’t have to be scared.

Scary Items (To Your Cat)

Cats have their quirks, and those who know them love them. One of those quirks, is that they are often afraid of quite interesting things!

  • Cucumbers
  • Why are cats scared of cucumbers? Well, there are a few arguments out there and it depends on who you ask. Some say a cat’s fear of cucumbers is explained by the similarity to snakes. However, others have argued that it is explained by the sudden appearance of an object!

  • Noisy Objects
  • Cats have sensitive hearing and noisy objects may also produce some vibrations which can seem unpredictable.

    Many common household items can also make loud noises which can scare cats. For example, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, hair dryers or washing machines. All these items are quite noisy and will interfere with their peace and quiet. As humans, we know that they aren’t going to harm us, but for our kitties they may seem a threat to their safety. Your cat may fear these noises if they’ve had a bad experience with the objects. To help them feel more at ease you could try using positive reinforcement through treats to take away the negative feelings from noises.

    We also recommend following our guide to keeping your cat safe during firework season as this is another loud noise that can cause your cat to feel nervous. 

    Cat watching floor being vacuumed by parent.
  • Tinfoil
  • If you have ever thought, why does my cat hate tinfoil? You are not the only one! There are many cats who hate tinfoil, and lots of ideas on why.

    It may be because of the shine tinfoil has, or the noise that it makes that can come as a surprise to your cat if they touch it or walk on it. Some cat parents may try using tinfoil to stop their cat from accessing certain areas, but often this is unsuccessful. 

    We recommend trying to understand why your feline friend is displaying the behavior and then finding a solution. For example, if they were using your kitchen counter for an elevated place to sit, think about buying a cat tree for them to rest on instead.

    Ways To Help Your Cat From Being Scared

    You can help your cat get adjusted gradually, by slowly introducing them to the new object or noise and giving them a reward when they participate. When they remain calm, this is another sign they are becoming less scared! With sounds, we recommend starting with the lowest volume and only increasing the volume when you are sure your cat is okay with the sound.

    Another way to help a scared cat would be to make sure they have access to places you know they feel safe. This way, they can move to those places when they start to feel unsure.

    You can also introduce household items to your kitten one by one. Doing this when they are young helps them to understand the normal noises of your household and exposes them early, in the hope that they will become used to the noises and objects as they grow older.

    Tabby cat lying on human's chest while they sleep.


    There are times that videos of nervous or scared cats will get a big reaction on social media, I’m sure you can think of one you’ve seen in the past! We urge you to please not repeat these at home. Not only is it creating an unpleasant experience for your cat, but it could seed some distrust in your cat’s relationship with you. You won’t be able to explain to your kitten that it was a joke, so they are likely to think it was intentional.

    If you are interested in learning more about the signs a cat is scared, get in touch! We love to help where we can. If you want to keep up to date with our guides and articles, sign up to our newsletter

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