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Cruel for cats: cucumber craze is condemned

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Stop "despicable" online cats and cucumbers craze, say animal rights activists

An animal rights group has hit out at cat owners who deliberately scare their pets with cucumbers – and upload the results to the internet.

A recent craze has seen a spate of videos posted on YouTube featuring moggies being given a shock after suddenly being presented with the veg.

Why they have such a dramatic reaction is unknown but animal behaviour experts believe it may be triggering their natural response to threats such as snakes.

The cats often risk injury by jumping clean into the air when they see the cucumber.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) branded the practice as cruel. Elisa Allen, associate director of PETA UK, said: “Our animal companions are always there for us, and they depend on us to love them and care for them.

“Guardians should protect their cats from stress and trauma – not try to induce those things just for a cheap laugh.”

John Bradshaw, an animal behaviour expert at the University of Bristol, blasted the videos as “despicable”.

Many of the uploads feature cats being startled near their feeding stations – areas the animals should associate with security and safety.

Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of Think Like A Cat, said: "That's a cruel thing to do."