Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? Is There A Way To Stop This Behavior?

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Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? Is There A Way To Stop This Behavior? 1

Cats knocking things over on the floor may seem funny at first. But dealing with this silly habit of theirs can get tiring or even frustrating in the long run.

So, why do cats knock things over? Is it all fun and games for them? Are they doing it out of boredom, or is there more to it than meets the eye?

If you’re a cat owner with a feline friend who can’t keep their poking paw off your stuff, you’ve come to the right page.

Your go-to site for anything cat-related, Feline Living is here to tell you all the possible reasons behind your cat’s quirky behavior and more.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Knead Their Owners?

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

Cats have this amazing ability to move stealthily without breaking any stuff if they want to. So, what’s the real deal behind your pet cats’ object-pawing behavior. 

While more research is still needed to uncover ALL the whys behind your cat’s habit of knocking things off tables, countertops, shelves, and the like, several reasons could explain it. Here are a few:

A Way To Express Their Prey Drive

Yes, you read it right. Your seemingly harmless little kitty is hardwired to hunt and stalk even if they’ve lived all their lives indoors with food being provided 24/7. 

And just like any highly skilled predator with a natural hunting instinct, most cats can’t help but let out their prey drive whenever they get a chance. This makes objects placed in high places (like your table or desk) perfect targets.

According to Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley of HowStuffWorks, a cat’s instincts will tell her to jump and pounce towards the object on the table, thinking it might be a mouse that will scurry away once poked. This, in turn, will give your cat a good game (and possibly a good lunch).

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? Is There A Way To Stop This Behavior? 2

Out Of Curiosity 

Cats are curious and intelligent animals that love to test the waters and explore objects in their environment using their sensitive paws.

So poking, nudging, and knocking things around (or off the edge of your table) satisfies your cat’s curiosity and lets your cat test and explore its surroundings.

And since they’re innately smart, cats tend to notice the changes you make in your room, no matter how small it is.

So if you’ve added a few decors here and there, expect your cat to investigate and poke and bat their paws on those newfound things.

To Get Your Attention

Remember, your cats are smart. At first, your kitty might knock things off shelves or tables, thinking that it’s an actual mouse or that it’s alive or to explore. Time will come, though, when your cat will realize that the object is not a real prey.

This leads us to ask: why do cats still knock the stuff over?

Interestingly, your response or reaction might be the reason why your cat keeps on repeating the same behavior. 

Studies suggest that cats have the ability to manipulate humans into doing what they want. Since we tend to run or jump to their direction at the sight of something falling off the table, Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley adds that cats might knock things over on purpose the next time to get your attention. 

Besides pawing, other attention-seeking behavior your cats might exhibit include excessive vocalization, begging, and inappropriate scratching.

For Fun’s Sake

Yes, it’s true. Your cat might just be shoving stuff off the table and desk out of boredom and because they just want to have some fun. 

Besides taking naps, play is also important to cats. If they’re tired of playing with their usual toys, your cat might opt to toy around with other stuff like your pen or car keys. They often find the movement of the object and the noise that it makes when it drops amusing. 

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over

My House Is A Mess! How Can I Stop My Cat From Batting Objects?

Now that you know all the possible reasons behind your cat’s paw-poking behavior, you’re probably wondering if there are ways to stop or (at least) minimize this. The answer is Yes. Check out below.

Cat-Proof Your Home

If you don’t want your cat’s paws knocking over stuff, you might just want to get rid of all of those things altogether.

Cat proofing your home would entail you to keep all the stuff that your cat’s paws can reach (which is pretty high) out of the way. 

Keep Them Distracted (Think Toys)

Leaving a bored cat on its own with nothing to play with often means trouble. So give your cat lots of pet-friendly cat toys to play with.

Since cats can quickly get bored, don’t give the toys all at once. Instead, offer your cat one toy (something different) each time. 

Puzzle toys are an excellent way to keep them distracted. You can also hide some treats as a reward.

Make Time For Play

Your pet cat will not be seeking your attention if you’re able to spend some quality time with them. 

If you’re looking for a “not-so-tiring” game for you yet an enjoyable and exciting game for your cat, try using an energy-inducing toy like laser pointers. A game of laser tag with your cat will definitely leave your cat happy and satisfied. 

Use Deterrents Or Barriers

Use of cat-friendly deterrents like those that emit a sound or a gust of air might help keep your cat off places where you don’t want them to be.

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? Is There A Way To Stop This Behavior? 3

Keep Your Cool 

At times, it’s just impossible to keep your tables and countertops clean. Your pen, cups, and bottles will be there, and your cat will be there to knock them over. 

If this happens, keep your cool. Instead of rushing over, try to ignore your cat and simply put the stuff away. Since she’s no longer getting the same response from you, she’ll probably stop the behavior.

Also Read: 6 Best Cat Repellent Products

Food For Thought

Felines are curious animals with a strong prey drive. As such, you’ll find a lot of them knocking over stuff. Besides that, she’s probably doing this out of boredom and to get your attention.

Cats, after all, are like kids. As fur moms and dads, try to be more patient and give them the quality time they deserve. A few hours of play can go a long way.

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