Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

Why do cats do this? Knocking things is a common cat behavior and is the subject of social media memes, but we understand that it can more than a mere nuisance, especially when your cat knocks over a family heirloom!
Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? - KittyNook Cat Company

Cats sometimes act strangely and do strange things, like sleeping on our heads and concealing themselves in boxes. They bring home dead animals they recently preyed on—some sprint on sofas and counters. And, of course, they knock everything over with their paws!

Why do cats do this? Knocking things is a common cat behavior and is the subject of social media memes, but we understand that it can more than a mere nuisance, especially when your cat knocks over a family heirloom!

In today's blog, we talk about this bad habit and give you ideas that might help you salvage your breakables. 

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

why do cats knock things over

At first, a young kitty cat who delights in batting things around is amusing. In time, though, this charming impulse can develop into trouble for a proprietor that intends to keep precious heirlooms, flower vases, and other breakables whole. Cats somehow find these products alluring, but why? Well, it depends. There can be several reasons why cats knock things over.

It can have something to do with a cat's victim drive.

Felines are hardwired to quest for their food, so knocking things over might be a manifestation of this impulse. Cats utilize their paws to test and out something, and the movement, noise, and tactile sense of the object help them to understand what might be safe or not. Your cat's paw pads are very delicate, so when they pat, whack, and knock something down, it helps them understand the items around them better.

How you react after something is knocked down can likewise influence whether or not the annoying behavior continues.

Human beings make great audiences. Who doesn't jump up when that glass begins to make its way off the edge of the table? When cats want our attention, they quickly discover and repeat what gets your eyes on them.

Cats are proficient at finding means to get us to do what they desire. This usually comes down to: feed me or play with me. Bad attention is far better than being ignored, so knocking over items becomes another way for cats to get the attention and reaction out of their owners.

As hard as it may be, if your feline is in the routine of knocking things over to get your attention, it may best to neglect the attention-seeking behavior (and put away any breakables).

Because it is fun.

A moving paw-patted item results in one of the most amusing facets of prey chase: the tactile feel and the movement of the patted things and the final thrill of the falling item. Your feline may knock things over simply because it's fun. To avoid mishaps from happening, make sure your cat has plenty of suitable toys around and in rotation to keep them fresh to your cat's eyes.

The combination of boredom as well as pent-up energy will always send cats searching for "challenge."

Without physical enrichment activities, most indoor cats catch boredom quickly.

That shiny piece of glass or the pad of paper on the edge of the desk can come to their attention when there is little else to play with.

Knocking objects over or off of shelves and tables may be a way for your feline to express its prey drive, explore its surroundings, and get your attention. Still, cat behavior specialist agree that other undiscovered reasons behind these everyday cat actions could be. The study just hasn't been done yet.

How To Redirect the Habits

How To Redirect the Habits

If you are annoyed by your cat's propensity to bat every little thing to the floor, we understand it. It's a common grievance and a problem among cat owners. Here are five ways you can reduce the cat batting drama:

  • Make sure your cat has several toys and engage in enrichment activities.
  • Move treasured breakables off of the desk, counters, and tables.
  • Create a cat-free area in the home where you can display those things that your curious whiskered child breaks.
  • Redirect your feline to better habits if they begin to batting and knocking things over.
  • Spend a minimum of 20 minutes daily just cuddling and playing with your cat to curb the attention-seeking destruction.

More Things To Try To Stop Your Cat From Knocking Things Over

More Things To Try To Stop Your Cat From Knocking Things Over

If there does not work, there are more things that you can try to curb out this bad behavior. The first thing that you need to do is to make the counter or table unattractive. Make sure there are no items on the table or counter that will attract their attention. This translates to several things, from hanging products in a focal point to paper napkins trembling in the wind to leaving platters full of food.

If you're trying to do something on the table and your cat bats it off the table, use a deterrent. Some deterrents will give off either a sound or a puff of air when the feline's motion gets on the counter or table. This will be unpleasant and automatic so that the cat will certainly not connect the deterrent with you.

Deterrents aren't the only way, though. You can reroute their interest when you see that she is about to leap onto the table or knock something off. Your cat is probably doing this to get your interest. If you notice your cat getting ready to jump, distract them with a toy. Play with your cat for about five minutes to reroute attention. If your cat is already on the counter, just leave the room. Do not hoist your cat up and put them on the floor; do not say anything to your cat; both of these actions will provide your cat with the warranted reaction, even if it's not a favorable reaction.

If your cat is playing with an item on your table that can cause injury, take it away from its paws and get your feline to safety.

Ask yourself, are you meeting your cat's needs?

If the behavior is often occurring, see to it that your cat's demands are being fulfilled. Maybe you overslept late one morning, and your cat wants to remind you that you must feed her.

We hope these tips help you curb out this bad habit. Tell us in the comments what you do to deter your cat from knocking things over!

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Janet Everitt @ Tue, Mar 15, 22

I used a little spray bottle of water to keep the cats from knocking over the Christmas tree. It worked pretty good but they still came back after a while.