Monday, April 15, 2024

Why Does My Cat Knock Things Over

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Is Your Cat Getting A Rise Out Of You

Perhaps youre well trained. Your cat shatters something precious on the tile floor and you come running, making a hullabaloo. Maybe next time theyre bored theyll remember how to stir things up. Ask yourself if your cat has trained you to come running and put on a show when they call. 


And how about if youre sleeping late on weekend and breakfast has not yet been served? Kitty knows how to get your attention: by knocking your books and glasses off the nightstand, perhaps? Be aware if youre being trained to respond to your cats demands. 


Preventing Cats From Knocking Things Over

Many steps can be taken to prevent your cat from knocking things over:

  • your home. Keep items you love in a safe place, away from the edges of shelves and tables where theyre more likely to be knocked off. And watch for things that can be to your cat, like sharp objects, glass that can break easily, and certain .
  • Daily play sessions. Have regular play sessions with your cat, choosing toys that offer the same paw feedback they get from batting your knickknacks around, like wand or wire-based toys and ball-and-track toys. This relieves boredom and strengthens your bond. 
  • Add more mental and physical enrichment. Provide a variety of cat toys, food puzzles, and interactive games that provide mental stimulation. And rotate them by putting some away for a while and replacing them with different ones. This way, your cat has new toys and puzzles regularly.
  • Provide cat-designated vertical spaces. This may be a cat tree or a vertical wall shelf that they can climb and call their own, which may help prevent them from scaling the bookcases and other places you keep your special items. A perch with a view of the bird feeder is another option.
  • Redirect behavior. If you catch your cat eyeing a knickknack or raising a paw toward the stack of papers on your desk, redirect them with interactive play or give them a food puzzle before they act.


Your Cat Wants To Climb And Objects Are In The Way

When your cat is feeling frisky and wants to explore, he may discover random objects in high places present an interesting opportunity . It’s in their kitty DNA to and hide in small places off the ground, so your unsuspecting shelf quickly becomes a favorite spot. If your home doesn’t offer things to climb, your shelves, desk, and countertops are the only options. And if those spots are full of “dust collectors” , your cat may see them as a roadblock.

To prevent having to clean up messes from fallen objects, provide your cat with climbing options like scratching posts and cat trees and put them near windows so they can watch the birds outside . Or get creative and build or purchase designed with your cat in mind.

RELATED: Why Cat Shelves Are Something Every Cat Owner Should Provide

We Can Accidentally Teach Our Cats To Knock Things Down

When your cat knocks over something breakable or valuable, it’s common for you to go running for the area, sometimes sputtering and shouting. Then you spend some time cleaning it up, perhaps muttering the whole time.

This is quite the spectacle for your cat, and that attention, even though you consider it negative, can be its own reward to your cat for knocking something down. Doing it again can be an enticing proposition for an indoor kitty that might be experiencing some boredom.

Why Do Cats Knock Everything Over

Why Cats Knock Things Over

Why do cats knock everything over or off onto the floor? If you are a cat owner, you probably know all about your feline companions love of knocking things over. Are your treasured knickknacks and breakables put away? Have you set down your glass of water just to watch your pal send it floorward? Whats with this destruction? Are they doing it from spite?

The reasons why cats knock everything over is the subject of many social media memes, but we at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services understand the frustration. We are here to explain this behavior and what you can do to curb it. 

Because They Want To Play

With cats being so independent, it can be easy to forget that just like dogs, they need lots of mental and physical stimulation. When left to their own devices, your kitty will often seek out that stimulation in the only way they know how – by batting things off shelves and pushing things across tables.

Cats are super inquisitive and watching things move captures their attention. To tap into their natural chasing and pouncing instincts, make sure you have plenty of the best cat toys lying around that your kitty can engage with. If you find that the usual mouse or feather toys dont excite your furkid, consider trying out an interactive cat toy as these provide a high degree of challenge and mental enrichment. Automated cat toys are also well worth the investment if youre looking for something to amuse your furkid when youre not around.

Providing your cat with alternative things to do will help divert their attention away from home destruction and it will also tire them out, which makes them less likely to be doing things they shouldnt. A tired cat is a well-behaved cat, so its a good idea to tire them out physically and mentally with games and toys, says Woodnutt, Food puzzles can also be used to give your cat something other to do than being destructive!

Why Does My Cat Knock Things Over At Night

Cat FAQ’sPam Turner

Picture this: Its 1 AM, the crickets are chirping just outside your bedroom window, and youre trying to catch up on some much-needed shut-eye. When suddenly, the sound of a cup crashing to the hardwood floor beside you jolts you awake and sends your heart rate through the roof. Your catagaindecided the middle of the night was the perfect time to knock something over, and you cant figure out why!

Cats knock things over at night to wake you up and get your attention. Your cat may be letting you know that shes hungry, wants to play, or is craving some quality time. Sometimes, cats knock objects over to fulfill their hunting instincts. A cat may paw at an item, just like shed bat at a rodent.

Many cat behaviors dont make much sense to us humans, with knocking things over at night being one of the most annoying and downright frightening. To learn about why cats enjoy knocking things over as you sleep, read on.

Table of Contents

  • How Can You Curb Feline Knocking Over Behavior

    Here are some ways to get your cat to stop knocking things over or keep the objects stable.

    • If your cat uses furniture to climb onto high spots where they can knock things down, try rearranging furniture until your kitty can’t get to those areas.
    • Museum wax is excellent for fastening things to their shelves. Make sure you test the surface in an inconspicuous area first to make sure the wax doesn’t discolor or mar the surface.
    • Use double-sided tape to make it unappealing for your cat to jump on the surfaces containing things you don’t want to be knocked over. Cats don’t like having sticky paws. Again, check in an inconspicuous spot first.
    • Don’t yell at or punish your cat for the behavior. This could make it worse because a reaction of any kind might be what the cat is after. It also could result in stress and a decreased bond between the two of you.
    • If you see your cat gearing up to knock something over, throw a toy the other direction and praise him when he chases it instead.
    • Increase the interactive playtime you have with your cat to make sure she’s getting plenty of opportunities to blow off steam and engage in hunting behavior.
    • Use puzzle toys when you aren’t home to keep your cat occupied. You can also try automatic toys that have settings allowing for the toy to come on periodically throughout the day when you’re gone, so your cat can “hunt” and be occupied.
    • As much as possible, keep counters and tables clear of breakable items.

    How Can You Deter This Behavior

    Since this behavior stems from a natural instinct, it’s not recommended to scold your cat for knocking things over. That being said, there are several things you can do to help minimize your cat’s destruction by knocking things off counters. Having scheduled play times, especially with toys that utilize their predatory instincts, like wand toys and kick sticks, can help stave off boredom. These toys offer an appropriate outlet for your cat’s instincts and provide mental and physical enrichment. Making sure you play with your cat on a regular basis can help break them of their fascination with knocking things off counters. It’s important that this playtime is more than just a few minutes, though. Most cats will benefit from 20 minutes of active play each day. In addition to scheduled playtime, redirection can also help. If you see your cat getting ready to jump onto a counter or table that has things on it they may want to knock over, you can distract them with an impromptu play session.

    Another way to keep your cat interested in their toys and not your stray pens is toy rotation. It’s important to provide your cat with a variety of toys to play with, but it’s equally important to rotate those toys so they don’t get bored with them. To rotate your cat’s toys, you simply need to keep half of them in a plastic storage tote with some dried catnip sprinkled on them. Each week, collect all the toys that are out and swap them for the toys in the storage tote.

    Why Do Cats Like To Knock Things Over

    A behaviorist explains this quirky tendency of batting objects off the table, counter, or shelves as a deep-seated needed to toy with their prey.

    have a reputation for knocking things off the table, the countertops, and even shelves. In fact, you can search the Internet and find countless videos of cats all doing the same thingusing their paws to bat everything from mugs to expensive off the edge to the floor. But why do they do it?

    The reason behind it is surprisingly simple: “Most cats knock items off the tables and counters to get attention or to simply play with the item,” explains Cathy Bosley, certified feline training and behavior specialist at the Best Friends Animal Society.

    Related: How to Exercise and Play with Your Cat

    Limit The Items On Your Homes Surfaces

    Sometimes, your cat will knock things off the shelf purely because its there and because she can! Its a great idea to remove as many items as possible from the surfaces in your home to give your cat far fewer objects to knock off out of boredom. The things that should go into cabinets or drawers include glass, pill bottles, and family heirlooms that you dont want to break.

    Make Sure Your Cat Isnt Bored

    To help with boredom, keep your cats toys in rotation so he regularly has new playthings. Have you tried puzzle feeders? You place treats inside the puzzle toy and the cat has to work to release the goody. Its also a good idea to schedule playtime with your kitty. What a great way to release some energy and have fun after a long day of work!

    They Want Your Attention

    Why does my cat knock things over?

    If your cat is knocking things over, it may be because they are craving for your attention. They know full well that you are bound to react when objects fall over. And when they want to be noticed, theyd be glad to receive any kind of attention, whether you react in a positive or negative manner.

    If you believe this might be the reason, its best if you ignore your cat when they try to get your attention this way and praise them when theyre not. Meanwhile, do remember to spend enough quality time with your cat for them to feel loved and cared for.

    Cats Are Always On The Hunt

    Even the laziest cats like to play every once in a while. Your four-legged friend may enjoy chasing a laser toy, swatting at a mouse hanging from a wand, or even wrestling with another cat in your household.

    Cats have the instinct to hunt at night-time, and sometimes your kitty will make do with whatever toys she has access to at the moment. Sometimes, that means stalking the cup on your nightstand and pawing at it as shed do to a rodent in the wild, sending your mug crashing down to the floor beside you and giving your cat the thrill of the chase.

    If your cat is knocking things off the table at night, her hunting instinct may have kicked in, albeit not at the best time in your schedule. Shes hoping that pawing at this mysterious object enough will get it to squirm and give chase as a mouse would in the wild with the mindset of you never know unless you try!

    Your Cat Wants To Play

    We recognize that our dogs love to play but sometimes forget that our cats do too. If your home doesn’t offer lots of chances for both mental and physical , cats are left to their own devices to find means of fun stimulationand that can include sliding your glass across the table until it just happens to fall. Your cat also wants to play with you, and pushing your “World’s Greatest Dad” mug to the floor may finally grab your attention. Play with your kitten! Buy interactive cat toys that engage their natural instincts to pounce, chase, catch, and . Leave open boxes around your home for your cat to jump and hide in. Providing your cat lots of opportunities to play will keep her and healthy and prevent a lot of broken pottery.

    Why Does My Cat Throw Everything On The Floor

    Have you noticed that your cat knocks over anything that falls under its paw ? But why do cats have this unfortunate tendency?

    Let’s face it that watching cat videos is pretty funny.

    But in this story, you are forced to systematically store all your fragile items to prevent him from breaking them.

    But have you ever wondered why all cats throw everything on the floor? Here are the top 3 reasons cats can tip things over.

    Curiosity And Fun: Fighting Boredom

    Any time there is a change in your cats environment, she will want to explore these new changes. Did you just get a new candleholder? Your cat wants to know what that new object is all about and will explore it with her paws. Did you recently tidy up and rearrange items in your office? She wants to check out these new changes to know whats going on. Cats are very smart and curious animals, and any changes to their environment, no matter how subtle, they will pick up on and investigate.

    Investigating various objects on your desk also becomes a game for her. What will happen to this pencil when I swat it? How about this business card? These objects become a form of mental stimulation for her.

    Both this curiosity and need for fun can be signs of boredom. There are steps you can take to help alleviate your cats boredom. Put some of her toys around the house to explore so she becomes interested in those instead of your pencils. Cycle these toys, putting some away for a while and replacing with different ones so the toys become new again to her. This creates new items for her to explore instead of the items on your desk.

    Give your cat lots of things to do, such as a perch with a view of the bird feeder. Again, treat or food puzzles are a great form of mental stimulation. Look into other toy options, and most importantly, try to schedule playtime with your cat.

    New Territory For A Cat

    Smells have crucial importance in cat life. That is why the pet is not always loved to move to a new place. There it behaves concerned and tries to spread its smell. The cat touches interesting things and objects rub on them with a barrel. It simultaneously solves two important tasks: gets tactile sensations, and puts out smelting tags, fixing the right of ownership. And if something falls during this process, then you will have to raise.

    How To Get Your Cat To Stop Knocking Things Over

    Give your cat daily play sessions with a wand toy to let them express their predatory instincts, and provide them with opportunities to do what cats do, Dr. Koski recommended.

    Fun and rewarding activities like food puzzles, cat grass, clicker-training, teaching your cat to use a harness, self play toys , cat perches and hiding spots are all ways to let cats explore, engage their brains for a mental workout and keep them from getting bored.

    Try giving your cat something new to discover every day even if it’s not a hit, at least it’s something new, Dr. Koski advised. And novel experiences are the best thing in the battle against boredom.

    We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

    The Solution To Boredom

    Boredom is also another reason that can encourage your cat to throw things up at home! If he is no longer satisfied with his toys, does not have a playmate and does not feel like resting at the moment, he will take advantage of all the opportunities available to him. to have fun.

    Hold a new trick, I’m going to throw it on the ground we’ll see what will happen

    Try These Techniques To Stop The Behavior

    Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

    Still, there are a few things that you can do to curb this attention-seeking behavior. “The first thing you want to do is to make the counter or table unappealing,” suggests Bosley. “Make sure there are no items on the table or counter that will attract his or her attention.” That translates to any number of things from dangling items in a centerpiece to napkins fluttering in the breeze to serving platters full of food.

    Then, if you’re trying to do something on the table and she still pushes it off the table, add a deterrent. “There are some deterrents that will emit either a sound or a puff of air when there is the motion of the cat jumping on the counter or table,” explains Bosley. “This will be unpleasant and automatic so that the cat will not associate that with you.” Another option is to use Sticky Paws on a Roll , which you can find in pet stores, to discourage her from being on the table.

    Deterrents aren’t the only way, though. You can redirect her attention when you see that she is about to jump onto the table or knock something off. “She is most likely doing this to get your attention and if you notice her getting ready to jump, distract her with a toy. Play with her for about five minutes or so to redirect her thoughts,” explains Bosley. “If she’s already on the counter, simply leave the room. Do not pick her up and put her on the floor, do not say anything to her; both of these will be giving her the desired reaction, even if it’s not a positive reaction.”

    Why Cats Dont Knock Stuff Over

    Ive always been impressed by cats ability to jump onto a shelf or counter covered in objects without knocking anything over. How can they be so graceful?

    Aside from their athleticism, cats walk with a precise gait, meaning that their hind paws step into the same tracks as their front paws. They also step lightly onto their tiptoes and paw pads to be undetectable to prey.

    My Cat Knocks Over Everything

    Did your cat just break another drinking glass? Have you switched to non-breakable decor? Do you wonder why they like to scoot things off of the table with their paw, just as soon as you sit an item down? You are not alone. We are all in agreement that cats knock things off tables, countertops and desks with abandon, but the question is why? Here are a few explanations.

    The Instinct Of The Predator

    Those of you who think that your house cat is different from the stray cat that is wandering in your neighborhood, are making a huge mistake! We are exactly the same, that is, an omnipotent predator who must attack and play until death with its possible prey. So, when we see a candle or keys or a pair of glasses or an ashtray or even a bottle cap next to us, when we are high, our instincts tell us that this may be a camouflaged mouse, or a cicada trying to fool us.


    But it wont fool us! We throw a kick in our characteristic manner , we throw it down, while at the same time we check the quality elements of the object with our feet, in order to understand if it is prey which we should chase and play with, as a self-respecting cat should do!

    Theyre Expressing Their Predatory Drive

    Just because your kitty might have a few extra pounds or likes to lounge on the couch all day, doesnt mean they dont retain some of their wild instincts. Cats are predatory, even domestic cats, and they have the drive to stalk and hunt prey. Your small hunter probably needs more things to chase, pounce on, and bat around. Without things to stalk, they may resort to pens, knick-knacks, and other things on tables. 

    Another way to help your cat express their predatory behavior is by giving them birds and other critters to look at . Just open up curtains or shades and give them a perch or cat tree. Place feeders and bird baths in the yard, so youll attract watchable birds and wildlife. You will know by your cats tail flicks and the verbal chirps and tongue clicks that theyre enjoying themselves.

    The Trick To Get Your Attention

    What happens if your cat has no more to eat or anything drink and hungry or thirsty? He tries to inform his master. And at these games they know exactly how to do it.

    Cats have a lot of ways to get your attention, but what could be better than knocking over an object that will make noise, and that you will need to pick up immediately? Your cat is smart and knows how to be heard!

    Do Cats Actually Understand Physics

    Now that weve mentioned some of the reasons why cats knock things off, it makes us wonder whether cats understand the law of gravitation. Being the smart creatures that they are, it could be possible. While there is no conclusive evidence yet as to prove that cats truly understand physics, a by Saho Kahagi and the team is a great indication of the possibility.

    In the study, 30 cats were observed and were chosen because they were generally friendly towards new people. The researchers used an opaque container that contained an electromagnet in the middle. 3 iron balls were placed inside the container.

    As the research team turned the electromagnet on or off, they controlled how the iron balls were held or released. 4 experiments were made in this setup where iron balls were either rattled or silent, and falling out of the container or not. The first two produced the desired effect, while the other two didnt .

    It was observed by their team that the cats paid much attention and stared longer in the experiments that were considered as anomalies. The researchers interpreted this as a sign that cats might have an understanding of gravitation.

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