Why Do Cats Knock Stuff Over?

Why Do Cats Knock Stuff Over?

Posted by Andrea on 2nd Oct 2021

As you probably know, cats are amongst the most graceful of all beings. They are able to delicately scale tall, yet narrow areas with the kind of balance that would make Simone Biles jealous! So, why do we often see our cats trying, and usually succeeding, at pushing stuff over the edge of whatever elevated surface is most convenient?

Obviously, cats are not clumsy. They are doing this to see what happens. It can be funny at first, but if they do it too often, they will eventually begin to break valuable stuff along with any insignificant trifles. It may be a good idea to nip this in the bud, so it doesn’t eventually wreak havoc on your belongings.

Why Do Cats Do This? Sometimes, the most obvious answer is best: They want to see what happens when they bat at things and knock stuff down from high places. You must understand they are not doing this purposely to annoy you! What’s more, any object in their territory is fair game. Your feline wants to know if the object is edible by first smelling its scent. Next, can they bat at it and chase it around like they would with their prey? As a matter of fact, most of the objects that tend to pique their interest are about the size of the typical prey of the feline; i.e. mice, birds, and other small creatures, even bugs. This is no coincidence.

First, know that batting stuff around is as natural to the feline as eating and drinking. They must do what is instinctive to them. It is up to us to accept that many of their behavior patterns are leftover from their ancient history in the wild. Let them play with mouse toys, or whatever they can chase or knock over without breakage. You might begin to cat proof your home so the opportunity to drop breakable or valuable objects does not present itself. Try to put away such objects far out of the reach of your furry friend. This way, there will be no temptation to see what happens when your valuables drop to the floor!

Cats Need to Play. Your fuzzy family member actually needs playtime to stay healthy. She needs the mental stimulation that toys provide while allowing them to concentrate on perfecting their hunting skills. All the batting and chasing permits them to run and jump to get the exercise that many indoor cats do not get enough of. Play keeps them vital, and not bored. While chasing things around the room, their senses are keen and sharp. You can do your part by providing them with various objects that are good candidates for hurtling across the floor.

Cats Need Your Attention to Thrive. Sometimes, you may think the cat is knocking things from on high onto the floor just to get your attention. And, in many cases, you might be right. Sometimes, Kitty will bat at something she knows is important to you--and send that cell phone crashing to the floor. If you acknowledge this behavior, you could be providing reinforcement to her game.

The best way to stop this behavior from becoming a habit is to first ignore the behavior so you are not participating in Kitty’s game. If this is her means of getting your attention, show her that this is not the way to go about it. Redirect her focus to toys and games you can play with alongside her. This is a win-win situation! She gets the attention she is longing for from her person, and you can relax knowing that she will not continue batting away your most treasured stuff.

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