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Why Your Cat Likes to Knock Things Over – According to Science

June 28, 2024 | Jasmine Karichi

Being a cat owner means excitement is always around the corner. Now you might have noticed your cat has some quirks. Maybe they bring home dead animals or knock over things too often. This habit of cats can be humorous sometimes, but generally, they result in surprises hidden throughout your house and a cracked vase … Continued

Being a cat owner means excitement is always around the corner. Now you might have noticed your cat has some quirks. Maybe they bring home dead animals or knock over things too often. This habit of cats can be humorous sometimes, but generally, they result in surprises hidden throughout your house and a cracked vase or broken glass here and there.  

Though it sounds strange, cats like to knock things over. Below we will clarify why cats enjoy knocking things over, according to science, so please keep reading. 

So, why do cats like to knock things over?
Scientists have researched this observed behavior and conducted studies into cats to determine the cause. Here is the information that we got from the science records, numerous studies, and research articles. There are quite a few reasons as to why cats often knock things off of shelves and tables. 

Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant (CABC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants says that there are numerous explanations why your cat will knock things over. Amy Shojai has also written many books about cat antics. 

Adi Hovav, a senior cat behavior consultant at the ASPCA Adoption Center, explains that perhaps, the cat’s prey drive might be related to why your pet knocks things off the shelves. Cats have a natural instinct to search for food, so knocking over items could be an indication of this behavior. 

In another explanation, your cat tends to observe all the different items with its paws. Sometimes touching, patting, and knocking the objects enables your pet to inspect those items quickly. Another possible reason from a recent study indicates that when your cat is climbing up on a table, it may knock things over that come in its way. 

According to Cathy Bosley, a verified cat training and behavior expert at the Best Friends Animal Society, cats like to knock over things from the shelves because they want to receive attention. Sometimes, cats will push off objects to play with them. 

Below is another reason which is revealed in a study conducted by HowStuffWorks. In general, cats are hunting creatures, and they have a common habit of toying with prey. Plus, your cat’s instincts assume that the things on your table could turn into mice. After some time, your pet will know that these objects are not rats. But, due to its intense hunting impulses, your cat will continue to analyze items with its paws. 

Some studies say that when your cat is bored, it will tend to push the items which are present at a high place, for example, in the cupboard, shelves, and more. If there is a sudden modification in the cat’s habitat, your pet will likely want to analyze those changes. Have you noticed your cat has been destroying your new things more than the old things you care less about? Now you know why.  

Bottom Line 
According to science, there are several reasons why cats like to knock things over. Sometimes, your pet pushes off items to play with them or to catch your attention. Numerous studies say that this behavior is the result of their strong hunting instincts. 

Your cat will also kick things off if it is feeling bored or wants to have fun. Besides that, it is the typical behavior of cats to knock over things. Provide your cat with various climbing choices such as scratching posts and cat trees and place them near windows so they can observe the birds outside to avoid having to clean up messes from falling things.

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