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Why Do Cats Knock Things Over All the Darn Time?

Anyone who has a cat knows how much kitties love knocking things over. From a potted plant to a priceless piece of china, pretty much no object is safe from your precious pet’s curious paws. It’s no wonder why many animal experts recommend keeping breakable items out of a cat’s reach, especially when you first bring your new fur baby home. But why do cats knock things over in the first place? And more importantly, is there any way to put a stop to this annoying habit?

Experts think that cats knock objects off the table (or the counter, the chair, etc.) for a couple of different reasons. According to Catster magazine, one reason may be that it has to do with a cat’s natural hunting tendencies. It’s possible that your kitty might approach certain objects — especially small objects — like he or she would pursue a mouse. Although it probably doesn’t take your feline too long to realize that your fragile teacup isn’t food, that doesn’t stop a cat’s instinct to explore the fascinating object with those little paws.

(Photo Credit: Giphy)

But even if it seems like your curious cat has explored every nook and cranny of your home, he or she may still knock the same object down over and over again — much to your dismay. If that’s the case, this might simply be yet another example of your kitty knowing what to do to push your buttons.

“A lot of cats knock things over because they have learned it is a quick and easy way to get their human’s attention,” said cat researcher Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, in an interview with Inverse. “This behavior typically stems from boredom and/or a failure of the owner to acknowledge cats for ‘good behavior.'”

It’s also possible that this might simply be an instance of your kitty wanting to play. Despite the fact that you may have already bought several different cat toys that are actually meant for playtime, you’ll learn pretty quickly that just about anything can be a toy in a cat’s eyes.

So, as you work on a solution to this issue, it’s probably a good idea to keep anything fragile, breakable, or irreplaceable stashed away where your kitty can’t find it. That said, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few possible ways that you can prevent or at least cut down on this type of catty behavior.

(Photo Credit: Giphy)

According to Vet Street, one option for deterring cats from getting on the table or counter in the first place is applying a bit of double-sided sticky tape to the surface. However, if your kitty has already made his or her way onto the table, you can try making a noise to get the cat’s attention and hopefully direct it toward better behavior. 

This might be as simple as instructing your cat to come to you or perhaps serving a fun distraction with a cat-friendly toy or a game. Chances are, your cat is feeling a little bored, so it’s helpful to think of this as an opportunity to get your pet excited — about something that’s fun for the cat and for you.

Remember: Practice makes perfect!

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