, April 22, 2024

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Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?


  •   3 min reads
Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?
By Niko Gabriel Salgado

Cat owners are familiar with this routine:

Their beloved feline becomes fixated on an object sitting on a table, or desk. After a brief pause, a paw reaches out… and the object tumbles to the ground, all while the cat watches with close attention.

“Cats are agile, acrobatic, and so incredibly aware of their surroundings; yet chances are you’ve also watched your destructive cat knock numerous items all over the floor,” said Paige Cerulli in “Why Cats Can’t Resist Knocking Things Over” in the Paw Tracks website.

While it may appear to be just another charming quirk of our cat companions, there are rational reasons behind this behavior.

Stimulate the minds of cats by giving them toys. In the photo is Borhap who loves to play with different toys. He was days old when abandoned with his four siblings at the public market. They were rescued by Save Animals of Love and Light-Save ALL. (Save ALL file photo)
  1. Instinct

Cats, being natural predators, are attracted to objects that are within their field of vision. Their hunting instinct urges them to investigate things with their paws.

“Your cat’s hunting instincts carry over to the objects he finds around your home. This instinct is strong, and when your kitty bats at and touches objects, he may be exploring them and learning about them.” Cerulli explained.

The basic behavior of nudging or swatting objects off countertops and desks caters to this inherent instinct.

  1. Your Cat is Bored

Felines experiencing a lack of mental and physical engagement in their surroundings often resort to self-entertainment.

“Our observant feline will probably be eager to explore, which could be a hands-on
experience.” Cerulli said.

When cats are left unattended for extended periods without any stimulation or social interaction, objects are likely to wind up scattered on the ground.

  1. Attention

Cats that interact well with their owners find any form of human interaction enjoyable, be it laughter, observing, or even reprimanding. From the cat’s point of view, looking like they are about to strike gets an immediate response from you.

“You might not be giving your cat positive attention, but he probably doesn’t care. Try to watch your cat quietly the next time that he knocks things over. See if he’s looking over at you for attention,” Cerulli suggested.

Always try to provide engaging activities for cats. Victory, a rescue of Save ALL, loves the scratching pad like all cats, specially if the pad has catnip powder in it. (Save ALL file photo)

How to stop your cats

Be mindful of where you place your valuables. Instead of situating breakable items in locations that are tempting for your cats, store them securely in cabinets, and out-of-reach areas.

Provide your cat with engaging activities. Cats benefit from having horizontal scratchers, scratching posts, and a variety of toys that are more enticing for play and exploration than the items on your desk.

Avoid unintentionally encouraging her actions by giving her attention when she knocks your valuables off the table. Instead, redirect her focus before she even gets on the desk or counter. Engage her with interactive toys and treats to chase after. Keep her occupied to prevent her from exhibiting such behavior.

About the Author: Niko Gabriel Salgado is a graduate of consular and diplomatic affairs from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and worked at the House of Representatives. He is now an entrepreneur and a volunteer of the animal welfare group Save Animals of Love and Light- Save ALL.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard



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