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A Kitty's Point of View: Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

Oops! I was only investigating that vase as I haven’t seen it before!  Sorry, I didn't mean to knock it over! I always use this piece of furniture to help me get to my favorite shelf and… oops!

It can be quite confusing sometimes when my human moves things around;  she doesn’t always consider that it might just get in my way. She likes those style magazines so I think she’s just trying something new!

cat playing with toyWhy do cats knock things over?

It’s not always her fault, though; there are other reasons why we may knock things over!

We are curious!

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ - but in fact, it’s our curiosity that helps us survive! Being curious is a natural instinct for us and that’s why you will see us spying from up high in a tree, or sneaking behind a cupboard and peeking out to see what’s going on. We use all of our natural skills (like our super sensitive whiskers) to survey around us before we make our move. So if you see us ‘investigate’ something new in the house, it’s because we are checking it out! Unfortunately, we might just sometimes accidentally knock it over!

We like to explore!

Exploring is in our kitty genes. We use our paws to swat or pat, and our nose and whiskers, to work out if a new object is safe or not - or even if it’s alive! There was a nice ball of string on the top of the cupboard yesterday, but unfortunately, it was right above a cup of coffee, so when I patted the ball of string, it rolled into the cup and you can guess what happened next!  My human wasn’t best pleased, but by the time she cleaned up the mess I was outside and exploring under the bush.

It can be fun!

That ball of string was great fun though! My human realized it was an accident, so she left it on the floor so that we could play with it together; we had great fun as it rolled around and it had a tail just like a mouse which I could chase.

I’ve noticed that she has got some new toys for me to play with; I expect that was to stop me from investigating other new household items and to minimize the breakages! Very clever of her!

We want attention!

cat on top of desk looking out of the window feliway

Cats are very intelligent and - just maybe - we might knock something over (accidentally!) to get attention. But this can be a tactic that our kitty parents don’t like! So a tip from me - make sure you schedule regular playtimes with your feline friends and keep them mentally stimulated. Regular training sessions and playtimes work well to help build a bond between you. Then we won’t resort to pushing things over just for attention!

We are trying to escape

Sometimes we cats get anxious. There may have been changes in the home, there might be another cat on the block, or we could be spooked by loud noises and bangs. In these situations, we may try to escape to anywhere that we will feel safer, and in the process we may knock things over.

It’s important that our humans recognize signs of anxiety in their cats and take action to help them feel safe and secure. This could be making sure their resources are always accessible, or you may find they like calming music. Using FELIWAY CLASSIC in the home will help your cat feel serene and avoid common signs of stress.

cat sitting on desk feliwayHow to prevent breakages

Accidents do happen and I can’t guarantee that there will be no more breakages, but kitty parents can take steps to minimize them, by:

  • Making sure you keep us mentally stimulated:
    • Schedule regular playtimes with us,
    • Rotate our toys around so that we don’t get bored with them,
    • A cardboard box or toilet roll tube will keep us interested for hours,
    • Activity feeders are great fun as there’s always a treat at the end!
  • Placing your cherished items in areas we can’t reach, or in a room that we don’t go into.
  • Providing us with our own activity areas, like a cat tower;  these can have a combination of scratching posts, hiding spots, elevated shelves and even dangling toys!
  • If you see us trying to investigate something new in the home, redirect our attention to something else - we will always like to chase a fishing rod toy and soon forget where we were originally heading.
  • Don’t ever punish us if we accidentally knock something over. We rarely do it on purpose, and punishment could damage the bond we have together.

Purrr!... Now I feel like exploring… but this time I’ll be much more careful not to knock anything down!

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