Skip to Content

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? What Can You Do About It?

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over? What Can You Do About It?

Cats have a reputation for knocking items off tables, countertops, and even shelves. You can find innumerable videos on Youtube of cats doing the same thing, using their paws to toss everything from mugs to pricey vases, off the edge and onto the floor.

Why do cats knock things over? Cats are very curious animals. They like to play and sometimes seek to get your attention. One thing you can do about it is to provide them with something else to do. In addition, spend more time with them, relocate valuable items, and put them out of their reach.

Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

funny ginger cat wearing sunglasses

Cats are attracted to knocking things over, and there are three very convincing theories: It’s for their hunter’s instinct, they feel like playing, or is an attention-grabbing behavior. To make them stop, you can ensure that your cat’s needs are satisfied. Check to see if your cat is getting bored. Take away the incentive to knock things over.

What Can You Do About It?

cat with santa hat ith funny knocked something over sign

Move Items To A Safer Location

Your cat may knock over important or emotional items. Moving the items is the most effective strategy to curtail this practice. You can also place the items in an area where your cat cannot reach them. Alternatively, you can place them where the risk of damage is minimal. This can protect your belongings and possibly stop your cat from knocking them over.

Items should be placed on lower shelves so that they do not break if pushed over. Similarly, items may be moved to higher shelves. Remember that cats enjoy climbing, so a curious or adventure-seeking cat may be tempted to play with your items.

Collectibles, jewelry, and other goods that will not survive a fall should be kept in a protected glass container. This may keep curious paws away from your belongings.

Put Up Some Obstacles In Your Home

Your cat may enjoy knocking things over in a particular area of your house. Consider erecting barriers in places so your cat can avoid certain products or rooms. You can use items like baby gates or doors.

Determine Where Your Cat Frequently Knocks Things Over

It could be items from your dresser or the bookshelves in your living room. Identifying potentially appealing areas for your cat might assist you in selecting the optimal barrier.

Purchase Or Repurpose Old Baby Gates To Keep Your Cat Out

Out of specified rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, and your living area. You should be aware that some cats can jump over baby gates, so choose higher solutions.

Close The Doors To Any Rooms In Your House Where Your Cat Enjoys Playing

For instance, if your cat enjoys knocking things over in the bathroom, close the door during the day or while you are not present.

Cat Repellents Can Be Used

If your cat is getting into places and knocking stuff over, you might want to think about this. You may buy a variety of cat deterrents to protect your cat from knocking over objects. The following are some examples of common barriers:

Double-sided Tape

Because cats dislike walking on sticky surfaces, you can wrap it around anything you don’t want your cat to knock over to prevent it from doing so.

Deterrents To Noise

When cats approach noise deterrents, motion sensors activate and create an unpleasant sound. You can also prepare a spray by combining one part lavender, peppermint, and three parts water. To keep your cat away, spray the aroma on attractive spots or place cotton balls soaked in it.

Feed Your Cat Regularly

When cats want or need anything, they know how to catch their human’s attention. Because they are hungry, many cats may knock objects over. Providing your cat with fresh food and water on a daily basis may prevent it from knocking over items in your household.

Feed Your Cat Regularly, Preferably Every Day

If your cat understands when it is time to eat, it may be less likely to knock over your belongings. Feed it, for example, at the same time every morning and evening.

Consider Putting A Tiny Amount Of Dry Cat Food In Your Cat’s Dish

This allows your cat to nibble throughout the day and may prevent it from knocking things over in trying to catch your attention.

Discipline Your Cat

If your cat continues to smash items or knock things over, you may wish to punish it. Some pet owners use physical punishment to deter bad behavior. Unfortunately, this has little effect on behavior most of the time. Punishment, on the other hand, can cause injury or make the cat fear you. Instead, firmly state, “No!” and give your cat a disapproving look.

Maintain Consistency In Your Punishment

Your cat will ultimately realize that “No!” signifies you don’t approve of her conduct. Consider using a splash of water from a spray bottle to reinforce a stern “No!” shortly after your cat knocks something over.

Recognize that a cat will persist in knocking things over when you are not around. You can set up “booby traps” for the cat to reinforce your scolding while you are not present. This can be used to minimize any punishment. You could, for example, place a loud beeper in a vase that makes a noise when shaken or dropped. This may frighten your cat and serve as a reminder not to knock over the vase.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Knocking Things Over?

Schedule Daily Playtime

Cartooncatpushinga flowerpotoffthewindowsill

Cats are naturally curious, especially when they are bored. Many cats will knock things over just because they are understimulated and bored. Ensure that you spend some quality time each day playing with your cat. This may reduce its impulse to knock over your belongings.

Play with your pet on a frequent and ad hoc basis throughout the day. As with meals, if your cat anticipates playtime, it may be less likely to exhibit poor behavior due to boredom.

Make sure your family and friends are also playing with your cat. This reduces the possibility that your cat will feel compelled to knock things over because it isn’t getting enough attention.

Stock Up On Toys

Cats like playing, especially with cat-friendly toys. Examine your cat’s toys if you find them constantly knocking things over. If your cat does not have a variety of toys with different types of features, buy some. Hide toys around your house to keep your cat entertained and happy. It may help discourage the cat from knocking over anything in your household. Here are some great toys for your cat:

  • Catnip or catnip-filled toys
  • Plush toys that squeak or chirp
  • Some of the plastic balls that have jingling bells on them
  • Wine corks that have been balled
  • Rope fragments
  • Shower cuffs
  • Toilet paper or paper towel tubes made of cardboard
  • Avoid harmful toys

Toys are a terrific way to keep your cat entertained, but make sure you choose ones that will not damage your cat. Many cat toys have little parts that your kitten could ingest. This can wreak havoc on their intestines and potentially result in death. To limit the danger of damage, remove or store the following elements from toys:

  • Feathers
  • Sequins made of tinsel or other little decorations
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Needles and pins
  • Rotate toy options

Cats, like people, can become bored with specific toys. To keep your cat stimulated, rotate his or her toys every couple of days or once a week. It may help discourage your cat from knocking over items around the house.

Toys should be kept in a place where your cat cannot reach them, such as a cabinet or closet. When you give your cat a toy or hide it, this helps retain the element of surprise.

Make a habit of rotating any toys you hide throughout the house for your cat.

Why Does My Cat Knock Things Over At Night?

There is no specific explanation why cats like to knock things over, but if we take into consideration that cats are born hunters, then perhaps we can understand why they do this even at night. Even indoor cats that have never seen a live mouse have the impulse to pursue prey. When a cat captures anything, he uses his paw to check for movement and ensures it’s dead.

Does My Cat Knocking Things Over Mean They Are Bored?

If the reason is boredom, you will need to play with it. For additional entertainment, you can leave more toys and even set up a play area for their games. By collecting items, you can hold their attention for even longer. With the right items, you can keep them occupied for hours.


If you notice your cat pushing things to get your attention, let her know it is not necessary. Cats are fascinated by routines. Set aside some time each day to play with them, and they will accept it.

You will have to be patient while teaching your cat not to steal things. It is possible that the behavior will never be completely controlled. However, if you follow this advice, you will be able to reduce it significantly.