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Why Do Cats Push Things Off Tables? Should You Be Worried?

Why Do Cats Push Things Off Tables? Should You Be Worried?

It is not uncommon to have seen videos on TV or the Internet of cats knocking down things in a pretty hilarious way. But why do they love engaging in this behavior? Can this be a matter of concern?

Cats’ play-related exploring nature linked to their high level of curiosity may be reasons for this behavior. They paw at an object until it falls. The speed of the falling object and the sound when it hits can be attractive to them. You should be worried if, e.g., your cat knocks a glass object.

If you are a cat owner, you know how agile cats can be using their paws. Whether it’s playing, batting at objects, pawing at others, hooking items to their paws and tossing them, and oh, let’s not forget the scratches, cats sure know how to swing. A couple of factors should be considered as to why cats like to push things off tables. We will find out more.

Why Do Cats Knock Things Off?

My best friend’s cat is an expert in holding toys with her paws and tossing them in the air. A cat that used to enter our house at random times would jump on the stove and knock over leftover food on the kitchen floor. Cats are curious and novelty-enticed animals; they love rapid movements and sensations.

Due to their nature, it is not surprising that they can enjoy knocking objects off mantles, desks, tables, bookshelves, etc. Animal experts believe that a couple of factors can be responsible for cats engaging in this activity.

Cats knocking down things can be related to their playful habits and attraction for novelty or discovery. The simple curiosity regarding an object leads them to paw at an object and see whether the object moves or eventually falls to the ground.

The falling objects’ speed and the sound it makes when it hits the floor may all be an enticing experience for your cat. Maybe even the attention of its owner can be appealing.

Once we hear a noise, we immediately come to see if something has fallen. Some cats understand that they can catch their owner’s attention by pursuing this behavior. The owner’s response will sometimes depend on the loudness of the thump.


Should You Be Worried?

Your cat may seek the thrill of watching the falling object and chasing it once it hits the ground. Even though this may be rewarding for your cat, it can be bothersome and worrying for you.

If your cat knocks down a glass object, it can harm itself with the broken shards by jumping or walking over them. Likewise, being involved with sharp objects can be dangerous for your cat.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Pushing Things Off The Table?

Is your cat taking too seriously the act of pushing things off tables? If this is becoming an issue, the simplest way to stop it is not to leave any objects that can easily fall off your desk, shelf, table, etc.

The fewer random objects you leave around your feline friend, the better for you both! I know this is not very easy to accomplish, but it can be the first step while looking for a more feasible solution.

At least make sure not to leave anything breakable within your cat’s reach. If these items are in a specific room in your household, you can opt to not let your cat enter that space.

If keeping your cat away is just not possible, you can try to protect the objects with double-sided tape to their surface. Since cats don’t like sticky sensations, if your cat’s paws get into contact with the tape, it will most likely not jump back on the table.

Restraining your cat from jumping on tables and knocking things down is the most effective way of solving the problem.

But let’s assume your cat is already on the table. Making a noise to get its attention and deflect it to more cooperative behavior may result in a better reaction than screaming or scaring it away.

Applying more productive techniques can offer proper channels for your cat to aid its mental and physical stimulation. Once you see your cat engaging in this sometimes irritating behavior, the best thing to do is to get its attention and offer them something else to do. For example, you can give your cat a sitting command or have them chase after a toy they like.

Clicker training is a fun activity that shapes your cat’s behavior while giving them a sense of reward they will enjoy. In addition, these challenging activities assist in keeping it mentally busy and out of trouble.

More than liberal playing activities, you can also give your cat a job like solving puzzle toys and treat him after completing his work.


Is Pushing Stuff Down A Way Of My Cat Showing They Are Bored?

It is no surprise that many cats will enjoy pushing things off tables since they spend 40 to 60 percent of their time in the wild hunting for food. They love a good challenge, especially when they know they are receiving a tasty reward for it.

Some home cats lack enough activity to keep them occupied; thus, they look for ways to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, these behaviors may not be the most appropriate and can be inconvenient for pet owners.

Do they purposely WANT to try and break their owner’s things, though? The answer is no. Other triggers may cause your cat to go around knocking objects off high spots.

Notice your reaction the first time it happened. You most likely showed how upset you were. Cats are bright, and this is when they first learned that you detected their behavior. Whether you chased after your cat, yelled at it, recorded the act, or even laughed, it surely understood that it got your attention.

Indoor cats are known to be attention seekers. Ironically, a cat would rather have negative attention in substitution for no attention at all.

Bored cats may be prone to seek negative attention from their owners. They look for the entertainment it brings them once you notice their dismissive behavior of pushing things off surfaces.

The link between knocking things down and getting your attention may have your cat enter a playful state. As every cat is unique, some, however, may find other ways to draw attention.



So, the story goes like this:

  1. Cats love batting objects.
  2. Sometimes those objects fall off if located in high places.
  3. It might be fun for the cat to watch the object falling.
  4. Owner notices and becomes upset.
  5. Cats recognize pushing things off tables is a good attention grabber.
  6. Cat continues knocking objects off tables.
  7. The owner keeps getting more and more upset.
  8. Cat keeps engaging in the behavior and enjoying it.

These are the basics of the cycle we have discussed in this article. It can have happened as an accident the first time, eventually becoming a habit in the future.

Keep in mind that even though cats may knock things over consciously, they are not doing it deliberately to bother you but rather to capture your attention.

Understanding the pattern and observing your cat’s actions is crucial to developing a strategy to stop it. You can play the wiser one and find ways to ease the problem until it is completely eradicated.

In essence, your cat finds that playing with your stuff is fun. It can be dangerous at times, but you can try to switch its attention-seeking habits with a bit of patience.

You can always consult with your veterinarian for additional suggestions if you would like to contact an animal behavior specialist. Good luck!