We've all watched those adorable videos of kitties nudging things off an elevated surface. Or perhaps you've witnessed it firsthand, and your cat just demolished your breakable and expensive item.
After pushing the object off the counter, they will curiously watch it fall on the ground and strut away from the scene of the crime as if nothing happened. At the same time, you look back and forth at the fallen knick-knack and your cat with disbelieving eyes. Or with watery eyes, if the casualty is a fragile prized possession.
Yes, besides playing with your drapes, bouncing off the walls, sleeping on your laptop, and kneading your back, knocking things over is one of the weird yet funny quirks of cats. Your beloved feline companion can be your masseuse or big fluffy jerk; it depends on their mood..
So, why do cats deliberately knock things over? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this is normal behavior. "Cats have sensitive paws and like to swat things around to check them out," ASPCA explains. Yep, your pet cat won't just sniff or look at the thing they're investigating. They let their paws do the work. Here are the top 5 reasons behind your house cat's weird yet problematic behavior:
Your cat wants to explore
By nature, cats love to explore their surroundings, especially on top of elevated spaces. When your house doesn't offer things to climb, they will consider your countertops, cupboards, shelves, and desks as their personal exploration space. If any of your valuables are in their way, their paw will instinctively knock that item off to clear their path because they see it as a mere "roadblock."
Part of a cat's adventurous side is its boundless curiosity in its surroundings. For example, you've rearranged items in your living room. Their kitty DNA will urge them to survey the entire area to figure out what's going on.
Unfortunately for you, these "fact-finding" sessions are like a game to help stimulate their brains. Something like: What is this shiny colorful thingy, and what will happen if I swat it? This curiosity might lead you to hear a smashing sound out of nowhere.
Your cat's hunting instinct kicks in
We may have managed to domesticate cats, but their hunting instincts are hardwired in their brains. Besides investigating, toying on prey is also a part of their kitty DNA. Toying is when a cat nudges a stationary object with its paw. In HowStuffWorks, Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley explained this. "Your Cat's instincts tell her that a paperweight or knick-knack could turn out to be a mouse. Her poking it with her paw would send it scurrying, giving her a good game (and possibly a good lunch)."
As it turns out, your adorable hunter wants to find out if the object is dead or alive by batting it around. They will not mindlessly pounce on it. A cat will analyze first if the item is dangerous or not and how they will kill it. That's how intelligent cats are. We know you are thinking, yeah, they are so smart that they don't see the difference between a paperweight and a mouse. They do know the difference, but their hunting instincts are too strong that they can't help it.
Your cat wants attention
Whoever says cats can live without attention and affection is sorely mistaken. This is evident once you hear your potted greens hitting the floor in the other room. Dr. Whitely says, "...once a cat learns that knocking something to the floor will bring humans on the double-quick, she may do it on purpose to get your attention, particularly if she feels that a meal is long overdue."
In other words, your sneaky feline companion is training you to respond to their demands and be attentive to them. Oops! It is their way of stirring things up or intentionally pushing your buttons at the expense of your breakable belongings. Whether your response is a positive or a negative one, your clever kitty was successful in getting your undivided attention.
Your cat is bored
Don't be duped by the saying: cats are solitary creatures. Because the moment you leave them to their own devices, they will treat your entire house as their playground. This will happen if your house doesn't offer mental and physical enrichment like scratching posts or cat trees. According to cat is in the Box, kitties like movement, and one of the movements they loved to see is your phone gliding across your table. It is a fun and rewarding experience for them.
Your cat understands physics
A kitty can grasp Newton's third law of motion: there is always an equal and opposite reaction for every action. Simply put, for every breakable item they knocked over, there is always a reaction from you. Kidding aside, a group of researchers in Japan conducted a study to crack the code of our furry friends' mischievous behavior. What did they find out? "This study may be viewed as evidence for cats' having a rudimentary understanding of gravity," the Japanese researchers concluded.
However, Dr. John Bradshaw, a behavioral expert from the University of Bristol in the UK, claims the study is "seriously flawed" based on his email to The Washington Post. He went further to say that the experiment doesn't provide conclusive evidence one way or another. So don't sacrifice your antique picture frame, a family heirloom, in the name of science.
Perfect Petzzz: A Furry Feline Friend that Will Never Lay a Hand on Your Belongings
A behavior like knocking things over, while amusing at times, should never be encouraged. Sadly, no matter how you train them, some felines have this innate "cattitude." Fortunately for us who love kitties, an alternative pet is available called Perfect Petzzz.
Perfect Petzzz offers the same real pet ownership experience as living pets without the hassles and expenses like vet bills. They are life-like pets that almost feel and behave like real ones. Rest assured that your Perfect Petzzz will never knock breakable or expensive things off the ledge. They will only sleep on their soft bed all day while emitting soft and soothing snores. It is too good to be true. But it is not impossible with Perfect Petzzz.
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