Cats Knocking Stuff Over – YouTube. This is why cat owners can’t have nice things.

This is amusing but it doesn’t mean that cat owners can’t have nice things. We know that but just don’t put something nice on a mantelpiece! The video gives the impression that all cats are manically involved in knocking things over almost all of the time in a deliberately destructive way 😉 . They certainly aren’t.

In all the years I have lived with a cat, I can remember about half a dozen occasions when my cat has knocked something off a shelf. Cats often prod objects around the floor but that’s not the same. Have you lived with a cat obsessed with knocking things over? I’d bet she was a bit bored.

For a cat, it’s fun to prod stuff to see what happens! Cat owners encourage it by playing with their cat using small toys  – or is it the cat encouraging the human to play with them with toys? I am never quite sure.

Humans have equivalent entertaining pastimes. What about kids’ games such as Hide and Seek and Treasure Hunt. These are simple forms of entertainment with the unexpected at the end. Isn’t that similar?

It is all about play and entertainment for the domestic cat. It goes back to their wild cat roots. You’ll see wild cats prodding small prey items. The serval lives off relatively small prey for a large to medium sized wild cat. They play with rodents during a kill just like your domestic tabby.

The experts say the reason is what it seems: entertainment. There may be an overlap here with “playing safe” with prey to avoid being bitten. Knocking prey about with the paws is safer for the cat than biting it. A bit can become infected and for a wild cat becoming even slightly ill could jeopardize survival.

I have always felt that when cats knock objects off high places, for them to fall to the ground, it is a way of animating the inanimate – bringing it to life. They want to create prey and an environment where prey scuttles around. This would apply more often for indoor cats.

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10 thoughts on “Cats Knocking Stuff Over – YouTube. This is why cat owners can’t have nice things.”

  1. None of my cats have exhibited this behavior. It does get attention, if the guardian is nearby. If not, then it must be “self-entertainment” when bored.

    Notice that toddlers in high chairs make a game of this.
    They knock or throw objects to the floor, and the parent retrieves it. What a fun game for the little one, and how exasperating for the parent!

    Cats can be like children in many ways. I do notice that if I’m on the phone for too long, which is rare, Mitzy will look at me and “meow” to get my attention. She may have had all of her basic needs taken care of, but not the one for mom’s attention. Sometimes, she really does want to be cuddled, especially when she hasn’t gotten enough attention. And how knows how much that is? I’m with her most of the day and night.

    I try to get my important work done while she’s napping.
    This reminds me of when I had babies. And at this time in my life, she’s my only baby.

    My main aggravation is with the food issue. Sometimes she’ll eat a certain food, and other times she walks up to it, and shakes her paw (as if to get something off that’s stuck or the gesture meaning “get away”), and walks away. I’ve never seen that behavior in any other cat. I’d love to get that on video! It’s funny to see.

    • I agree with all you say. Cats do get our attention. They know how to push the button. As for the paw shake, I have seen that in my cats although not frequently. It looks like it means they either don’t like the food or don’t want it. It is like when we wave our hand and say enough! I am not sure where this comes from. I have a feeling that it is a developed behavior from domestication rather than inherited from their wild cat ancestor.

    • Well said! The mention of children is just what I was going to say. What is sad, though, is people think it is cute when toddlers toss things off of the high chair, but Heaven forbid a cat do the same things.

      I have found that teaching a cat/kitten works just as well as teaching a child. My cats have been taught to stay off counters and eating tables. They do love the window sills and visited the mantel when they were young. I try to keep breakables off places where I know they will visit. So far it is working, at least until they learn to read and surf the internet. 😀

      Cats, like children, don’t know they are doing wrong because the caretaker/guardian won’t spend the time to teach them any better. (Laughing at bad behavior is an acceptable reward to many cats.) This just reinforces the unwanted behavior and cats love to play.

      • Yes, and we know that having children means adjusting our lives in many ways. I see it the same way when we have cats or dogs.

        With children, we learn to keep breakables or dangerous objects out of reach. But many people forget that cats have a much greater reach, which could means danger for them and for our precious “things”.

        I moved in with a woman who had a small dog who liked to chase cats, so I kept Mitzy in my room, except for taking her out on a harness and leash.

        The woman said to me one day “Let’s just leave, and let them loose with each other”. She also said “Just put Mitzy on the mantle”. I thought it was a bit crazy, for several reasons. She had nice “things” that could easily get broken with a cat and dog running around chasing each other, and her thinking that we could just put Mitzy on a shelf, like a decorator item, and she would stay there. The other part was that these two could hurt each other. Mitzy could scratch his eye, or he could bite her. I refused to consent to that insane invitation to trouble.

        She thought it was cute that her dog chased cats, and said “it’s the only exercise he gets”. Many times she would come into my room with her dog, and Mitzy would have to run and jump up high to escape from him.

        Another rental situation I couldn’t wait to get out of! Even though I live in another weird situation, at least it’s better for Mitzy. Someday, maybe we’ll be in a place that’s better for both of us.

  2. Just a way of life here. Everything becomes a toy. I keep some fairly clean counters and tables, because they will be cleared for me if I don’t.
    I always warn visitors not to leave anything like a purse in sight and not pay attention, because they will lose many, many items to “god-knows-where”.

  3. Years ago while I was at work my girl Angel went into the kitchen and walked up and down the countertop knocking pots and pans off on the floor. My neighbor thought there was a break-in and called me at work. Angel was bored and lonely so I adopted Ruby as her companion.

  4. Furby here. I LUVS this game. It’s all about watching things fall and hearing them break. It’s also about seeing how fast mama can move and try to catch things before they hit the floor. Yea, she’s not so fast anymore. Anytime I’m around its a CAT-Tastrophe! Giggles…

  5. I remember going to visit my Mother and taking our 2 cats along, during the night there was a loud crash and I found a large and heavy Horse ornament broken under a window sill on the stairs. My cat couldn’t possibly have knocked it off by accident, it was too heavy. I am sure it was him as he was still on the window sill looking down at it when I got there, he was obviously exploring somewhere new and maybe gave it a strong head rub or two causing it to fall.
    Being a Birman he was a biggish and strong cat. Or maybe he just didn’t like Horses! 🙂

      • I was surprised because of the weight of it, it was solidly set onto a flat base making it very stable. ( Horse…stable…get it?)


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