Why Do Cats Knock Things Over?

Epic purring, adorable antics, and cozy cuddles generally keep cat lovers content. But then there's the feline frenzy to knock things over. What gives?

Some cats are affectionate, others are aloof. Some love to pounce around and play, while others prefer to lurk mostly out of sight. Then there’s that thing where a cat zooms from one corner of a room to another in a blur, as if possessed. These are just a few of the many vagaries of living with felines.

But there are certain consistent questions that captivate owners across the board, no matter what kind of personality their cat has. For instance, why do cats sleep so much? Why do cats meow? Why do cats purr? And why do cats knead any available pillow or blanket?

Another question that often rears its head—pretty much every time a cat bats something off a table, desk, or counter—is why do cats knock things over? Is it a hardwired feline obsession with what we humans know to be simple gravity? Or is there something else at play?

In a household with cats, very little that rests on top of a table—or any flat surface, for that matter—is safe. Pens? Batted to the floor. That vase of flowers? Going overboard. Random coins? Down for the count. But why? Why do cats knock things over? There isn’t necessarily just one reason.

Why do cats knock things over?

It could be, because think about it: Chances are, when you see your cat heading for a table, the countertop, or your desk, you react quickly, points out Rita Branson Bowman, a cat behavior expert and executive director of Kitty Kat Haven & Rescue

Do cats knock things over just to get attention?

Another suggestion is to provide plenty of different toys to prevent boredom. Consider rotating toys in and out from time to time to keep them novel.