While having pets in our homes is such a lovely thing, sometimes they do crazy things that can potentially ruin our peaceful days. For example, cats love to push things off tables, countertops, cabinets, and even shelves. More often than not this feline habit leaves us with a few shattered glasses, broken vases, and a lot of mess to clean up.
So, why do cats push things off tables? Is there an indistinct message they’re trying to convey or they’re just having fun? Are they toying around with the items just like they do with their prey? Below we highlight four reasons why cats love to push things off tables, countertops, shelves, and even cabinets.
Why do cats push things off tables?
Cats push things off tables for a few reasons, including getting your attention, playing with them, testing or exploring them, and putting their hunting instincts into good use. It’s best to keep tables clean to avoid the mess they can cause.
1. Getting your attention
One of the main reasons why cats push things off tables is to get your attention. Maybe you’ve been busy on your computer or watching TV for far too long and you haven’t given her the attention she desires. Maybe she’s hungry and she feels her mealtime is long overdue. If your cat pushes an item off a table and you jump up in response to their action, she will slowly learn that pushing things off tables will earn them your attention.
2. Testing or exploring objects
Another reason cats push things off tables or countertops is to test or explore objects around them. According to Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant, cats use their sensitive paws to test and explore objects. The touch, feel, sound, and movement of the objects helps them understand which items are safe and which aren’t.
3. Expressing her prey drive (play hunting)
According to Adi Hovav, a senior feline behavior counselor at the ASPCA Adoption Center, cats pushing things off tables, shelves, countertops, and cabinets has something to do with their prey drive. Cats are hardwired to hunt for their food, and the act of knocking things over is a manifestation of this instinct. The escape rush of falling objects correlates with their preys’ attempt to run for their dear lives – and cats love it.
4. Playing with them
Cats love to play and entertain themselves by pushing things off tables or knocking stuff over countertops, shelves, and cabinets. This often happens when they’re left alone and bored, or if you’re around but busy with other tasks. Cats pushing things off tables also correlates with their habit of toying with their prey. The sense that they’re in control and the “prey” cannot escape makes a cat toy around with items you leave on the table.
How to stop cats from pushing things off tables
A few things you can do to prevent your cat from pushing things off tables include:
- Make tables unappealing by making sure there’re no items cats could toy with.
- Add deterrents that will keep off cats from jumping on tables such as Sticky Paws on a Roll.
- Provide enough toys to distract them from having to play with items left on tables.
- Ignore her antics, especially if you think she pushes things off tables to get your attention.
Final thoughts on why cats push things off tables
You need to pay attention to your cat to understand why they love pushing things off tables. Are they bored, hungry, yearning for your attention, or simply expressing their prey drive? Whichever the cause, always get rid of items on tables such as glasses, vases, bowls, mugs, etc. Keep the tables as clean as possible and you will never have to worry about cats breaking your valuable utensils or items.