Crash! Ever wondered Why Cats Knock things off Tables or Ledges?

June 13, 2022

why do cats push things off tablesYou’re just falling into a deep sleep when …Crash! Kaboom!  Something just hit the living room floor.  It can’t be due to the wind because the doors and windows are closed. Maybe it’s the ghost of Aunt Tessie searching for that Lenox wedding vase she gave you?

No. ha! ha! You know the culprit only too well! Your cat darts away as soon as you go to investigate.  But, look! your favorite kitty got your attention, didn’t she?

Cat owners often wonder why cats accidentally (or on purpose!) knock knick-knacks or valuables off tables, mantles, nightstands, and curio cabinets. Are they just curious? Or is it an attention-getter or, mere accident? Actually, it’s all of these and more.  Let’s take a look at some reasons for this quirky behavior.

cat hunting

Natural Born Hunters

Cats possess an innate instinct to hunt for prey, instilled in them from their long-ago ancestor, the African wildcat. Their paws have many highly sensitive nerve receptors that they use to hunt and discover more about different objects. Your cat may wonder if that Lenox wedding vase is a mouse or another creature she may want to nibble on or proudly present to you later. Prodding and batting at objects helps her to figure out if something is invading her territory.

Perched on High

Cats instinctively seek higher ground for reasons that also go back to their wildcat roots. Wild cats climbed into trees and other elevated surfaces in the wild to get a broader view of their potential prey – or, to avoid becoming the hunted. As such, cats will climb high onto your bedroom wardrobe or mantle over your fireplace, knocking a few things off, giving plenty of room to pounce or escape!

Attention Seekers or Just Plain Bored

bored catOur pets love our attention. Like toddlers and children, they will repeat certain behaviors if they know it will rouse their pet parents. The sight and/or sound of that vase hitting the floor may intrigue your cat to do it repeatedly. She may just enjoy seeing her pet mom’s immediate reaction!

Sometimes, cats are suffering from boredom so swatting at books, dishes, cups, and vases are ways to find some entertainment during an otherwise ordinary blasé day.


Tips to Keep Your Kitty and Your Stuff Safe

While Tik Tok and YouTube are filled with amusing cat videos showing them knocking your treasures off shelves & tables, there could be potential for your cat to get hurt from that favorite crystal vase smashing to pieces. If your cat happens to get cut or injured, Banixx offers great first-aid solutions. Use Banixx Pet Care to treat cuts, tears, lacerations, or puncture wounds.  For more serious injuries, consult with your Veterinarian; if in doubt, head straight to your Vet’s office! We provide step-by-step application instructions on

cat toyHere are some practical and common-sense approaches to keep your kitty and your precious items safe:
  • Clear the clutter. Cats seek out flat or horizontal surfaces. If you have items displayed or lying on your tables, chances are your cat will knock them to the floor. Keep those surfaces clear.
  • Protect your valuables. That expensive collectible figurine or crystal has no value to your curious cat. Think ahead of your kitty! Put your valuables or sentimental family heirlooms in a safe display or put them away entirely if you don’t want them damaged.
  • Invest in a cat tree, tower, or cat condo. Give your kitty some elevated options to get a bird’s eye view of your home, with the added benefit of having another place to scratch! These are made with just your kitty in mind and even tho not cheap, they are sturdy and last a long time.
  • Schedule playtime. Your cat may be bored. Outside cats have endless stimuli but indoor cats need some entertainment too. Cat behavioral specialists suggest making time for daily play and having interesting cat toys that the two of you can enjoy together. Hint: this is an easy way to relieve your daily stressors too. Pet stores have a variety of cat toys. Cats and kittens particularly seem to enjoy any toy stuffed with Catnip.  They can chase and bat these around for hours.
  • Ignore her attention getters. If your cat seems to consistently knock things off surfaces to get your attention, train yourself NOT to react. Or, have some cat toys ready to get her attention before that cute paw raises to whack that antique clock or ornate picture frame.

Learn more about Cat Behaviors

We hope these practical suggestions give you some ideas on how to redirect this behavior that’s common in all cats or to, at least, keep your cat and your valuables safe.

We’d love to hear your ideas. Send us your tips on Facebook or Twitter or email Banixx at [email protected].

banixx for catsInterested in learning more about your feline companions? We offer many useful tips on our blog with topics ranging from bathing your cat to traveling on planes with your cat. To learn more on other topics,  read our cat blog.

Order Banixx online or at your favorite pet store or local retailer.


Share this Post