Why Do Cats Push Things?

Why Do Cats Push Things

Cats may be pushing things to get your attention, to express her prey drive, or because she is hungry.  She may also be practicing paw maneuvers, she may be bored, or she may be just doing it for sheer fun. 

Why do cats push things?

Cats are sometimes queer and they tend to exhibit behavior that is hard to explain. For instance, they may suddenly jump and hide or do the sideways hop. They also tend to push things off from tables or shelves which may be startling for us and may of course cause unwanted damage. 

Here are the common reasons why your cat pushes things:

1. She wants your attention.

Your cat may be pushing things and knocking them off because she wants your attention. Cats are adept at finding ways to maneuver what they want. Cats tend to learn quickly that things that are knocked off especially if these result in loud, shattering noises, tend to draw reactions from humans.  Your cat may want your attention because she may want to play with you or she may be hungry and needs food.

2. As a way to express her prey drive. 

She may be pushing things as a way to practice and express her prey drive. Since it is part of a cat’s instinct to hunt for prey, pushing and knocking things off may be a manifestation of the said instinct, according to cat behaviorists.  Cats use paws to test and explore objects and the sound, touch, feel, and movement of a particular object may help them understand what is safe or not. 

A cat’s paw pads are sensitive and it helps them to explore objects through swatting, patting, or knocking objects and things off and as a way to test if it is a potential snack. 

3. She may be bored. 

Your cat may be extremely bored and has nothing else to do inside your home.  Bright-colored things on shelves and shiny glasses or knick-knacks may distract her attention and tend to swat and push them off because she has nothing else to do. 

4. Your cat may be practicing her paw maneuvers. 

It may be a way of practicing paw maneuvers as a way of keeping active or as a result of curiosity. Cats are playful pets and they may tend to explore and discover the uses of their physical attributes such as their paws by patting or pawing things. 

5. She may just be doing it out of sheer fun. 

Your kitty may be pushing things and knocking them off simply because she sees it as a fun thing to do. Cats can be goofy and they tend to do things on impulse. But then again, that could be one of the very reasons why pet owners find them charming and endearing. 

How to get your cat to stop pushing and knocking things off?

Seeing your cat pushing things may be amusing but it can also be destructive if these are breakable or valuable. Here are steps that you can do to discourage your cat from pushing and knocking things off:

Move breakable items to a safe place.

If you are an avid collector of valuable art pieces or antique vases then be sure to secure them in a safe place such as a cabinet or shelf with glass doors. This way,  your cat will not be able to reach and knock them off. 

Install barriers.

Install barriers like baby gates or doors on specific areas like the kitchen  where your cat likes to go and push things off.  If your cat tends to knock things off in your bedroom or bathroom then be sure to close the doors shut so she cannot access to these areas. 

Use a cat deterrent.  

Keep your cat away from breakable items, gadgets, or even your computer by using a cat deterrent. This may be a pet deterrent spray or a noise deterrent that has motion sensors. You may also place a double-sided tape to keep your cat away from certain areas like the kitchen counter where she tends to push kitchen utensils or glasses. 

Feed your cat on a regular schedule. 

Your cat may be pushing things because you forgot to give her meal on time and she is already hungry.  To avoid this, make sure to feed your cat on a regular schedule. You may schedule to feed her in the morning and evening at a specific time and make sure to stick to this schedule.

See to it that your feline is fed with fresh food and water and place a moderate amount of dry food anytime during the day so she may have something to snack on in-between meals.  

Scold your cat but do not resort to physical punishment.

Let your cat know that her behavior is inappropriate each time she pushes things off by scolding her verbally, saying a firm “no”, and giving her a disapproving look. However, do not punish her physically as it may lead to injury and your relationship with your cat may suffer. 

Redirect her energy by scheduling playtime and providing her with toys.

Distract your cat from pushing things by scheduling playtime with her regularly at spontaneous times. This will keep her occupied and busy. Cat experts recommend that playtime should be at least 15 minutes once or twice each day.  Provide your cats with various toys so she will spend her days playing with it instead of pushing things.

Some great cat toy options include plastic balls, catnip-filled toy mouse, squeaking or chirping plush toys, balled-up paper, or paper towel tubes. Rotate the toys for a couple of days so your cat won’t get bored with them. 

You should also be able to identify the reasons why your cat is constantly pushing or knocking things off.  A good understanding of the common reasons as mentioned above is beneficial so you can address the cat’s behavior appropriately. If your cat continues to push things and wreak havoc on fragile items then you should consult your vet at once as it may also mean that your cat is ill and may have physical or mental health issues. 

Final thoughts

Cats may tend to push things and knock them off to catch your attention or to express their prey drive. They may also be hungry, bored, or just doing it out of curiosity or sheer fun. Whatever the reasons may be, it is essential to keep  your cat mentally and physically stimulated and active to redirect any inappropriate behavior.  A consultation with your vet may also be necessary if your cat’s behavior takes on an uncontrollable frequency. 

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