Why Cats Knock Stuff Over
* By Lisa Velonovsky, KSC Super-Volunteer
I read a blurb in Parade magazine that promised the secret behind cats’ seemingly endless fascination with knocking over stuff. All would be revealed by Jackson Galaxy if I simply logged onto Parade’s web site. I could barely contain my excitement! What deep insight would he share? Before I could even speculate, my cat knocked over a cup of coffee, obliterating the magazine page. Clearly the cat did not want me in on her secret.
At my house, we’ve always assumed that all questionable cat behavior is, in fact, part of a carefully orchestrated feline campaign to demonstrate how much smarter they are. Fluffy takes out your entire knick-knack collection? She’s telling you it’s junk. Scratches the heck out of your couch while completely ignoring the expensive sisal scratching post? “Time to redecorate; that red damask is so yesterday.” Opens every single cabinet door in your entire house? ”Let’s make sure everyone knows that you stuff photos and old magazines in that hallway chest like a hoarder.” And don’t get her started on your wardrobe! “You’re not really thinking of wearing THAT top out of the house, are you? Here, let me throw up all over it. Much better.”
But, back to the behavior at hand -- knocking stuff over. I go to the directed page to find that my cat is bored or curious. Maybe bored and curious.
“Think about a toddler who has been given crayons, but no paper. Hello, bedroom wall mural!” trumpets Galaxy. “Ask yourself, ‘Do we have enough cat toys?’ If the answer is yes, would he still rather bat a cup off the table? If so, it’s time to get new toys!”
What?!? Any parent reading that advice would gag at the idea that a child who knocks stuff over and is bored with the toys he already has needs more. (As I’m reading this, one of my many bored and/or curious cats apparently is reading right along. She sticks her paw down my water glass, looks me in the eye and knocks it over.)
Every cat person I know already has a house littered with forgotten, forsaken or patently ignored cat toys, most of them brand new. I don’t think my cats are bored or curious. I think they are simply geniuses bending us to their will for their own amusement. To wit, each day my husband makes endless crumpled paper or wrapped newspaper bag balls for our newest kitty. Windsor sits patiently as my husband drops everything to complete the task. Then he happily fetches and bats the new ball around – for about three minutes – before abandoning it next to the one my husband made 15 minutes before. So he can go knock something over. Honestly, our house looks like we do all our recycling directly on the floor.
So what conclusions have I drawn from all this? 1. Jackson Galaxy is now on the cats’ payroll, and 2. Cats knock stuff over because they can.
So, does Kitty knock over stuff in your home? Is there anything that is NOT fair game for
Kitty to send-a-launching? Weigh in below in the comment section.
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