Can this cat behavior be stopped?

by Margaret
(Brookline, MA, USA)

Is there anyway to train a 2 1/2 year old cat not to knock things off tables and counters? She's broken several objects this way. I can't display souvenirs from trips on a display table because she just knocks them off. It's not out of anger or distress. She just jumps up and knocks things off for attention, but doesn't want to play or be petted. I don't know what she wants or how to get her to stop!

Answer from Kate
it is very difficult to get a cat to stop doing something like this. It is in their nature to want to jump and climb.

there are two things you can do. You can provide her with those high cat trees to climb on, I have one for my two cats and they love to scratch it and sit on top of it etc.

You can also try to discipline her when she does jump up onto mantle pieces etc. As soon as she does it, make no sound, simply pick her up and place her on the floor and then walk away from her. Do this every single time and she should eventually get the message. Do the opposite when she climbs on her cat tree, pet her, make a fuss and lots of cooing noises etc. this will make this a positive experience for her and the other a negative one.

See this page for more on this method

best wishes kate

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by: Anonymous

i have a white male cat around 2 yrs old & is constantly doing the same things, he has broken so many picture frames & expensive electronics! he tortures the two other cats which makes them want nothing to do with him... i dont understand what he wants but he also constantly moves his water dish all around an always spills it everywhere!! ugh helpp!

by: Margaret

I do have a cat tree, which she loves to scratch and sleep on. Climbing isn't the issue. She only knocks things over when her constant meowing isn't getting her what she wants (which I can never figure out anyway). I ignore the meowing to show her it won't work, but then she starts knocking things over. Quite frustrating!

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