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Clumsy Cats - Why Cats Knock Stuff Over

You can't seem to surf the web these days without stumbling across pictures of cuddly kittens or videos of adorable cats. But if you've ever spent much time with our feline companions beyond the realm of YouTube, you'll know they're not all cute poses and lovable antics.

In fact, whether it's a gentle nudge or a hostile swipe there's nothing cats love more than sending your treasured possessions crashing to the floor. That antique vase? Smashed. Your shiny new phone? Dented. Last night's half-drunk bottle of red? Time to get a new carpet.

But now specialists think they know why clumsy cats act in such an infuriating manner - and it's not just to annoy the hell out of you. According to website HowStuffWorks, cats like to toy with their prey when hunting. So when kitty prods your favourite coffee mug off the edge of the kitchen table to its doom, he's simply practicing his instinctive predatory behaviour.

"Your cat's instincts tell her that paperweight or knickknack could turn out to be a mouse," the site explains. "Her poking paw would send it scurrying, giving her a good game (and possibly a good lunch)."

But feeding your feline's animal compulsions may not be the only reason your trinkets' days are numbered. Your cat's destructive streak may also be fuelled by some good old-fashioned attention seeking.

"Once a cat learns that knocking something to the floor will bring humans on the double-quick," HowStuffWorks continues, "she may actually do it on purpose to get your attention, particularly if she feels that a meal is long overdue."

Clumsy Cats say 'Feed Me'

Dr Eric Doughtery from New York's The Cat Practice is inclined to agree. He tells dailymail.com: "Cats use us and this is just a way of them getting what they want, which is probably to be fed or it could be their way of them telling us they're ill."

So while moggie's ruinous habits are still annoying, cat-owners can at least take comfort from the fact that they're borne much less from callous antagonism and more out of plain and simple hunger.

And, luckily, there is also plenty of advice out there for curbing your cat's calamitous urges. Providing suitable places for her to climb and hide away from your beloved ornaments is one such solution. Alternatively, distracting kitty with ample playthings such as fishing pole toys or - even better - another cat, may help tame his troublesome ways.

And, in extreme cases, a coating of double-sided tape on shelves and tables should make even the most mischievous of felines think twice about jumping up to their favourite perch and wreaking havoc on your precious belongings.

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