Cat Swiping Behavior: What Will Your Cat Do and Why?

Have you ever been working on your computer or doing something in the kitchen when your cat comes up and suddenly just swipes something off your desk or off the counter? Oh, who am I kidding? If you have a cat, you know exactly what I mean. Swipe right and swipe left have entirely different meanings for cats than they do for people! If it needs to be swiped off a surface, a cat will  most likely at some point swipe it off that surface!

cat swiping behavior

Cats do a lot of odd things, however: play in boxes, bring home dead mice for you, sleep on your head, or jump from the couch to the counter in a flash. And while the tendency to act silly may be funny at times, it’s not funny when the thing your cat swiped off the counter was an expensive vase. Plus, you then have to deal with the subsequent clean up. Who’s laughing now? Not you!

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So, the obvious question is:  Why do cats knock things over?

According to  cat swiping behavior may be related to their innate predatory instincts. Cats also rely on their paws to explore and test objects, taking in the sound, feel, and movement of those particular objects. It is a way of learning and understanding the environment around them.

Getting the Cat Swiping Behavior to Stop

Your reaction when your cat swipes things off countertops and more can determine if he continues to engage in this behavior. Think about it: if you respond by jumping quickly to save that vase from dropping to the ground, your cat may interpret that behavior as an interest in joining in the fun. He has your attention now, see?

In other words, it is best to just ignore your cat when he is swiping his paws all over the place. And while you are at it, put away any valuable/brakable items you don’t want at the mercy of your cat’s active paws.

Find an Alternative

Is your cat bored?  Is he looking for fun? He may just find his fix in swiping things off tables and countertops.  Therefore, give him some options.  Be sure your cat has plenty of toys with which to play and rotate them to keep them fresh and new.

Cats can get bored easily, so have a variety of small toys of different shapes, sizes and texture for your cat’s play time. Rotate them frequently to reduce wear and tear, and boredom.

Earthtone Solutions cat toys are a good choice. They’re eco-friendly, handmade in Nepal from safe, natural fibers, with the added benefit of helping women in Nepal. Some cats like to keep it simple and will play with items around the house like small paper wads or milk bottle rings.

In addition, schedule some interactive play time with your cat on a daily basis, even if just for a few minutes.





Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.