Felines have a knack for knocking things off their perches—even after you plead with them not to. There's something seemingly passive-aggressive about the way they slowly tip over your belongings, but are they intentionally being jerks? According to experts, this behavior has a few explanations, but being a bully probably isn't one of them.
One possible reason for your kitty acting up is boredom. Cats need stimulation just like you do, but they're probably not up for binge-watching HGTV with you. Knocking something over also earns them attention (a.k.a. you running into the room after hearing a crash).
“Your cat is curious, not purposefully aggravating," My Cat from Hell's Jackson Galaxy told Parade. "And, depending on how you look at it, bored! Think about a toddler who has been given crayons, but no paper. Hello, bedroom wall mural! 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!”
This destructive habit is likely derived from a more primitive behavior called "toying." When your pet starts pawing at items, it's similar to them batting around prey.
"Your cat's instincts tell her that paperweight or knickknack could turn out to be a mouse. Her poking paw would send it scurrying, giving her a good game (and possibly a good lunch)," Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley told How Stuff Works.
Your naturally curious cat doesn't mean your shelves any harm, so if you need to blame anything, blame feline boredom—or gravity.