If I built a Giant Table, would a Tiger push things off it?

I’ve seen pictures and videos of Big Cats like Lions and Tigers duplicating the same weird actions that housecats do. They like to sit in huge cardboard boxes (even if they don’t fit), the same way our cats shove themselves into shoeboxes. They play with large plastic balls the way our cats bat ping pong balls around and chase them. I don’t understand things like the sitting-in-boxes (it can’t all be looking for a secure space), but it’s apparently hard-wired into the feline brain.

So another housecat activity id Knocking Things off Tables. Cats love knocking things off tables, especially if they’re close to the edge. I’ve seen it plenty of times with our cats, and on cat videos online. There’s even a meme – “If the World were Flat, cats would have pushed everything off the edge already”. Again, I don’t know why they do it. It’s not to create space to lie down in or anything. My suspicion is that they’ve learned that interesting things happen when you do this – it gets the hoomans excited. Stuff might break when it hits. It might even release food. But, because all housecats appear to want to do this, it looks like another hard-wired feline thing.

If so, lions, tigers, panthers, etc. should want to do it. But I’ve never seen this activity by Big Cats, and never seen videos of it, or read about it.

So DO Big Cats do this? I’m not looking for arguments that they should, or explanations for why you think they do this (or the other cat activities). I’m just curious if anyone has evidence for Big Cats acting in this typically housecat way. Are there reports of it, or videos of it?

Cats bat around anything they expect might conceivably be food wherever they find it. You just notice it more if it is somewhere it can fall.

Friend had a cat named entropy. Everything gets put into it’s lowest state of energy. Hence knocking things off the table.

Clearly we need to donate a giant table to a zoo.

I would totally drive a long way to get to that zoo.

Big cats often have raised platforms at zoos. They would serve the same purpose. Just line up some cheap breakable and see what the Lions, Tigers and Pumas do.

As Pumas/Cougars/Mountain Lions are pretty much giant house cats, I would expect them to knock the stuff like a house cat. I wonder if the lions & tigers would also.

They sure would. These videos don’t feature tables or platforms exactly, but they do demonstrate the requisite knocking-things-over behavior. Both videos are cued to the knocking-things-over parts:

Friendly suggestion to use more expensive items, since this is the preference of cats in general. A tablecloth, red wine, and some candles would be an elegant touch.

And make sure someone is watching. To get the full effect the cat needs to be staring at you while it shoves the wine bottle off the edge.

Being secure from other predators is only part of the allure.

Most feline species are also ambush predators. Someplace secure and hidden that they can peer out of is like a human in a hunting blind. They can sit there safely hidden and wait for tasty prey, or their human, to walk into pouncing range.

Sorry, those videos are not big cats doing the cat knocking things off a table thing. They are a tiger and a lion pushing things over. The first looks more like a tiger bumping into a stack of boxes that are in the way. The second has a lion knocking over some boxes arranged in the crude simalcrum of a deer, then sniffing at it to see if it might be food. This isn’t what housecats do.

Cats will get on a table or desk or other raised surface - mantles are especially attractive. They will look at the thing on it for a while: “Should I?”. The answer is always Yes. They will extend a paw, maybe poking it a bit, then sliding it toward and over the edge. Gravity does the rest.

After knocking a thing off, they don’t jump down to inspect it. If there are other things on the table, near the edge, they do the same until all things are on the floor. Then they lose interest.

You need to set up a similar arragement, scaled up to lion and tiger size. Let us know how it goes.

See that table ?
There’s nothing on it (apart from a tiger).
What more proof do we need ?

Excellent Logic.

All tigers have four legs.
All tables have four legs.
Therefore…

I haven’t looked at this thread before now.

Embarrassingly I thought the question was ‘If you build a big enough table [i.e. approaching infinity] will you ever reach a point where a tiger knocking something off becomes a certainty.’ Potentially it might be a monkey bashing away at a very good almost-Macbeth.

So, would it?

You may need to scale things up a little.

I present: the Tabletop at OCAD U! Ever since they built it, I’ve wanted to set up a gigantic teapot and cups on the roof. But this thread suggests a different route.