It all started about a year and a half ago. Every morning, we would get up and give our cat a fresh bowl full of water. Less than five minutes later, we'd walk back out to the kitchen, only to find the floor covered with water. It didn't matter what kind of bowl we put the water in, he'd always find a way to knock the water all over the floor.
About a year ago, that problem seemed to have subsided, but only because he had moved onto bigger and better things. For the last year, we've been putting up with our cat knocking, literally, everything over. It doesn't matter where we put things, he will find a way to knock them over.
If we leave a drink unattended for even 30 seconds, chances are that he'll knock it over.
When we go to sleep, he climbs up, no matter where the ash tray is sitting, and knocks it over. We've tried even stuffing the ashtray into an area where he can barely fit, but he still finds a way to knock it over.
If we pour a bowl of cereal for the kids, he will knock it over. Sometimes he even seems to do it while the kids are sitting in front of their bowls (although that may have as much to do with our kids as it does the cat).
It just doesn't matter what we do to try to curb his obsession with knocking things over, he just keeps doing it. I know he is doing it intentionally. As I said, it's not just drinks, and it's not just things sitting on the edge of counters. It's everything, everywhere. If there is something sitting within his reach (which, amazingly, seems to be everywhere except for the insides of drawers), he will knock it over at some point.
What can we do about it? I am really at my wit's end at this point. Every rug and placemat in our house has some sort of stain on it from the cat knocking something over. Every piece of carpet in our home within ten feet of a desk, dresser, counter, etc. has something on it from where the cat has knocked something over. It seems like we (mostly my wife) spend, literally, almost half of our waking moments cleaning up messes the cat has made.
Aside from this very serious problem, I really do love the cat. He always uses his litter box. He is very lovable and playful (although, sometimes too much so, as he does leave some very nasty claw and teeth marks on some of our visitors and our kids, but he never hurts anyone intentionally).
I just don't know what to do anymore. He is driving me crazy. We can't get rid of him, as he is one of the family. But, with kids (and some other family members), you can at least explain why what they are doing is wrong, and drive them to curb the problem. With cats, I just don't know how to do that.
Please help me with any advice you may have. As I said, we've tried moving everything to places he can't get to, but that never seems to help. We are seriously considering having everyone in our family drink out of sippy cups, despite how silly that may be, but that still doesn't help us out with the ashtray or the cereal bowls (or anything else that he deems necessary to knock over). When he knocks over dry food, it's one thing, as it's easily cleaned up. However, the cereal with milk, the ashes and butts from the ashtray, the drinks, and anything else that mashes into the carpet, is becoming truly unacceptable.
BTW - Here is a picture from this past Christmas of the little bugger: