Cats perform urine marking to claim their territory. Unfortunately, some kitties will also try to claim their owners’ shoes by peeing on them. This leaves cat owners with the task of knowing how to get cat urine out of shoes.
In this post, I will discuss easy steps to get rid of the stinky cat urine on your shoes. The key here is getting the pee out as early as possible to prevent it from seeping further into the shoe material.
Why does my cat pee on shoes?
It’s not that cats are jerks, but they do seem to have the affinity for peeing on shoes. My cat Watson does this from time to time, and it can get really frustrating. Cleaning a pair of shoes isn’t easy, what more having to deal with smelly cat pee on it.
Based on my experience and conversation with my cat’s vet, the following are the reasons why your feline is using your new boots as a litterbox:
As mentioned earlier, cats mark their territories. This is more prevalent among male kitties, but females can also spray when threatened.
Before you get pissed on your cat, you should know that bladder issues can also be the culprit. Cats love cozying inside shoes, but felines with bladder problems may accidentally pee on them as they get relaxed.
Stressed cats can do all sorts of nasty things, including peeing on your shoes. Your cat is literally peeing its proverbial pants due to chronic stress or anxiety.
Felines are routine beings, so a massive change in the household can confuse a kitty. This can lead them to mark around as a way of comforting themselves.
The arrival of a new pet
Cats that are not at ease with a new pet will make their presence felt by spraying their urine all over the house. If your shoes are lying around, they will become part of the smelly outcome.
Dirty litter box
Are your shoes the only thing your cat is peeing on? It might be time to check the litter box. A dirty litter box will drive a kitty away. When that happens, your cat may find your shoes a comfy alternative. You should also rule out litter allergy as to why your kitty is suddenly ‘watering’ your shoes.
How to remove cat urine on your shoes
The following are the quick steps to get rid of the cat urine smell on your shoes:
Step 1. Wash the shoes
The first thing you need to do is give your shoes a good rinse. This will remove residual urine and other dirt on your shoes before washing them. Avoid soaking the shoes for too long as it can damage the adhesive on the soles. Just a quick rinse is enough using warm water.
If your shoes are made of fabric, say canvas or nylon, it might be safe to toss them into the washing machine. I suggest adding a small amount of white vinegar or enzyme cleaner to get rid of the remaining urine.
However, if your shoes are made of leather, you should never give them a full wash. Instead, mix two parts of warm water with one part of white vinegar. You can also add a few drops of mouthwash for a refreshing scent. You’ll use this concoction as a spot cleaner on the affected areas of your shoes.
Step 2. Let it dry
After washing your shoes, place them upside down to let the water drip. I usually place my newly washed shoes on the picket fence to allow them to dry naturally. Just avoid direct sunlight that could make the soles brittle. Also, make sure that your curious cat is nowhere near as it may try to mark your shoes again.
Step 3. Use borax to remove the urine odor
If your shoes still have a urine smell after washing and drying, borax is the next solution. Simply spread a tablespoon of borax inside each shoe. Leave it overnight before vacuuming in the morning. If the odor persists, feel free to add more borax until you’re satisfied.
If borax isn’t handy, you can sprinkle baking soda instead. You can also apply baking soda on the uppers of leather and acrylic shoes. Again, leave this on for a few hours, preferably overnight, for the best results. You’ll have to vacuum the powder and see if the smell is gone.
Step 4. Aerate the shoes
Lastly, let the shoes aerate for a few hours before wearing them. This will allow any moisture to dry up while letting you remove the traces of baking soda or borax.
How do I stop my cat from peeing in my shoes?
To stop your cat from spraying on your shoes, you first have to understand why the feline is doing it in the first place. Here’s what you can do:
Keep your cat calm
If it’s triggered by stress, anxiety, or changes in the household, it’s important to give your pet a safe place. It’s best to plan changes in your home, so you can prepare your nervous kitty.
Clean up accidents
If your kitty had an accident on your shoes, you must clean it up right away. This will prevent your pet from detecting the pee smell and urinating on your shoes again. You can use an enzyme cleaner for this part to eliminate all the traces of the urine.
Clean up the litter box
If you haven’t touched your cat’s litter box for days, you have some work to do. Make sure that you scoop out all used litter and refill it with fresh ones. Consider washing the litter box as well to remove any trapped odor and bacteria.
Get your cat checked
If your cat keeps on peeing on your shoes despite all your efforts, it’s best to bring it to the vet. You have to rule out bladder problems that might be causing incontinence or increased urination.
Keep your shoes away
Your cat can’t pee on your shoes if it’s not lying around. If you wish to aerate your shoes, do so in an area your cat can’t access. After that, you must keep your shoes tucked away from your pet’s reach. You’ll surely want to do this if you have a new pair of Air Jordans.
Will cat urine smell eventually go away?
When it comes to cat urine, you just can’t wait for the odor to go away on its own. Feline urine has high uric acid levels, which clings to fabrics, wood, and leathers for years. Unless you’re lazy enough to wait that long, I suggest you start cleaning your urine-laced shoes right now.
The longer you let the cat urine linger, the harder it will be to remove. Worse, your shoes are already a stinking mess by the time you decided to clean it up.
Why do my shoes smell like cat pee even if it doesn’t have a urine?
Have you ever experienced having urine-smelling shoes, even if you’re sure that your cat hasn’t peed on them? You’re not making it up, though. Shoes can really smell like cat pee when the soles are rotting down. Also, trapped moisture can harbor all kinds of bacteria that can produce a bad odor similar to feline urine. Your moist feet will also aggravate the problem. Worse, the cat pee smell won’t just stick to your shoes but also your feet.
Knowing how to get cat urine out of shoes doesn’t have to be a complicated process. You only need a few household items to get rid of the bad odor and restore your shoes.
Aside from cleaning your shoes, it’s also important to get to the root of the problem. Get your cat checked, clean the litter box, and remove the stressors that might be triggering the behavior. Whatever happens, never punish your cat for peeing on your shoes.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.