Cats are always curious, so it’s not surprising whenever they squeeze their heads into shoes. But why does my cat like my shoes? The most common explanation here is the scent. Felines have strong sniffers so the odor of your shoes will always be intriguing. It’s also possible that your kitty just wants to play with the shoes, mark them, or sniff your scent for comfort.
As long as your cat isn’t scratching and chewing the shoes, I don’t think this is something to worry about. But to debunk this behavior, I discussed the reasons behind it.
Why do cats like smelly shoes?
Is your cat obsessed with your shoes? The following might be the reasons why:
1. They are intrigued by the smell
As I mentioned earlier, cats have a strong sense of smell so they are always curious about stinky things. If you’ve just taken off your shoes, don’t be surprised if your kitty will greet it first before you.
The outdoor scents that attached to your shoes are very attractive for cats. They will sniff and even try to lick it. It’s your cat’s way of saying, ‘hey, what do you have in here?’.
Your shoes give your cat a virtual tour of where you’ve been. Some bits of food from the food truck, the smoke of vehicles, and the scent of other animals – all of these are captivating for kitties. This is much so if you have an indoor cat that rarely goes out.
By smelling your shoes, your cat will have a glimpse of your day. However, don’t get offended if your kitty gags after sniffing your shoes. Take it as a sign that there’s a nasty odor you have to clean up.
2. They like tight spaces
If your cat shoves its head straight to your shoes, it must be purely for fun. This is the same reason why cats love boxes and tight spaces. It satisfies their denning instincts in the wild as a way to hide from predators.
You will also notice your cat playing with your shoes by pouncing, tossing, and playfully attacking it. Your cat probably associated your shoes with fun. And as a source of entertainment, they will perform a deep sniff of your shoes. You might also see your cat sniffing then opening its mouth. This is called the Flehmen response and not a look of spite.
3. They are marking their territory
Another possible explanation for your cat’s love affair with shoes is their territorial instincts. Your kitty is sniffing and rubbing its body on your shoes to claim it. Cats do this to take ownership of an object or a person they consider part of their family.
Since your shoes go to different places, a lot of scents get attached to them. Your cat will find this unfamiliar, and to restore his ownership of your kicks, he will be rubbing his scent glands to it. Watch out, though, as some cats may spray urine as a method of marking.
To prevent marking, I suggest you keep an artificial cat pheromone handy. Right after you arrive home, spray a little on your shoes so your kitty won’t be alerted and obliged to mark it again.
4. The shoes are warm and comfy
A newly removed shoe is warm and very comfy for cats. Some kitties will run straight to their owners’ the moment it’s taken off. Together with the smell and tight space, your cat finds the shoes relaxing and safe.
My kitten Watson preferred sleeping in one of my work boots instead of his $50 bed. We finally trained him out of it but it’s quite a lengthy process of luring and hiding the shoes.
5. The shoes are placed on your cat’s spot
Lastly, you probably placed your shoes on your cat’s hanging out spot. In turn, the kitty discovers the scent in your shoes and associates it with the safety of staying in that area.
Also, shoes are often left on the floor, which gives cats easy access. Aside from that, leather shoes look similar to the toy straps that cats play with. This is the reason why some cats will start to playfully fiddle on the shoe.
Why does my cat want to lay on my shoes?
Cats lay on their owners’ shoes for comfort. Since your shoes bear your sweat and scent, kitties with separation anxiety will seek your belongings for comfort. Shoes are very accessible and some cats can easily fit inside.
Also, laying on your shoes gets your attention. Your kitty might be craving for affection, especially if you’ve been busy or away for too long.
Why do cats rub their face on my shoes?
It’s a common behavior among cats to rub their faces everywhere. They do this to mark their territory with their scents.
Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, which produces a pheromone that adheres to any surface that they rub on. Although we can’t smell it, felines’ strong sense of smell can easily pick up this odor.
This is the same case when your kitty rubs its face on your shoes. Since it belongs to you, your cat finds it necessary to claim it as well.
Why does my cat attack my shoes?
Your cat might be bored so it’s playfully attacking your shoes for fun. It has your scent so playing with it feels like they are playing with you. Also, shoelaces are perfect toys, which is why cats will look like it’s pouncing on your shoes.
However, your shoes may have the scent of another cat. This will threaten your cat, which may lead to attacking the shoes. If you encountered a cat outdoors, I suggest using an artificial pheromone spray to hide the scent. This is very helpful, especially if your cat gets combative when detecting other feline’s scent.
The bottom of your shoes can harbor the nastiest things. But for cats, this can have a palatable taste. It’s normal for cats to lick the soles of shoes, besides they lick their bottoms, right?
However, I don’t recommend letting your cat do this, much so if you’re exposed to harmful chemicals. There might be toxic substances that might cling to your soles, which can harm your pet.
Why does my cat like to sleep on my stinky shoes?
While your shoes may smell stinky, it could be heavenly for cats. Sleeping on your shoes gives your pet comfort. It also has your smell, which makes your cat feel as if you’re cradling him.
However, it could also mean that your cat doesn’t find its bed or sleeping quarters comfortable. Try moving the kitty’s bed somewhere else, preferably on a quiet spot. You can also lure your cat to its bed with some treats while keeping your shoes out of sight.
Why does my cat like my shoes? The smell is the leading reason why cats like their owners’ shoes. Your scent and the smell of the outside world is an entire experience for a feline. Your pet will have a glimpse of the places you’ve been in by deeply sniffing your footwear. Overall, this isn’t usually a cause of concern since it’s considered normal for felines.