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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Love My Shoes? 7 Possible Reasons

Why Does My Cat Love My Shoes? 7 Possible Reasons

Grey Short Haired Kitten rubbing against the shoes

Cats are fascinating animals. One minute, they’re acting aloof, and the next moment, they want to be cuddled. They’re also naturally curious, which means they like to poke their paws into boxes and anything they feel intrigued by.

Their curiosity shouldn’t surprise you, considering they often get in trouble. As a cat owner, you must have noticed that your little friend loves your shoes. You’ll find them snuggling, licking, and even stealing your footwear.

So why do cats love shoes? Here are some of the possible reasons.


The 7 Reasons Why Cats Love Shoes

1. Cats Mark Their Territory

If your cat loves rolling around on your footwear and keeps rubbing its head against your shoes, it might be marking its territory. Cats release pheromones, chemicals that share information about their identity, from the glands on their head.

Your shoes might smell like you, and your cat might want to claim them. Head-butting is a common way cats do this. But if your feline friend feels a bit adventurous, it might urine mark or spray your favorite shoes to create turf boundaries.

cat rubbing face on man's leg
Image By: AlenaBalotnik, Shutterstock

2. They Like Playing With Shoelaces

If your cat has ever had a string toy, you would know how much felines love strings. The interest might come from a cat’s natural prey drive, where they hunt mice whose tails resemble strings. Maybe, cats just love the way strings move. Who knows!

When cats live in the wild, they play with everything from twigs and insects to mice and pretty much anything that can move. Domestic cats also share this fascination, which is why they are attracted to shoelaces. Their innate desire to entertain themselves and learn about things makes them love shoes so much.

3. Shoes Are Warm and Comfortable

Do you have one of those fluffy slippers you wear at home during winter to keep your feet nice and toasty? Your cat might also love that pair for the same reasons—comfort and coziness.

Depending on your cat’s size, it might be cozy for them to curl in the embrace of a fluffy pair of shoes. Shoes also retain your feet’s heat, making them a comfortable spot for kittens in winter.

Again, your shoes have that smell your cat is so familiar with. So, it might feel comfortable resting in your shoes when you’re not around.

cat nose
Image Credit: miezekieze, Pixabay

4. They Like the Smell

Speaking of scents, cats like the smell of their humans. Since your shoes smell like you, you’ll find your feline friend sniffing around.

It might surprise you, but cats have much stronger olfactory responses than humans. In fact, their receptors are 40 times stronger. They also have a scent-detecting organ in their mouths. The vomeronasal organ helps them pick up pungent odors.

That’s how cats differentiate between scents. For instance, they can smell danger, such as citrus fruits, and know they must steer clear of the area. Similarly, when they smell you, they recognize the familiarity and scurry around the shoe station.

5. Cats Like Scratching

Scratching is a normal behavior for cats. They need to scratch to express their emotions or mark objects with their scent. Sometimes, they just scratch a surface to get a good stretch, whereas, at other times, they do it to remove dead nails.

Whatever the reason may be, your shoes provide a good surface for your cats to scratch. They may dig their claws in, bite them, or rub their faces against your shoes.

6. Shoes Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Place

Cats don’t have the same sleeping preferences as their owners. While you may find it hard to part with your mattress, your cat might find your shoe to be the most comfortable place for a nap.

Cats sleep for up to 15 hours daily, depending on their breed. So, they need to have comfortable sleeping spots around the house.

7. They Get Bored and Want Attention

If you often find your cat around the shoe area, they may be bored and want your attention. For instance, if you notice that your cat is purring too much and rubbing its head against your shoes, they want you to play with them.

Sometimes, cats may chew on your shoes if they are bored. In such cases, you should provide them with other forms of entertainment, such as a toy. You can also do things with them that you know they enjoy. For example, if your cat loves to play fetch, you can use a ball and toss it around.

Do note that these are just possible reasons that may explain why some cats love shoes. If you feel the shoe-hogging is getting out of hand, you should take your cat to a professional for medical assistance.

cat rubbing against owner
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock


How to Stop Your Cat From Hogging Your Shoes

While it might seem cute at first, there are only so many pairs of shoes you can sacrifice for your cat’s comfort or curiosity. Here are some ways to limit this behavior:

Bring in Other Toys

Your cat may be chewing on every piece of footwear around the house because it just likes to do that. But it’s the chewing your cat likes, not the specific pair of Nikes.

You can replace the shoes with chew toys. Some cats also resort to chewing if they have achy gums or feel anxious. If that’s the case, ask a vet which toys might help your pet in this regard.

Keep Shoes Out of Reach

The simplest way to keep your shoes safe is to keep them out of reach. Cats can climb, so keeping your shoes on an elevated surface might not be the best solution. Instead, keep them in a cabinet or drawer with a latch.

You can also get an enclosed shoe rack so your cat cannot access the shoes. Or keep your shoes behind the door.

Give Rewards for Good Behavior

Stimulating playtime and positive reinforcement can do wonders for your cat’s behavior. Spend time with your cat and encourage them to play with things that are not your shoes. Reward positive behavior with treats and cuddles.

Cat playing
Image Credit: Dorothe, Pixabay



As evident, there are many reasons cats love your shoes. Your feline buddy might like to sniff your smell and mark its territory. Some cats also chew on shoes due to anxiety, curiosity, or achy gums.

Whatever the reason is, you should not encourage this behavior. Instead, provide chew toys and ensure your cat has other forms of entertainment. You can also reward your cat for positive behavior and keep the shoes out of reach. If all else fails, visit a professional for assistance.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Addison, Shutterstock

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