Why Do Cats Like Shoes ?


You might have noticed that cats find shoes particularly attractive, whether they sniff them, stroke them, or sleep on, in, or next to them. But, why exactly do you think cats like your shoes so much? And why do so many cats even take shoes out of the front door or hide them somewhere else?

So, why exactly do cats like shoes ?

Well, there are so many reasons why cats are naturally attracted to shoes, so by understanding all these reasons, you can curb future shoe-related problems. Therefore, here are some reasons why cats like sitting near shoes:

Familiar smell

Cats’ sense of smell is probably the most important of all their five senses. This is because their sense of smell is 14 times stronger than humans’, with twice as many olfactory receptors in their nasal tissues. However, a special organ in their palate, the Jacobson’s organ (sometimes called the vemeronasal organ), is completely absent in humans. This organ allows cats to taste the scents, and pheromones in the air and gather a wealth of information about the animals and people around them. Whereas cats are naturally curious and explore new smells, they may also seek out the scent of familiar objects to put themselves comfortable and safe.


Every cat naturally creates and secretes its olfactory pheromones in glands spread all over its body, including its cheeks. When a cat rubs its cheek against you or an object (commonly known as a transporter), it leaves a trail that means, “I’ve been here before. This is my space and I feel safe here. Cats are attracted to things that smell like them as well as things they like. Sleeping on shoes is a way cats can show you they are comfortable and safe as well as they love you.

Comfort zone

Having said that, your cat may not only be telling you she loves you by sleeping and spending time in your shoes. Clothes, shoes, blankets, and other items with a scent that reminds your cat of you can comfort them in stressful situations. While you’re gone outside the house during the day, your cat may sleep on your shoes to calm down. This could be the reason why cats not only rest on the shoes left behind but also take them to another place. Cats may take your shoes to their favorite resting place to have a piece of you near them. Bottle-fed cats may also suck on your shoes or socks. However, the reason why this happens is that cats weaned from their mothers at an early age will develop an oral bond and tend to chew and suck on things that smell like their owner.  This behavior is also a form of self-soothing, and shoes that are easily accessible on the floor are a convenient way to take a break.

Reclaiming Your Shoes

While understanding that your cat is obsessed with shoes and expresses her appreciation for you in this way will, of course, not lessen the frustration of her taking your shoes away when you are late. It can quickly become tiring to look for shoes when the cat is moving around. Nevertheless, convincing your cat to leave your shoes alone will be an uphill fight.

Store your shoes away

It is much easier to prevent cats from accessing shoes than to try to stop this behavior completely. A quick way to do this is to store shoes in a chest of drawers or an airtight plastic container. Remember that cats are very good climbers, so keeping shoes on high shelves may not be enough to keep them out.

Re-direct the attention

If it is difficult to keep your cat away from the shoes, you may decide to redirect its attention to another object that keeps your smell to keep it from missing it too much. This can be replaced with something else, such as an old T-shirt or socks. If your cat tries to steal your shoes, you shouldn’t shout at it or scare it into becoming aggressive. This will only make your cat fearful and unable to associate your frustrated shouting with the theft of the shoes. Even if the cat panics and drops the shoe, it may not fully understand why you are so upset.

Shoes don’t exactly seem to be a comfortable hangout spot to us, while for cats, are a wonderful reminder of their loved persons. Next time when you catch your cat sleeping on your shoes, take a photo to remember the moment, give her a blanket and be happy that she just told you she loves you.


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