Videos on the internet in the thousands feature cats playing with all kinds of different footwear. From flip flops, to sandals, to sneakers, and even work boots. Cats find shoes absolutely irresistible. So, is this just another strange habit all cats seem to have innately? Or is there an explanation for their bizarre behavior? Let’s find out.
Why does my cat lay on my shoes?
1. They love your smell.
Cats have a sense of smell that is 14 times stronger than ours. They rely on this sense, probably, the most out of all their senses. You are their human, meaning your smell is the most familiar, thus most comforting one they encounter in their everyday life.
Which is not to say, of course, that your shoes stink. The smell each person gives is unique and oftentimes it is undetectable by our less refined human nose. Cats have the Jacobson’s organ in their palate that makes them taste smells. That is how seriously they take sniffing your shoes.
Aside from your pheromones sticking to your shoes from wearing them all day, you drag your shoes in all kinds of surfaces and places, all of which have their own sets of distinct smells. This is like a bouquet of flowers for cats. This is also their way of investigating where you have been since you left the house.
2. Marking your shoes as their territory.
You know how when cats rub themselves on furniture or on any object in your house, including the humans? That’s what they do to mark their territory, they want everything around them to smell just like they do. They will rub their face, with the scent glands all over the legs of chairs or on the rug in the middle of the living room.
Cats find comfort in sleeping or laying next to things that they’ve marked. That’s why they are great snuggle buddies as they have claimed you as their own so they want to keep you close. It is actually quite sweet.
3. Cats are drawn to random objects that are accessible.
Shoes are usually placed on the floor. Cats prefer walking all over stuff that are on their level when they don’t want to have to jump or climb anything. It could also be that your shoes are one of the few things in the room that they can just walk to.
Shoes have laces and buckles and other details that catch the cat’s eye and attention. They are drawn to those things because they are reminded of the toys they love to play with.
Cats also like to lay down on warm clothes that just came out of the dryer, laptop computers that their human is working on, or even just pieces of paper on a table.
Sometimes there just is no clear reason why cats choose the objects they choose. Especially, when the position they are in when laying down on said object looks uncomfortable. But, hey, it’s what they want. If they didn’t want to be bent like a pretzel on top of the color printer, they’d move themselves. Cats are just strange that way sometimes.
It is possible that they like to lay on the shoes because the floor is a lot colder and the shoes are kind of warm.
Why does my cat stick his head in my shoes?
Cats, especially kittens, love to stick their heads into shoes. They outgrow this phase, literally, because their heads become too big to fit.
This is the cat being playful and exercising their curiosity. As well as what has been stated above, they probably enjoy the more concentrated smells of you inside of your shoe.
Why does my cat put her paws in my shoes?
The answer to this question is similar to the one above, they just want to entertain themselves. The inside of a shoe can be quite dark, and if they are unable to stick their head in there to investigate, they are going to try to reach for the hidden treasures of the shoe with their paw.
Cats find it hard to resist squeezing themselves into a narrow hole. Just make sure the laces on your shoes aren’t loose, or your cat might destroy them with their claws and sharp teeth.
How do I keep my cat away from my shoes?
If the only thing your cat does with your shoes is to cuddle with them, that really isn’t that big of a problem, aside from their fur and drool sticking to the shoes. But if you want to avoid any possibility of them tearing your shoes into shreds, here are some tips on how to stop this behavior:
Keep your kitty busy with other activities and get them toys and treats to chew on instead of your expensive shoes. Never give them an old shoe to chew on because a cat will not be able to tell a new shoe from an old one. A shoe is a shoe is a shoe for a cat. They don’t recognize luxury brands, so keep your Louboutins in a hard to reach shoe closet.
2. Deny your cat the opportunity
When you have guests over at your house, make sure to keep their shoes, should they decide to take them off, in a place where your cat won’t be able to see them. Make it a habit to store your shoes in a place away from your cat’s eyes. What your cat can’t see or get to, he cannot destroy.
A bored cat will look at your sneakers with the loose laces as the most exciting new toy in the world. But if the cat has enough toys and treats to keep him busy, your shoes just might live to see another day.
Cats love to lay on and cuddle your shoes because they love to smell your scent. They also want to remark your shoes as their territory after it’s been outside all day. They also just love sleeping on top of random stuff. Make sure to hide your shoes in a place your cat can’t get to if you don’t want their fur or drool on them.