Why Does My Cat Love My Shoes?

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Whenever you get home from somewhere or step out for a walk, some cats may go nuts about the shoes and socks. Sometimes they even sniff around the bare feet. It may come as disgusting behavior to many cat owners. However, for some reason, cats love this intoxicating scent that comes with socks. In this article, we are going to discuss in-depth several possible aspects of why cats love shoes.

Why cats love shoes?


Cats are attracted to scents:

The very first reason is that cats love the smell of highly concentrated sweat. The scent may seem comforting & cats fall in love with it. Hence, you may have noticed that cats try to sniff and lick your feet when you come back home. The researchers also verified that there are millions of different smells mixed at the bottom of the feet that intrigue your cat. Cats react in such a way that it feels like they have developed a complex behavior.



For cats, smell is one of the essential senses among the five. It is 14 times stronger when compared to humans, and it functions stronger than the nasal tissue. The cats have specialized organs just above the mouth, making the cats feel the taste of the smell. Therefore, it triggers them to discover the new smells.


Cats are suspicious:

When you come back home after being outside all day, the cats still want to go in between the feet. They even try to smell the sole in your shoes. It is probably because your cat is suspicious about the unfamiliar scent in the home. They are very good at recognizing the smell of their master. Hence, when something different or there is a change in the familiar odor, cats become doubtful. They try to learn the smell and understand from where it comes from and what you have been doing.


Reclaiming Territory:

Do you often see cat rubbing their cheeks and foreheads on the shoes or your feet? It means that they are depositing their scent on you and your belongings. As you all know, cats have numerous scent glands in the body. Their cheeks, foreheads, paws, ears, lips, and flanks are essential areas where the scent is powerful. By rubbing behavior, they try to claim something of their own. With cats, even though you are the master, they try to take control over to ensure that it’s their safe territory. By rubbing on your shoes, they are reclaiming the territory and remove the unfamiliar scent that exists.


You know: It’s all pheromones:

A pheromone is a chemical factor that triggers a social response in both humans and animals. Well! With cats, these chemical components are higher, considering they have scent glands all over the body. Hence, they react the same for shoes, just like how they respond to catnip. They love socks and shoes for the same effect, so it gives them a sense of comfort and happiness.


Now that you may have understood this concept, you don’t have to think of this as strange behavior.


How to keep the cat away from this behavior?

Tricks & Tips

What will be the result?

Storing shoes away from cats Keeping the cat away from shoes is an easier way to stop this behavior. You can limit the access by keeping the shoes off their eyesight or to the places where they cannot reach. You might know that cats are very good at climbing the shelf. So, keeping your shoes just in half shelf will not suffice the problem.
Redirect the cat These practices have worked in favor of the owners. In order to keep the cats away from the shoes, you can distract the cat with a different belonging, such as an old t-shirt, wallet, or handkerchief.
Pick your cat As soon as you find the cat come sniffing around the shoes, immediately pick it up. The time you spend with your cats while playing and nurturing will keep them distracted. Since cats come to your legs looking for your scent and warmth, when you give them what they are looking for, automatically, they wouldn’t go in search of shoes.
Using freshener As soon as you come home, apply some room freshener or artificial scent on the shelves. You can spray it to keep the cat away from the disgusting smell. This practice won’t just keep the cat away from the smell but a hygiene routine as well.

There is a dedicated catnip spray that can be highly useful in such cases. Check out Smokey’s stash catnip spray that helps to train the cat well.

Change the attitude Give practice and train your cats not to follow the smell. Because this habit will continue, and they will eventually do this to your guests as well. Hence, whenever they sniff around, respond to their actions.



What is the secret message you want to take from this?

Humans do not have fantastic sensing abilities as cats or dogs. It is quite understandable that your cat possesses this ability so efficiently. In fact, by smelling your shoes, they eventually calm down, and their olfactory muscles stop sending trigger signals to their brain. Naturally, cats feel comfortable this way.



While cats have 45-80 million receptors in the nose, humans have just 5 million of them. Therefore, it is not an easy job to control them. By instinct, they search the smell and come back.


Simultaneously, the other aspect is that they do not sniff around for all the people. They are very picky, and in most cases, owners only trace this behavior. Even though your other family members are at home, they would choose that one person from who they would like to mark the territory. However, since it is not a hygiene practice, you may have to train the cats and never involve in such activities.

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