Why Do Cats Love Shoes So Much?

Cat and Shoes

Cats can exhibit some rather strange behaviors from a human perspective. Sometimes, strange is strange. After all, different cats have different personalities, meaning that it is very much possible for a particular cat to be a bit unusual in the same way that it is very much possible for a particular human to be a bit unusual. Other times, strange isn’t strange so much as just unfamiliar. Simply put, cats are their own creatures with their own way of doing things, which is by no means guaranteed to make sense to us on an intuitive level. Even so, there could be a very good reason for whatever it is that they are doing.

Why Do Cats Love Shoes So Much Anyways?

To name an example, a lot of cats seem to have a strange fondness for shoes. Granted, something similar can be found in humans as well. For proof, look no further than the numerous individuals out there who own more shoes than they will ever be able to wear. However, it seems safe to say that the causes for human fondness of shoes aren’t the same as the cat fondness for shoes, meaning that this matter merits more consideration. Here are some of the potential explanations for why cats love shoes so much.


Cats are like a lot of creatures in that they have a strong preference for familiarity over unfamiliarity. After all, familiarity means that they know what is going on, thus providing them with an increased measure of control over themselves as well as everything around them. In contrast, well, suffice to say that the unknown means unknown dangers. The wild ancestors of cats were predators that were also predated upon, meaning that they remain very concerned about such things. Something that is particularly true because even if cats manage to escape their predators, there is a real chance of injury that can make them less capable of acquiring food as well as the other necessities of life. In any case, a cat’s owner is a huge part of their day-to-day life, thus making them a potential source of comfort because of that familiarity. Often-times, cats will go right to the source. However, if that isn’t possible, cats can use their owner’s shoes as a substitute because the latter will have their owner’s smell. In fact, this is the same reason that some cats will sometimes show the same kind of behavior around clothing, blankets, and other personal possessions that see plenty of use.

Interest in New Smells

On a related note, cats are much more reliant on their sense of smell than humans. They aren’t famous for it in the same way as their canine counterparts. However, this makes sense because cats have a much stronger sense of smell, so much so that interested individuals can find claims of their noses being approximately 14 times as good as ours. On top of that, cats have an extra organ that lets them taste smells in a way that we cannot, thus enabling them to extract even more information than otherwise possible. Thanks to this, cats like to investigate new smells. This is connected to their well-known sense of curiosity, which is one of those things that contribute greatly to their chances of continuing survival. Since people tend to wear their shoes outdoors, this means that their shoes will wind up accumulating a lot of new smells. Something that makes them extremely interesting for cats.

Territorial Marking

It is very common for animals to establish territories. By doing so, this enables them to claim the resources associated with those territories, thus enabling them to increase their chances of survival as well as their chances of having offspring. Cats are no exception to this rule, which is why cats will mark out their territories. Having said that, our feline companions do so in a more subtle manner than dogs. Cats have numerous scent glands situated in their forehead, their cheeks, their flanks, their tail, and other parts of their body. As a result, they can leave their scent through a number of methods, with an excellent example being them rubbing their heads on their owner. By leaving their scent, cats mark out someone or something as belonging to them, thus making the target another source of comfort. Combined with how cats are already drawn to their owner’s effects, this can make a pair of shoes even more attractive to them.

Further Considerations

Generally speaking, there isn’t anything particularly problematic about a cat being attracted to a pair of shoes. However, it can be an inconvenience, whether because of cat hair or cat smell or something else altogether. As a result, interested individuals might want to look into ways to stop their cat from being attracted to their shoes. Fortunately, most of the suggested methods are easy to implement. For instance, if interested individuals don’t want their cat to be attracted to their shoes, they can just leave their shoes somewhere inaccessible. Please note that cats are quite good at climbing up, meaning that it isn’t enough to put the shoes in a high-up location. Instead, interested individuals are going to need to put their shoes in either a cubby, a closet, or some other place that their cat won’t be able to get into.

The issue with this method is that the cat might just move on to something else, which could be just as problematic depending on their new choice. As such, interested individuals might want to make that choice for their cat. To name an example, if their cat is bothering them by using their current pair of shoes, they can put that pair of shoes somewhere secure before offering either an old pair of shoes or an old piece of clothing in their place. So long as the substitute has their scent, the cat should be capable of being convinced to move on to it. Be sure to avoid either shouting or otherwise acting in a negative manner throughout this process. Cats don’t react so well to negative reinforcement. For that matter, there is no guarantee that they will even be able to connect their attraction to the shoes to their owner’s action, thus defeating the fundamental point of the latter.

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