Why Do Many Cats Love Shoes So Much?

Cats delight their favorite people with the strangest and cutest habits every day. Shoes often play an important role, because most furry friends love to take a nap in or on shoes. Some house tigers also find it wonderful to nibble on shoes and sniff extensively. But why do our socialites do this?

Do you also have cats at home who seem to love shoes more than anything? Lots of velvet paws obviously can’t get enough of sniffing our footwear, nuzzling it, and rubbing their little heads against it. Sometimes cats will snuggle up on shoes for a nap. Experts suspect that this could have something to do with smells.

Do Cats Love the Smell of Your Shoes?

When you come home from work, you bring lots of exciting new smells with you. It may be that cats like to sniff your shoes because they find the many different scents exciting and are able to “read” whole adventure stories from them. Another possibility is that your feet and shoes smell like you especially intensely from the sweat after walking around in them all day. Humans find the smell of sweaty feet unpleasant, but for cats, the scents in sweat have a similar effect to catnip. Also, smell your shoes, socks and feet are familiar to your cat and that gives her a sense of security. At least that would be an explanation as to why the fur noses, who are otherwise so sensitive to smells, can sleep so relaxed and peacefully on shoes. 

Do Cats Want to Mark Their Territory?

Another theory somewhat contradicts the first. It states that cats like to claim shoes because they bring with them many foreign smells from outside and the cats strive to mark the shoes with their own scent again. Cats have scent glands on the side of their heads, and when they nudge their heads or rub their heads against objects, they spread their own scent on them. They mark the objects as their “property”. However, this can also be seen as a sign that cats love their favorite people. After all, marking you as “property” means that your cat considers you a member of the family. 

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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