Why Does My Cat Lay on My Shoes? – 3 Reasons

By Phil / September 19, 2020
Why Does My Cat Lay on My Shoes

Cats love to lay, chew, attack, and play with shoes, slippers, socks, and most footwear for that matter! It’s a relationship that I’m sure goes back as long as cats and shoes have coexisted.

As to why they love shoes, there are some explanations….

Why Does My Cat Lay on My Shoes?

If you own a cat, I’m sure you are well aware that cats love shoes. Some of the most common questions I get from cat owners are; “why does my cat lay on my shoes?” and, “why does my cat attack my shoes!”

There is some overlap to both of these questions. If your cat is attracted to your shoes, here’s a rundown of the main reasons that help to explain this curious kitty behavior:

It’s Your Familiar Smell

Probably the most reliable reasoning behind this behavior is the fact that cats are drawn to our smell.

I know what you’re saying to yourself, “my shoes don’t smell”. But to a cat, they do. A cats’ sense of smell is probably their most powerful and important sense.

It’s around 14 times as strong as ours. They also have an organ called Jacobson’s organ, which is in the roof of their mouth and enables them to essentially taste scents.

That’s not a nice thought, is it? Chewing on sweaty shoes! Well, it has the opposite effect on cats.

Cats pick up on pheromones in the air, and they’ll feel comfortable with anything that has your scent attached to it.

There are few things in your home that smell more of you than your shoes do. So, simply put, your cat will lay all over your shoes for the reason that they feel close to you. Awwww.

RelatedHere’s why cats also sleep on your dirty clothes.

Cats Are Drawn To Random Objects

Cats Are Drawn To Sleeping on Random Objects

It might not be your shoes that are attracting your cat. Rather, it might just be the fact that your shoes are the only object left on the floor they have access to.

For the same reason, cats like to sleep on laptops, pieces of paper, clothes, etc. Generally speaking, anything that you didn’t want them to lay on, right?

They just can’t seem to help themselves. Plus, it’s often more comfortable than the floor and might have some warmth to it.

Cats also seem to find comfort in sleeping or laying on random objects. It’s a little bit of a mystery and often just written off as a curiosity. But it’s usually for many of the reasons I’ve covered in this post.

It’s worth keeping in mind that if it wasn’t your shoes, it might be whatever else you left out in a similar place.

They’ve Marked Them as Theirs

You may have noticed your cat going around your home and rubbing their face or body on things. This is how cats mark objects with their scent to essentially claim them as “theirs”.

I explained this in more detail in this post about why my cat rubs her face on everything. If you hadn’t noticed this before, you sure will now.

Just watch your cat rub the scent glands in her face on the corner of furniture. Or as they weave in and out of your legs.

My cats also lay and sleep on objects they’ve marked. Such as boxes, blankets, and of course the exact pair of shoes I always need in a hurry.

If you have other cats in your household – or even living close by – marking becomes a big deal to them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Does My Cat Cuddle My Shoes?

If your cat is cuddling your shoes, as opposed to simply laying on them, it’s still likely going to be due to one or more of the reasons covered above.

This is one of those behaviors that dances on the line of being cute, and annoying. If it’s a pair you cherish, I’d move them out of reach. It’s usually only a matter of time before the chewing and drooling happens!

Why Does My Cat Stick His Head in My Shoes

This is another behavior that I witnessed a lot in my household – while my cats were kittens. They grew out of diving headfirst into my shoes, as they did sticking their claws in as well.

This leads me to believe that this is a mostly playful behavior. Cats are curious animals, and I’m sure every cat owner reading this knows. Sticking their heads into shoes is just hard to resist sometimes!

Why Does My Cat Put Her Paws in My Shoes

Unless there is something in your shoes your kitty is trying to reach, the answer is the same as the last question. It’s because it’s fun!

Shoes provide a narrow hole to dive into. Playful cats find it hard to resist digging around in tight holes to see what they can find. Just don’t leave your laces loose for them to play with, they’ll get shredded!

In Summary

Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand the curious behavior most cats have of laying on shoes.

It almost always boils down to them wanting to be around your possessions and your scent, as well as, well, cats just being cats. If you leave something out, they’re going to investigate it!

Resources

Image credits – Photos by NeONBRAND and engin akyurt on Unsplash

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