Felines do a lot of strange things. From scratching curtains to meowing nonstop to crawling into tight spaces – it’s hard to tell what these mischievous furballs are thinking.
Thankfully, their behavioral patterns can easily be spotted with a keen eye. Cats are mysterious creatures, but humans know their way around the feline mindset.
With a sense of smell that’s over ten times more sensitive than ours, cats will be able to pick up all sorts of nuances in your belongings.
Whatever object you own, particularly those that you use a lot will smell strongly of you. The scents may be faint, but to your cat, it’s a smorgasbord of stimulants.
Cats have an extra organ called a Jacobson’s organ. This is a patch of cells that can detect moisture-borne odor particles. In other words, cats can taste smells.
The faintest of scents can have your cat smelling certain objects for hours – your shoes especially.
The faint scent of their owner will relax any cat. Also, because footwear is usually on the floor, it makes the perfect object to climb into, sit on, and eventually fall asleep in.
Cats may even lay down on several pairs of footwear – depending on their mood and of course, their size.
Why is my cat rubbing its face on my shoes?
Cats are territorial creatures, and they lay claim to their territory by rubbing their bodies on whatever they deem worthy of calling theirs. Yes, this includes your shoes.
After some time, your cat will have taken a liking to your shoes and will associate them with you. After all, it will have your scent in it.
Being very territorial, your cat might eventually rub their faces on your shoes as a way to make it theirs. Some cats will even get playful and will stick their whole head in the shoe – or may even nibble and scratch it.
Besides being territorial, they could feel the urge to play around with the shoe – just because they can.
If you’re worried about them ruining a pair of shoes, you’re better off storing it somewhere your cat can’t reach.
Simply stuffing them in a high cabinet won’t work because they can figure out a way to climb it – so best store it in a container and hide it well.
Otherwise, if your shoes are sturdy enough, then let your feline friend have their way with them.
Why is my cat being territorial?
Cats secrete pheromones that are their special identification code. By spreading these pheromones around the places that they frequent, they are indirectly informing other cats to watch out or stay away.
This includes all those times your cat rubbed up against their body on your leg – they’re indicating that they own you.
Putting this into perspective, if your cat is being territorial over objects that smell like you, this means that they’re being protective of you.
Cats, being the smart creatures that they are, are sneakily setting up warning signs for intruders – telling them to keep away from their humans.
To you, it may seem like what they’re doing is cute – but to your cat, they believe they’re performing the duty of a protector.
If you find it strange that your cat’s being territorial even though they’re the only cat in the house, remember that these are just their instincts at play.
Cats are naturally protective over their group, especially to those who they see as weaker than them.
Even though you’re their owner, cats consider themselves to be the boss in the household, and marking their territory is a means to establish their dominance.
Why does my cat like nibbling my shoes?
While older cats won’t be as energetic, a younger cat will be more playful with their objects of interest.
Besides the things that hang around your house (such as curtains and chain light switches), your shoelaces and shoe attachments could become unintentional cat toys – especially when you’re not around.
With no human to play with, cats will find interactive objects to bite, nibble, and claw at.
Shoes are a common target for cats because of their accessibility. They already smell familiar and so your cat won’t be cautious around it – and since it’ll be on the floor, your cat can easily reach it.
Most cats won’t be too rough on their playthings, but if this is a problem for you, you can keep your shoe hidden somewhere where your cat can’t reach it.
The last thing your leather shoes need is a cat-scratched makeover – so play it safe and hide it from your feline friend.
Will my cat scratch me if I try to take my shoes away?
How your cat will react to you removing a precious object from them will depend on their mood and demeanor.
It will also depend on how well you know your cat. While some felines tend to be more nonchalant, others are easily annoyed.
If your cat is the kind to be easily irked, then you may have to lure them off of your shoe with a treat … or else, pick another pair of shoes to use.
Some cats may be easily scared and could claw or hiss at you if you suddenly take something from them. Most of the time, they’re just defending themselves and don’t mean to harm you.
If your cat is spending way too much time on top of your shoe, it may be self-soothing. By surrounding themselves with a familiar scent, they keep at ease – and it’s best not to disturb them.
Otherwise, they could get stressed out. You can transfer your shoe while your cat is still on it. This is how attached they can be to the object of their interest.
Will my cat notice a missing shoe?
Once you do hide your shoes from your cat, they’ll likely start looking for something else to rest their fluffy bodies on. Of course, some cats are picky and will notice they’re missing a comfort item.
This will probably cause them to meow constantly – to try and communicate their disdain.
In a case like this, you could offer your cat an alternative item like an old t-shirt or a shoe that you’ll never use.
Ideally, you give them an object that still has your scent, as this is what attracted them to your shoes in the first place. What your cat needs are a safety blanket – one that can soothe them even when you’re not at home.
Why does my cat like sleeping by my feet?
Your cat may prefer to sleep by your feet – but if you and your feet aren’t around, then they’ll settle with your shoes instead.
Cats like to cling on to other familiars – which is why groups of cats like to cuddle together when they sleep. Similarly, your cat does this with you as well – sleeping by your feet, your arm, and even your face.
Your cat sleeping on your shoes is their go-to alternative. When they can’t find comfort and warmth from their human friend, they look for something that smells like their human friend – and is just as comfortable to sleep on.
Will my cat get put off by other smells from my shoes?
There are many scents that cats can’t stand. Certain citrus fruits, spices, and of course their dirty litter box will put them off instantly. The scent of other cats could also cause alarm to your cat and will set them onto a sniffing spree.
Naturally, your cat would want to re-establish its ownership. Don’t be surprised if your cat starts vigorously rubbing their bodies on your shoes after you’ve been out and about with them.
This is them trying to overpower the new smells with their pheromones. They could even try licking it or rubbing the shoes with their teeth. All this is normal behavior and shows that your cat is being protective of you.
Felines, footwear, and feelings
Cats have a unique way of showing their affection. It varies from feline to feline, but generally, it involves a lot of body-rubbing and cuddling.
Cats are clingy, protective, and needy creatures that will do what it takes to own their space. This includes you, their owner, and the objects that you own.
Some cats may be more affectionate than others, but one thing that all cats have in common is their sense of ownership over their owners.
Whether it’s sleeping by your feet or on your shoes, your cat will claim every nook and cranny in your home with their feline pheromones – all while being comforted by the faint scents of their beloved owner.
Cats laying down on your shoes is a sign of familiarity. Your cat is taking ownership while also showing affection.
They’re protecting you by telling other felines to keep off, while also soothing themselves with the familiar scents.
Cats may be easily misunderstood as unfeeling or aloof – but they are very caring creatures.