Cats are known for being curious creatures that love to investigate and play with various objects. However, one particular item that seems to draw their attention more than others is shoes. Whether it’s a sneaker or a flip-flop, cats always seem to find a way to make shoes their new favorite toy. But why exactly do cats like shoes? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior and provide some tips to help cat parents deal with their feline friend’s shoe obsession.

Understanding a Cat’s Natural Instincts

To understand why cats like shoes so much, it’s essential to look at their natural instincts. As predators, cats are instinctually curious and playful. They have a natural drive to investigate anything that moves, rustles, or rolls, which is why they love to chase small prey like mice and birds. Additionally, cats are attracted to objects that make noise, such as the rustling of leaves or the jingle of a bell, which is why they often chase after toys that make sounds.

When it comes to shoes, the scent and texture can also be appealing to a cat’s natural instincts. Cats have an acute sense of smell, and shoes can have a variety of odors, depending on where they’ve been. The scent of leather, in particular, can be intriguing to cats as it reminds them of rawhide chews or other animal hides, which are often used as prey in the wild.

Reasons Why Cats Like Shoes

There are various reasons why cats seem to love playing with shoes. Here are some of the main reasons:

1. Shoes Offer a Variety of Textures

Cats love anything with an interesting texture, and shoes can provide just that. From the smoothness of leather to the roughness of the sole, shoes come in a variety of textures that cats find appealing. They also enjoy the sensation of scratching and clawing at different materials, which shoes provide plenty of opportunities for.

2. Shoes Have a Strong Scent

As previously mentioned, cats have an exceptional sense of smell, and shoes can have a variety of odors that are intriguing to them. From the smell of sweat to the scent of leather, shoes hold a plethora of scents that cats can’t resist.

3. Shoes Move and Make Noise

Cats love anything that moves or makes noise, and shoes are no exception. Whether it’s the sound of footsteps or the movement of laces, shoes provide plenty of opportunities for cats to pounce, chase, and play.

Dealing with a Cat’s Shoe Obsession

While cats’ love for shoes can be adorable, it can also be frustrating for cat parents who don’t want their shoes to be ruined. Here are some tips to help cat parents deal with their feline friend’s shoe obsession:

1. Provide Plenty of Toys

One of the main reasons cats play with shoes is because they’re bored and need something to occupy their time. Providing plenty of toys can help keep your cat entertained and reduce their focus on shoes.

2. Keep Shoes Out of Reach

If your cat won’t stop playing with your shoes, try keeping them out of reach. Store them in a closed closet or shoe rack to prevent your cat from accessing them.

3. Redirect Your Cat’s Attention

If your cat is fixated on a particular shoe, try redirecting their attention by giving them an alternative toy to play with. Use toys with similar textures or scents to shoes to keep their interest.

4. Train Your Cat

Training your cat to stay away from shoes can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Use positive reinforcement techniques and rewards to teach your cat that shoes are off-limits.


In conclusion, cats love shoes for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s the textures, scents, or movement, shoes provide plenty of entertainment for curious kitties. While it can be frustrating for cat parents dealing with a shoe-obsessed feline, there are several strategies to help redirect a cat’s attention and keep shoes safe. By understanding your cat’s natural instincts and providing plenty of enrichment, you can keep your feline friend happy and entertained without sacrificing your shoe collection.

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