Why does my cat sleep on my shoes? Cats love shoes. Some cats show shoes a lot of love and give the shoes a good cuddle.
My cat sleeps on my shoes because the salty and sweaty smell of the shoes, coupled with the scent of the cat from rubbing or cuddling the shoes, is comforting to the cat. The shoe cuddling reinforces ownership and gives the cat security within his own claimed territory.
Shoes, of course, smell like their owners. We don’t like to think we have smelly shoes, and they may not smell to us.
A cat’s superior sense of smell will lead them straight to your shoes. It doesn’t matter what type of shoes you have as long as the familiar smells are there. Seeing your cat lying on your shoes is quite funny. Not quite so funny if they are also covered in cat hair.
In our house, it was the flip flops, the UGG boots, and everything in between that were the recipients of shoe cuddling.
Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Shoes?
1. Your Shoes Might Be Warm
Your cat may be irresistibly drawn to your shoes if they are still warm. Warm shoes that belong to you and have your smell are a bonus for the cat.
It is not as though the cat is only choosing comfortable shoes to lie on, as they seem to have no preference for a shoe type and will give a cat cuddle to any shoe type.
Sleeping in sandals, joggers, high heels, flip flops, boots, slippers, and UGG boots all get the tick of approval from the cats. Leather shoes will retain the “you” smell.
If it wasn’t your shoes the cat was sleeping on, it would be something else. Cats love warm anything, hence lying on keyboards and recently vacated chairs.
Cats prefer warm locations because they require less energy to keep themselves warm.
2. Cats Mark Their Territory On Your Shoes
Cat have many scent glands. The scent glands located in the head area are used when the cat rubs his face along the side of your shoes.
You may have been sitting in a chair when the cat wandered over for a smooch, rubbing his cheeks along the side of your shoe. Pet owners find this particularly endearing.
Sometimes the cat rubs so vigorously that it causes my legs to rock back and forth. I know that might sound strange but if you live with cats you will know what I mean.
If I then take that shoe off, there is a good chance the cat will then lay on my shoes.
The cat family has a unique way of communicating with one another. They use their pheromones, which are scent signals that can be detected at distances up to thirty feet away!
When your cat comes over to rub his cheeks against your shoes, he’s leaving his mark or scent.
I’m sure we are all familiar with cats doing this even if you don’t own a cat. This is a good reason for your cat to lie on your shoes. The scent says to the cat, this is in my space, I belong here and I feel secure here.
Related Reading: Can cats have sleep apnea? Is your cat Mr Snuffleupagus?
3. Your Shoes Smell Like You And Your Cat Loves It
We know that the senses of cats are more refined than those of humans, and that includes their sense of smell. The sense of smell in cats is at least 10 times better than that in humans. This means that cats are very sensitive to any new smells or different scents in the home.
Cats have a scent organ at the roof of their mouths called Jacobson’s organ.
When you see the cat with its mouth slightly open, the cat is using its mouth to suck in air directed to the vomeronasal area to analyze a million different smells.
In our house, the kids called this “black lip,” as the slightly open mouth gave the cat the appearance of having a small black lip. Kids are observant!
Your cat finds your smell an intoxicating scent and will seek out any chance they get to be near you.
Your shoes contain your smell plus human sweat, a unique mixture that your cat loves dearly.
It’s no surprise to find your cat snoozing on your shoes or even an old T shirt. Your cat does love your smell and has an obvious obsession with shoe cuddling. Your cat may even be covering his face with a paw. Face covering is a very common behavior.
Your cat will also add his unique scent, marking territory and showing his ownership, to your shoes by rolling around on them.
Related Reading: Have you ever wondered, where outside cats, sleep at night? How do they survive?
4. Your Shoes Represent Comfort To Your Cat
Because the shoes smells like you, sleeping in your shoes is a self soothing behavior for your cat.
It doesn’t have to be your shoes. It may also be your husband’s shoes or those of any other member of the immediate household. Cats sleep and also lie on articles of your clothing or on or near your pillow for comfort.
If you leave the house for several days, provide an environment for your cat or cats that includes some of your shoes or clothing to provide the smell cats associate with you.
Are your shoes under the bed? The cat sleeping under the bed on your shoes is another favorite kitty trick.
Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Shoes? Conclusion
In short, the reason the cat enjoys sleeping on shoes, salty and sweaty or pretty well pristine is primarily because the shoes have the smell of the owner. The cat feels safe and it is comforting for the cat to lie on the shoes.
Added to this is the fact that the cat will add his own scent to your shoes by rubbing his cheeks along or on your shoes to deposit his scent.
It is all about security and territorial ownership for the cat.
Some cats play with the shoes but most settle down for a nap on the shoes and the shoes keep the cats calm. Cats know what they are doing.