Here’s Why Cats Leave Toys In Your Shoes

Last updated on December 12th, 2021

Cats are mischievous, adorable, and spunky creatures that many people around the world love. Whether you own them or just look at pictures and videos of them on the internet, it’s hard to deny that cats are fun to have around.

Owners of these funky felines love to share the funny things they do and the silly shenanigans they get up, including waking up to find their cat’s toys in their shoes.

It’s such an odd thing, waking up to find a toy mouse in your shoes. The extra step of checking your shoes and shaking out cat toys can be a nuisance during a rushed morning.

No one wants to be late for work because their cat had been playing hide the mouse in your shoes all night. Not only can this be frustrating, but it’s also confusing, often leaving cat owners scratching their heads wondering what could make their cat leave toys in their shoes.

Cats place their toys in your shoes because it’s a common behavior for them to move their prey to a safe location while saving it for later, also, cats are drawn to the scent of their owners and footwear normally carries a stronger scent of the individual.

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Why do cats leave their toys in shoes?

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Surprisingly to many people, there are a few different reasons why cats might choose to leave their toys in their owner’s shoes.

The first and most common reason that a cat would be putting a toy in shoes is that they are natural-born hunters.

In the wild, cats will stalk, hunt, and kill their prey. After killing their prey, cats will often choose to hide what they are unable to eat, saving it for later.

Domesticated cats will mimic this behavior when they are playing to exercise their physical and mental muscles.

When a cat hides their toy in your shoes, it is just pretending to hide its prey and save it for later.

Another reason that a cat might want to hide their toy in their owner’s shoes is that they want to take care of their owner.

You see, in the wild, mother cats will hunt for not only themselves but also their babies. The babies are helpless and unable to hunt for themselves.

Some house cats look at their owners the way that mama cats look at their babies- like they are helpless and unable to take care of themselves.

In this situation, your cat is essentially “catching its prey” and sharing it with you because your cat cares about you.

The third reason a cat might put its toy in its owner’s shoes is due to the fact that the shoes have a lot of the person’s scent.

Because shoes tend to smell really strongly of the person who wears them, cats might become attached or protective of their owner’s shoes.

Examples of this happening might be cats moving their owner’s shoes, sleeping near their owner’s shoes, or even putting toys in their owner’s shoes.

The act of putting a toy in a shoe shows any other animal that might come up that these shoes belong to the cat and its owner.

How can you keep your cat from putting its toys in your shoes?

Because hunting for toys in your shoes during the early hours of the morning doesn’t sound like fun, you might be wanting to find ways to keep your cat from putting its toys in your shoes.

Unfortunately, there really aren’t many ways to accomplish this other than keeping your shoes in a room or closet that is closed off from your feline pet.

Why do cats like shoes so much?

If you are an owner of a cat that likes to put its toys in your shoes, you have probably noticed your cat exhibiting somewhat odd behaviors with or near your shoes.

Some owners have noticed their cats sticking their heads directly into shoes for seemingly no reason. Other cat owners have spotted their cats taking a nap amongst a pile of shoes.

Sometimes cats have even taken off with their owner’s shoes, running away with them to hide it someplace where their owner will have a hard time finding it.

All of this leaves the big question: why do cats seem to like shoes so much?

There are probably many reasons that some cats seem to have an obsession with shoes.

Truthfully, we will most likely never be able to know all of the reasons that cats are so drawn to what we put on our feet. However, there is one reason we do know, and you do too, now. It’s because they smell like people.

Cats that are very attached to their owners want to be around them or things that smell like them a lot.

This is why you will frequently see cats laying on their owner’s blankets or laundry. This is also the reason we see cats playing around or in their owner’s shoes.

Shoes tend to pick up and hold more of a person’s scent than anything else. And while we humans think that shoes stink, cats absolutely adore the smell of their owner’s feet.

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