Welcome back, people. Today I’m going to share a story about how my cat was peeing on shoes when I was absent and she drove one of my friends crazy. I needed to go abroad for a business trip and asked him for a favor. Little did I know how complicated this experience would be.
Basically, Jake is the only person who likes cats more than I do, and therefore, he was an obvious choice to be a part-time cat parent for my Nora. Since I know that cats don’t really like changes, I let him stay at my place.
They’d met before, so there was no reason for me to think that she might get upset because he was a foreigner. And well, I felt that this would go smoothly. Boy, how wrong I was…
Everything was perfectly fine for two days, but then something weird happened. I was video-calling Jake and we were talking about a random topic when his face turned pale. He wasn’t responding to my questions.
My biggest fear crossed my mind: did Nora fall off the balcony? Is she okay? While on the verge of tears, I started begging him to talk and he finally said: “Your cat is peeing on your shoes… Your Jimmy Choos…”
I felt relieved. Yes, those are my favorite shoes, but if something happened to my furbaby, I couldn’t handle it. Jake was confused when I told him not to worry about it and when I asked if her litter box was in its place.
There are a couple of reasons why cats are peeing on shoes and we’ll go through them together in today’s article. I hope it will help you, if not now, then in the future. Here we go!
Why is my cat peeing on my shoes?
So, as I’ve told you, there are a few explanations for your cat peeing on shoes and I’ll try to cover them all. I know that you may be terrified now that she may have some health issues because you’re sure that everything with her litter box is okay.
Don’t panic just yet, please. We both know that it doesn’t have to be the worst, and usually, the most rational answer is the right one. It’s good that you didn’t put your foot in the shoe your cat peed in, right?
Anyways, these are the main problems your fluff may be facing. Try to rule them out one at a time if you’re not sure what exactly may be bothering her. I mean, if your furbaby knows the basic catiquette, she’s supposed to use her litter box when peeing or pooping.
1. She’s stressed or anxious
Even though her ancestors were conquering the wilderness, your fluff is still sensitive to some things. Of course, she’s your Wondercat and she’ll do anything to protect you. But sometimes, you have to be her guardian angel as well.
She could be stressed or anxious for various reasons, some of them being pretty minor from your point of view. If you, for example, bought a new house plant, your neighbor got a dog, or you played with another cat before coming home, she’ll get upset.
I don’t even have to mention that major changes like adopting a new pet into your household, having a baby, getting a new roommate, or moving to another house, may stress the heck out of your furry ball of happiness.
She’s not going to be content, because she likes her routine and she definitely hates changing it. If your cat starts peeing on your shoes, she’s actually trying to tell you that something is not right and she noticed it.
So, if you know that some of these problems may be bothering your feline, try to calm her down a bit. Spend more time with her and hold her close until she gets used to the change. It’s not going to be easy and you’ll need a lot of patience, but you can do it.
2. She has some underlying health issues
Unfortunately, this type of behavior may be a sign that your furbaby has some underlying health issues that need to be solved. Her bathroom habits can change if she has problems with her kidneys, urinary tract, and bladder or if she has diabetes or arthritis.
In case your cat has UTI (Urinary tract infection) she may have problems peeing that she’ll connect pain with her litter box. Therefore, your shoes, wardrobe, bed, sofa, or bathroom rug may be the random places where she’ll urinate.
Also, she may have Feline urinary tract disease or commonly known as FLUTD. Because of this illness, your fluff may urinate more frequently and she’ll prefer cold surfaces like bathtubs or floor tiles. Her stomach may be distended and she may drink more water than usual.
She’ll be lethargic and she may vomit as well. If you notice that her pee also has a strong smell and that there are traces of blood, don’t wait any longer to consult with your vet. The sooner you start treatment, the better.
If your cat is peeing on shoes because she has kidney problems, you’ll notice that she lost some weight, that her fur is not as shiny as it used to be, and that her appetite has changed, too. She’ll also be lethargic and even depressed.
Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) in cats means that your fluff will drink water excessively and pee more often than usual. She’ll definitely eat more, but lose weight at the same time. Since this disease is not so easy to spot, most pet owners don’t notice symptoms until it becomes too late.
Therefore, if you suspect that something’s wrong, take her to the vet immediately. Arthritis is reserved for mostly older cats, just like humans. If your feline has visible problems while getting up and down, or she’s walking stiffly, she may have this disease.
Her limited movements may be the reason why your cat is peeing on shoes. To help her in this case, try adding some supplements to her diet, or modifying her litter box so she can easily use it.
3. You’ve changed the location of her litter box
Do you remember how I told you that cats don’t like changes? Well, if you moved your cat’s litter box she may start peeing on your shoes as a sign of protest. How would you feel if someone moved your toilet without preparing you beforehand? Confused, stressed out, worried?
Seems like you understand your fluff now. If you really don’t have to, try not to move her litter box, especially if she just learned how to use it. Changing her routine will only confuse her and make your life messier.
However, if it’s inevitable to change her litter box location, try doing it step by step. Move it every couple of days for a few inches towards the desired place. When you get to the final spot, she won’t complain about it – hopefully.
4. Her litter box is not clean
Of course, more problems with her litter box. If you’re not cleaning it regularly, your purrincess won’t use it. You’re well aware that cats are extremely clean animals and they won’t compromise on their hygiene.
Your fluff will start peeing on the bathroom rug, your shoes, or other random places to get your attention because that’s what cats do, right? Wherever something is off, she’ll do something mischievous solely for you to notice her. You can’t tell her that you’re so busy that you can’t take care of her.
Try to clean her box as often as possible, sometimes even a couple of times a day if needed. Regularly change the litter, or opt for those more expensive options like a self-cleaning litter box.
5. She’s marking her territory
What’s one of the ways your feline will mark her territory? She’ll pee, right? Well, if your cat is peeing on your shoes, she may be doing exactly that. Perhaps you left your sneakers outside last night and she heard an intruder, so that was the best way to claim her ownership of the house.
You’re probably thinking about all those sophisticated ways to mark her territory, like brushing her head on something, or lightly scratching the surfaces… Why did she have to choose the smellies one?
Well, let me tell you that you’re still among the lucky cat owners because she wasn’t spraying to leave her mark. That is one of the worst smells ever!
It’s true, there are cats that never do this and there are those who intentionally opt for this way of marking their territory. Usually, those cats that are spayed or neutered won’t use the spraying technique afterward. Others, however, may choose this one. I hope yours won’t.
6. She has litter allergies
Are we talking about her litter, again?! Pawlese… Okay, stop rolling your eyes and pay attention. I know that you may be a bit tired because (perhaps) you didn’t expect that owning a fluffy cat would be a lot of work. And it’s not; you just have to figure out a couple of things as a first-time per owner.
Allergies can happen to anybody and cats can have them too. Most common allergens are the same as for us. So, dust, pollen, and different food allergies, together with fleas may make your furbaby sick.
Besides that, your fluff may be allergic to some specific scents, chemicals, dyes, or other litter compounds. If you notice that she’s often sneezing, that she has watery eyes and a puffy face, or that her paws are irritated, don’t hesitate to contact the vet.
He’ll make it clear if the litter is a problem, or if you have to pay attention to other things, like her diet or environment in general.
Make sure you clear suspicions as soon as possible so your cat won’t be peeing on your shoes anymore. Get her hypoallergenic cat litter like this one from Cat’s Pride since it’s made specifically for sensitive felines.
7. She has problems with other pets in the house
Depending on the breed, cats are extremely friendly with other pets in the house and they get along pretty well with them. However, sometimes there may be some troubles in paradise. You’ll notice how they behave when they’re in the same room and when they’re separated.
If you caught your cat peeing on shoes recently, monitor how she behaves when you’re alone with her. Does her face light up when there are no other pets around? Is she respecting the rules you’ve set before?
Maybe two cats are arguing about who’s going to be the alpha in the home, or this furbaby is a newcomer. If the latter is true, there are a lot of reasons mixed up. She probably feels scared and anxious, so peeing on something with your smell comforts her.
Try to figure out what’s happening and solve the problem in the best way possible. I know you can do it, but in case you need help, dial that phone number and consult with a professional.
8. She misses you
This is the most adorable reason why your cat is peeing in your shoes – she simply misses you. My little Nora was actually a bit sad and stressed when she heard me talking somewhere, but I wasn’t in the apartment physically.
That’s why she ruined my Jimmy Choos, and I forgave her, I promise. If your fluff did the same while you were at work, on a business trip, or on vacation, it’s quite possible that she was missing you a lot.
What smells like you and has a really strong scent? Your shoes, of course! Would you rather that she peed on your bed, pillow, or towel? I think not. I mean, if you could choose, you wouldn’t choose your favorite shoes either.
It’s really important that you work on bonding with your feline, so try to spend as much time as possible with her. Buy some toys and have a scheduled playtime at least once a day. She’ll be grateful and you’ll see, she’ll pee in her litter box. Proven technique *wink, wink*.
How can you stop your cat from peeing on your shoes?
The hardest part is behind us, and now we know why cats are peeing on shoes. It wouldn’t be fair to keep the solutions to your problems for myself, right? So, that’s what we’re doing in this part.
Since you’re familiar with all the possible problems that may cause this smelly accident, here are all the solutions I’ve found helpful in these years of being a pet owner. I hope at least one will be helpful!
1. Try to figure out what’s exactly the problem
Isn’t this the most obvious thing to say? You have to try to figure out what exactly the problem is with this behavior. Your cat won’t start peeing on your shoes for no reason, you saw that before. So, start somewhere.
Monitor her behavior closely if you suspect that she may have some underlying health issues. Check how she uses her toilet, if she has problems climbing into her litter box, or if she avoids it completely. This will help you determine what to do next.
Your investigation may take some time, but don’t give up before you find the root problem. That’s exactly what you’ll have to solve in order for your cat to start behaving properly.
2. Baking soda may help
Baking soda won’t exactly solve the root of the problem, but it will surely help with removing stains and smells from your shoes. If both baking soda and vinegar can help us with removing different strong smells in our fridges and kitchen in general, they should be good here too.
You have two options; sprinkle the soda inside your shoes and leave it like that for a couple of hours. Or mix it with water into a paste, rub the paste where the stain is, and leave it until it dries. You can also use vinegar instead of water, which will definitely help with odors, but unfortunately, not the stains.
3. Modify her litter box
We spoke a lot about her litter box and how simply changing its location may make your cat start peeing on your shoes. Also, as stated, its size could be the problem since older cats with arthritis may not be able to get in and pee.
Get rid of the cat litter smell, clean her litter box regularly, and make sure that you’re using the litter that your fluff likes, whether that’s clay, pine, silica gel, or paper pellets litter. Her Highness has to have her wishes fulfilled, right?
After you’ve solved all the issues with her litter box, the only thing remaining is to be patient and try to make her use it again as soon as possible. Another thing that may work out is to buy her more litter boxes. That way, she’ll use the clean one while you find some time to take care of the used one.
4. Keep your shoes in a shoe cabinet
I guess this one is something that rationally crossed your mind. Don’t keep your shoes where she can reach them, rather put them in a shoe cabinet. Or, if you don’t have one, keep the shoe boxes and close them when you take the shoes out.
This is actually a pretty simple, yet powerful way to train your cat not to touch your things. However, keep in mind that cats are intelligent creatures and she could learn to open the lid or door in no time. So make sure that you also get some door protection or find the purrfect way to organize your shoe boxes.
5. Use deterring smells
This is one of the easiest ways to keep your furbaby away from your shoes – use deterring smells. There are some fragrances cats can’t stand such as lemon, lavender, peppermint, and even cinnamon and coffee.
So, instead of complaining about how your cat is peeing on your shoes, use smells that deter cats from doing exactly that. For example, you can put a couple of coffee grains in your shoes, or unlit candles with a lavender or citrus scent.
Even though you may not smell the change, your fluff definitely will. Her nose is way more powerful than yours; approximately 14 times. Essential oils can also help and you can put a little bottle of those on the shelf where you keep your shoes.
6. Consult your vet or cat behaviorist
Last but not least, you can always contact someone who knows a thing or two more about cats. Yes, I’m talking about your vet or a cat behaviorist. They can diagnose the root cause of the problem faster than the two of us.
There’s no reason to be ashamed to do so because both of them are professionals who will gladly help you. It’s way better to soothe the problem and make sure that your fluff is healthy. The sooner you find out what’s the catch, the faster you’ll be able to help her.
Some of the diseases that we’ve mentioned above are really hard to spot if you can’t recognize the symptoms right away and may be fatal. So, I highly recommend you dial their number as soon as you start suspecting that something may be wrong.
In the end…
There’s not much left to say, but I rather want to tell you not to be harsh on your cat if she was peeing on your shoes. As you could see, there are various reasons that could possibly make her do that naughty thing.
I know that this can be pretty tiring and that smell is horrible, but she’s not doing it to make you angry. If you start shouting at her, or something like that, you’ll make things worse. Arm yourself with a lot of patience and love for your little fluff.
Once you figure out what’s causing her to behave this way, you can help her solve the issues.
And, well, you’ll need rubber gloves, cleaning products with deterring smells, stain removals, and a gas mask. Just kidding about that last one, I think…