Why Do My Shoes Smell Like Cat Pee

If you have ever noticed how your shoes smell like cat pee, even though you don’t have a cat, you’re not alone. Many people experience this strange phenomenon, and there’s a scientific explanation. This article will discuss why do my shoes smell like cat pee. So keep reading to discover why your shoes smell like cat pee and what you can do about it.

Shoes can get smelly for several reasons, including bacteria. Shoes give off quite a bit of moisture and provide an excellent place for fungi to grow and bacteria because shoes are warm and damp. In addition to this, bacteria feed on dead skin cells and sweat from your feet. When you combine these factors with several different microorganisms, you have everything necessary to create that awful stench coming from your shoes.

Why Do My Shoes Smell Like Cat Pee

Summary: There are several reasons why your shoes might smell like cat pee. One possible explanation is that your cat has sprayed on them, leaving behind an unpleasant odor. Another possibility is that your shoes are made of a material, such as synthetic rubber, that can absorb odors and hold onto them for an extended period of time. Poor hygiene and bacteria growth can also cause shoe odor.

A Detailed Guide on Why Do My Shoes Smell Like Cat Pee

Cause 1: Sweat

Sweat is the most common cause of unpleasant shoe odors. Whether you are an athlete or enjoy exercising, your shoes have likely absorbed sweat. Most people don’t realize, but just because you can’t see the sweat doesn’t mean there isn’t any in there.

People who wear leather-based or suede dress shoes with rubber soles are most susceptible to this problem as these materials allow the dampness to spread within the shoes resulting in odor problems. But even if you are wearing sneakers made of mesh material, they can still absorb sweat, making them smell bad.

Another thing to keep in mind regarding sweaty feet is if your feet sweat more than average, your shoes will also retain more moisture.

Cause 2: Bacteria

As mentioned above, bacteria break down sweat-soaked skin cells and produce an unpleasant odor. This may also occur due to holding smelly socks together or wearing damp socks regularly, which promotes bacterial growth, which leads to stinky shoes. If you don’t regularly clean your shoes, they will eventually start to smell from all the dirt/dust/grit that gets trapped in the soles of your shoes.

If you have a shoe rack or some container where you can keep your shoes, this will also help as it will limit the amount of moisture and dust that settles on them-resulting in fewer bacteria growth which leads to less smelly shoes.

Cause 3: The Types of Materials Used in Your Shoe’s Construction

Some materials don’t breathe. Leather and plastic soles (and rubber) tend to be bad offenders here, trapping smells even after regular cleaning and allowing bacteria plenty of places to latch onto and breed leading to unpleasant odors from your favorite pair of boots or high heels. At the same time, natural materials like cotton or canvas allow more airflow and therefore dry out faster, which leads to less smelly shoes.

Some Materials Don't Breathe. Leather and Plastic

Cause 4: Not Wearing Your Shoes

This seems obvious, but why does it lead to smelly shoes! Not wearing your boots gives time for sweat and bacteria to build up. The longer you keep them on, the more they will be able to work their way into every nook and cranny of your shoe where they can thrive. The humidity in airtight enclosures (like leather or plastic) also promotes bacterial growth within the enclosed space, which leads to less-than-pleasant smells. If you are not planning on using them for a few weeks, put them in storage bags so that no dirt or moisture can accumulate inside them.

Cause 5: Cat Pee!

While the previous causes are all valid, cat pee is what we will be focusing on as it’s a common cause of smelly shoes and one that happens more often than you might think. So the next time you have a bout of particularly strong-smelling shoe odor–check your shoes for signs of feline activity, as this is probably the cause.

Cat Pee Is What We Will Be Focusing

Cats love to spray in areas that they can mark as their own. Suppose you’ve recently adopted a pet or brought home used furniture from an unknown source. This could be the culprit, especially if you notice urine stains in your shoe–which usually show up as small yellowish drips along the back edge of your heel or in the sole of your shoe. (When seeing stains like this, you should always check for wetness or dampness to make sure your shoes aren’t primed for bacteria growth which leads to smelly shoes)

Cause 6: Medications

Our senses can dull, and minor ailments become more pronounced as we get older. If your shoes start to smell more potent than usual, it may be due to a side effect from your medication. Sudden changes in how strong something smells or tastes are signs of an issue happening before us that shouldn’t be ignored–be it medication or something else entirely. Be sure to explain any strange changes in fragrance/taste with your doctor so they can prescribe what remedies might work best for you.

Cause 7: Diet

What you eat directly impacts the smell of your feet and shoes, with some foods having stronger scents than others–garlic being one of the worst offenders. Many spices are also known to have strong smells that can make their way into your sweat glands causing smelly shoes. Fruit peels are another common culprit as they leave behind their pungent odors long after the food itself has been consumed by someone else or thrown away.

Eat Directly Impacts the Smell of Your Feet

The best thing to do in this situation is to drink plenty of water throughout the day so that your body doesn’t retain these odors, which leads to smelly shoes. If you’re still experiencing stink issues, it may be time for an over-the-counter shoe deodorizer to help keep your shoes smelling fresh and dry. These are the causes why do my shoes smell like cat pee.

You Can Check It Out to Get Cat Pee Out of Shoes

Prevent Smelly Feet and Shoes

Option 1: Keep yourself Dry/Change Socks Regularly

Since most odors are caused by moisture or sweat, changing socks regularly can help keep things fresh. Your best bet would be natural fibers that absorb moisture from your feet, keeping them dry and smelling better.

Option 2: Wash Shoes Regularly

In addition to changing socks regularly, a good scrub down of the inside and outside of your shoes after each wear will help keep smells away. A quick wipe with a cloth is a significant first step. If you need to, you can mix some water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and give things a quick spritz before wiping them down or try putting some baking soda into the new shoe tree as it expands back to its original shape.

Option 3: Place Baking Soda In Your Shoes Before Putting Them Away For The Season

If you’re someone who only wears their favorite pair of shoes for several months out of the year, try putting a little baking soda in them before putting them away. Baking soda helps keep smells from developing and will ensure that your shoes are fresh when you’re ready to wear them again.

Option 4: Use A Shoe Freshener Spray

You can also use a shoe freshener spray ahead of time, so they’ll be smelling great for your next special occasion. Anyone who gets close to you won’t have to worry about lousy shoe odor.

Option 5: Clean Your Feet Regularly

We already mentioned changing socks and giving shoes a quick wipe down, but it’s also essential to wash and dry your feet well after each wearing. This is especially important if you sweat excessively during the day or do sports where you’re bound to be sweaty. Shoes worn by people who don’t keep their feet clean and dry will generally smell bad.

Wash and Dry Your Feet Well

You Can check it Out to Soften Hard Leather Shoes

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do My Rubber Boots Smell Like Cat Pee?

Rubber boots can often contain chemicals and other additives that can cause them to smell like cat pee. This is because the rubber contains sulfur, which can react with other chemicals in the boot to create a strong smell. If you notice that your rubber boots are starting to smell bad, it’s best to remove them and replace them with something else.

Why Do My Shoes Smell Like Ammonia?

Ammonia is a common byproduct of the biological process known as ammonia synthesis. This process occurs when protein, Carbohydrates, and Lipids are combined in the presence of oxygen. Ammonia is produced as a result of this reaction and it can be found in many places around your home including your shoes.

When you wear shoes that have been worn recently, they gradually start to smell like ammonia because the ammonium salts present in sweat combine with organic compounds to form ammonium chloride. This compound smells sour due to its high concentration of chlorine atoms.

Can You Fix Smelly Shoes?

There are many ways to fix smelly shoes, and the most popular methods involve using baking soda or vinegar. Both of these solutions work by absorbing moisture andodor from the shoe, which can then be eliminated with a vacuum cleaner. For those who don’t have access to a vacuum cleaner, there are other options available such as boiling water in some sort of container (such as an empty coffee mug) and pouring it over the offending footwear. Be sure to remove all traces of liquid before airing out your shoes for good!

What Kills Smell in Shoes?

There are many different things that can kill the smell of shoes, one of the most common is sweat. When you perspire, your body releases a compound called 3-methylpyrazole (3MP). 3MP is responsible for the unpleasant odor associated with sweaty feet andfeet. It also acts as an anti-microbial agent and inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause bad foot odors.

To reduce or prevent foot odor, it is important to keep your feet well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and taking supplements like bromelain which helps in breaking down protein deposits. Additionally, wearing shoes specifically designed forfoot odor prevention may help to decrease the amount of sweat produced.


We hope now you know why do my shoes smell like cat pee. This is a widespread problem with leather shoes. The smell comes from bacteria that feed on the sweat and oil of your feet, but it’s not just confined to your footwear. If you have any bag or purse with an inset pocket made out of leather, there are likely some issues with odor too!

This is because these pockets collect moisture where bacteria can overgrow in warm environments like purses. All this means that if you want to get rid of the cat pee smell at home or work, all you need to do is clean up these areas regularly so they don’t accumulate more odors over time.

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at jennifer@tenreviewed.com

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