Why is My Cat Stealing My Socks?


We have a cat who is constantly finding our socks and putting them around the house in the hallways. What does this mean?

By Titus from Bolton, Ontario, Canada


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By Lisa 2 656 05/16/2010

He (she?) could just be playing with them. They're a nice size for cats to grab and chew on. We stuff my daughter's old socks with dried catnip and sew them shut. They're the perfect size, and my cats love them! I imagine if they had access to our regular socks, at least one of our cats would try to play with them (he's into everything).

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By KL 3 554 05/16/2010

You are not alone:

Your post reminded me of this thread I read at Ask MetaFilter

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By Cyinda 214 1,287 05/16/2010

That is so funny. Aren't cats the strangest, funniest, most charming creatures? If they are socks that have already been worn, I'm pretty sure it's the smell that entices them. As you already know, with cats, it's all about the smell. So your cat is likely drawn to the smell (which reminds them of you) then after he or she loses interest in it, they drop it and leave it be.

To help your cat lose it's sock "fetish", take several clean old socks and put about a teaspoon of catnip inside them, then knot the ends. Your cat will likely find the smell of the new catnip socks far more interesting than the ones with the human smell.

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By Jean 2 145 05/17/2010

I had a cat that did the same thing, usually with dish towels, but if there wasn't one handy, he would drag any type of fabric around the house.
One winter morning, I reached for my bathrobe at the end of the bed, but it wasn't there. After searching, I found it under the dining table at the other end of the house.
Cats are so entertaining.

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By Litter Gitter 145 553 05/17/2010

We used to have an inside cat and he was so amusing. He would get my panty hose and drag them around the house. I think he was pretending he was a lion and that was his prey.

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My personal serious but humorous take is that your cat loves you and because cats know you by your scent your kitty loves your stinky feet too and it's just your kitties way of being close to you when you're not giving him/her attention ;-)

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By Jarron 7 106 05/17/2010

My one cat adopted a balloon I was given at a bank drive-thru. It was a helium balloon and when I first brought it in, she would play with the ribbon attached, where it trailed along the floor. As it lost buoyancy she would drag it through the air behind her, and when it finally fell to the floor she started dragging it around on the ground, and actually started carrying by holding the balloon's "nipple".

I thought, "this won't last long!" but it lasted several weeks. She carried it, slept curled around it, and was very protective of it. I finally had to throw it away when it was totally deflated as I did not want anyone accidentally choking on the rubber. She cried and caterwauled for weeks afterwards.

A cat with a sock- that sounds so normal I wouldn't think twice about it!

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By MB Norton 6 180 05/18/2010

My orange tabby Charlie has a red wool sweater that he 'hunts' at least once daily. We call it the Elk. At least he has stopped hunting our sweaters in the closet and has limited himself to only one!

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By Beth 25 1,120 05/19/2010

When I was a kid we had a cat who would dig a pair of my striped socks out of the bottom of a laundry basket. We just found it amusing.

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