Why Do My Boots Smell Like Cat Pee?(+10 Bonus Solutions)

Written By Nawar

Isn’t it confusing and disgusting to find boots smelling like cat pee?

Not anymore!  As I have researched and consulted with doctors to give you the common reasons and solutions to your confusion.


So, why do your boots smell like cat pee?

The boots smell like cat pee because of the polyurethane element in the sole releasing ammonia when contacted with water. Other reasons may include excessive sweat from the foot, lack of ventilation, or a literal cat peeing on the boots. However, there are multiple ways to remove the smell.

Read till the end to know more about removing the smell.

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Why do my boots smell like cat pee? 5 common reasons

Most Common Reasons Top solutions
You have smelly feet/socksWear synthetic socks, consult your foot doctor
Your boots are dirtyUse vinegar, talc powder, odor-eliminating spray while cleaning boots
Your boots are wetKeep the boots in a dry place
Your cat peed on your bootsConsult your veteran to control the cat's behavior
You have perspiration issuesConsult a foot specialist to avoid such issues
Your boots are not breathableReplace boots with vented holes for breathability or keep them dry as much as possible.

The release of ammonia causes the cat pee smell. But there are multiple ways/ reasons why ammonia is released in the first place.

But before that, you check out Are 5.11 Tactical Boots Any Good

Here are the 5 reasons why your boots smell like cat pee:

1. You have smelly feet/socks

When your feet smell because of excessive sweat, it would allow bacteria to grow and trap sweat that releases ammonia.


Hence, the release of ammonia discharges the cat pee smell.

A few reasons why you have smelly feet are given below:

  • You have been wearing your boots for a long period straight. 
  • You have a tendency to produce more sweat than usual.
  • You wear cotton socks that absorb the feet’ sweat and make it smelly.

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2. Your boots are dirty

The dust, oil and mud may stick to your boots for too long to make the soles damp and hence release ammonia. 

The discharge of ammonia causes the cat pee smell.

Here are a few reasons why your boots are dirty:

  • You have to work around muddy or dusty areas that stick to your boots and cause the smell.
  • You have not cleaned the dust of everyday air for a long period of time.
  • You have not waterproofed your boots, so the dirty water gets absorbed by the soles. 
  • You only cleaned the outer surface but avoided the inner portion.
  • You do not use proper odor-eliminating sprays or DIY liquids while cleaning the boots.

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3. Your boots are very wet 

Sometimes we ignore our wet boots and keep them as they are for too long.

By this time, the water rots the inner sole. Which then releases ammonia because of the polyurethane element in the sole.

This ammonia is what causes the boots to smell like cat pee.

Here are a few reasons why your boots are wet:

  • The boots got soaked by river or seawater.
  • Accident spill of water on your boots
  • Not given to dry after heavy washing
  • The rain or muddy water caused it to stay wet.
  • The discharge of sweat from the feet kept the inner portion wet.

But before that, go through our epic guide on how to Clean Muddy Leather Boots

4. Your cat peed on your boots

If you are a cat owner, then cat peeing on your boots has a higher possibility.

The cat pee/urine has an excessive amount of ammonia that causes the “cat pee” smell.

Here are a few reasons why your cat pee on your boots:

  • The cat is trying to mark its territory
  • The cat has irregular peeing issues.
  • The cat is jealous of you for giving attention to something else.
  • The cat is on heat or in other words, he is having sexual urges. Since he is not neutered, he releases the excess hormonal element with urine.
  • The cat is not trained to urinate in a specific area.
  • When the cat litter is too unclean, he may urinate in various places including your boots.
  • The cat may have health issues.

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5. You have perspiration issues

The malodor from your feet may cause the cat pee smell.

It happens when the bacteria get a chance to multiply and break down the dead skin. While breaking down the cells, it releases an odor that smells a lot like cat pee.

Here are a few reasons why you might have perspiration issues:

  • You might have an athlete’s foot
  • You may have been drinking less water.
  • You may have an unhealthy diet.
  • You may have allowed germs to multiply instead of regular cleaning of your foot.
  • You may have internal health issues unsolved.
  • You may have been regularly wearing boots for too long.
  • You do not treat your feet with gels or creams according to a foot specialist.
  • You may have ignored contacting the doctor for your malodor issues.
  • You may have allowed malodor to develop on a daily basis.

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6. Your boots are not breathable

Some boots lack vented holes for air to flow in and out.


This is why the water or the moisture stays trapped in the boots eventually causing the cat pee smell.

10 Best Solutions to get Cat pee smell out of Boots(Fast!)

Now that you know the reasons why your boot smells like cat pee. It’s time you know how to remove this horrible odor forever.

Here are the 10 Best Solutions to get Cat Pee out of your boots.

  1. Use disinfectants such as alcohol isopropyl solution while cleaning your boots.
  2. Always clean the boot’s liners with hot water.
  3. You can try using odor eliminating or cat stain sprays.
  4. Use anything dry to absorb the moisture from your boots.
  5. You may use vinegar, talc powder, or baking soda while cleaning to remove the odor.
  6. You can contact veterans to know ways to prevent your cat from peeing.
  7. You may need to contact a foot specialist to check if you have health issues causing the odor.
  8. Wear nylon or synthetic socks to weaken the moisture and prevents the sweat from spreading or causing odor.
  9. Always keep your boots in dry and open spaces instead of closed places to prevent the boots from trapping the moisture.
  10. Always choose/ replace boots with a good ventilation system.

But before that, you check out how to Clean Used Shoes

Happy to see you smile

There is no reason to not smile when you know the reasons and the solutions to your problem.

Now you wouldn’t need to feel disgusted by this odor anymore.

Do leave us comments about your thoughts on such problems. Also, don’t forget to share and help out your friends and families as well.

About The Author
Since she was a child, Nawar always had a fascination towards her shoes. There was not a time, she stopped researching or experimenting DIY methods on her precious shoes.As she continued growing up till now, her passion and her love towards shoes attracted this awesome place to work in.Now, her expertise and knowledge isn’t only helping herself but also the whole wide world we live in.

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