How to Get Rid of Cat Poop Smell on Shoes – Step-by-Step

It is not beyond your furry friend to poop in your shoes, especially when they find shoes near or around their litter box. As a cat owner, one of the most unpleasant things you may experience is dealing with the smell of cat poop on your shoes or sneakers.

With that in mind, let’s explore how to get rid of cat poop smell on shoes and prevent it from happening in the future.

While cat poop odor can be obnoxious and difficult to remove from most surfaces and fabrics, it shouldn’t mean throwing your favorite sneakers into the bin.

How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell On Shoes

Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell On Shoes
Get Rid Of Cat Poop Smell On Shoes

Step 1: Remove The Excess Poop From The Shoes

The first thing you need to do is remove any excess poop from your shoes, sneakers, heels, or other shoes. Whether the poop is on the sides, on top of the shoe laces, or the bottom (common after stepping on cat poop), you need to remove as much of the poop mass as possible before its stays there for too long.

Do not allow the cat poop to remain on the shoe for a long time before you begin to take action, as this will make it harder to wash it off. Whether the poo is on the upper surface or the sole of the shoes, it can set in, making it a tad more difficult to clear the poo smell stench from your shoes.

So, to remove the poor stain, you can use a paper towel or a plastic bag to scrape off as much poop as possible and do it gently. You may also have to use an old fork or disposable plastic fork to remove a larger mass of cat waste that could be embedded in deep-seated parts of the shoes. 

Alternatively, you can hose the trainers to force the cat poo out of your shoes. Just ensure you use a hose with sufficient pressure to remove the poop from your shoes. The hose will help wash off the excess poop on the shoe before its fibers fully absorb it.

Whatever you do, wear protective gloves to avoid exposing yourself to bacteria and any potential health hazards.

You can use a black light to detect every minute poo patch and dissolved poo.

Learn How To Get Rid Of Cat Pee On Your Clothes

Learn How To Get Rid Of Cat Poop On Your Clothes

Using Cat Litter To Get Rid Of The Excess Cat Poop

Using Cat Litter To Get Rid Of The Excess Cat Poop

If you’re uncomfortable handling wet poo/diarrhea, you can elect to clump the poo handling the mess. Apply cat litter on the poop stain and let it sit there for a while. It will absorb the moisture from the poop, accelerating the drying process, making removing the stain a lot easier. 

Importantly, this is a cost-effective means of getting huge masses of poop on shoes.

Noteworthy, the vast majority of cat litter has strong deodorizing properties. As such, the litter will also help you remove the cat poop odor from your sneakers.

Step 2: Wash The Shoes Properly

The best solution regarding how to get rid of cat poop smell on shoes is to clean them manually. We should note that cleaning your shoes in a washing machine is not recommended, as the water pressure and agitation (the tumbling action) can distort or damage the shoes or sneakers. Moreover, not many types of shoes are machine-washable – you might want to confirm this before tossing them in the washer.

Hand-Washing Your Shoes Or Trainers

Hand-Washing Your Shoes Or Trainers For The Best Results

Once you have removed the excess poop from your shoes, the next step is washing them thoroughly to remove the remaining stains and odor. 


Application Procedure:

Add the detergent to the warm water in the basin or sink according to the manufacturer’s instructions and swirl the solution using your hand to ensure the solution dissolves and mixes well.

Remove the shoes’ insoles (if they are removable) and put them aside. Then, soak the shoes or trainers in the basin or sink, submerging them well in soapy water.

Use soapy water and a brush to scrub and wash off the poop stains from the affected shoe areas. The brush helps to remove the odor-causing stains, dirt, and other forms of debris on your shoes.

Therefore, ensure you thoroughly but gently brush the seams and the soles of the shoes or sneakers as well.

Once you are convinced you have cleaned the shoes sufficiently well, rinse them properly to remove the soapy residue solution. 

How Do You Get The Smell Of Cat Poop Off Leather Or Suede Shoes?

Leather or suede is a rather delicate material used to produce shoes. Excess moisture or strong cleaning products, including concentrated vinegar, can damage it. 

Other cleaning products containing bleach and ammonia may also damage your leather shoes. Ensure you test your cleaning product on a small and inconspicuous area of your shoes to avoid ruining them or causing unintended discoloration.

Besides that, getting rid of cat poop or urine odor on your leather shoes follows the cleaning process outlined in this article.

Step 3: Dry The Shoes

Once the shoes are washed, you need to dry them completely. Any lingering moisture may damage the shoes, especially if they are leather. In addition, if your shoes are not completely dry, it could create a breeding ground for bacteria that cause a murky odor and threaten your general health.

How To Air-Dry The Shoes

Air-Dry The Shoes Away From The Sun
Air-Dry The Shoes Away From The Sun

Air-dry (rather than machine drying) the shoes in a well-ventilated room until they are completely moisture-free. This is the safest and recommended way of drying your shoes after washing – air-drying ensures you preserve the shape and durability of the sneakers or shoes.

You may use a fan or a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. If you use a hairdryer, be careful not to damage the shoe.

Also, you can use a clean towel or paper cloth to blot away the excess moisture before air-drying them to help accelerate the drying process. Avoid twisting or wringing the sneakers or shoes with the towel so as not to damage the them.

Tip: Stuff the shoes with a clean and dry towel or crumpled newspaper to absorb the excess moisture inside the shoes while preserving their shape as they continue dying.

The time required to dry your shoes entirely depends on the humidity in the air and the material used to make the shoes. Materials with a high absorbency may take longer to dry as they retain moisture much better.

Still, be patient to allow the shoes to dry completely to avoid wearing or storing damp shoes in the house.

Dry Under Direct Sunlight

Dry Under Direct Sunlight

Although not the best course of action, you can let your shoes dry under direct sunlight, especially if you do not have access to a well-ventilated indoor space to air-dry your shoes after washing them – drying them in direct sunlight can cause them to crack or fade.

If you must dry your shoes or sneakers under direct sunlight, begin by absorbing the excess water from the shoes using a clean towel. Then, you can place the shoes in direct sunlight but on a clean and dry surface. 

Every now or then, or after every 30 minutes, flip the shoes or changes their orientation towards the sun to ensure both sides of the shoes are exposed to the sun and dry evenly. Occasionally, put your hand inside the shoes to determine if they are fully dry before returning them to the house.

To safeguard your shoes or sneakers from heat damage, do not hesitate to take them indoors when they become excessively hot. Depending on the humidity in the air and the shoes’ construction material, it may take a few hours or an entire day to dry completely.

Learn Why Cat Urine Smell So Bad

Step 4: Apply Odor Eliminator

Apply Odor Eliminator

After the sneakers are dry, the next step is to apply an odor eliminator to remove the cat’s poop stain and odor. In this step, you may use commercial pet odor removers like enzymatic cleaners or make your solution using locally available products such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and essential oils. 

Please note: The ideal product for your circumstance may depend on the severity of the cat poop stain on your shoes or trainers and how long it stayed in place before cleaning. You may be compelled to use more than an odor-eliminator product to remove the odor thoroughly.

How To Use Baking Soda Odor Eliminator 

Baking soda is a natural odor eliminator that neutralizes the pH level of the odor-causing molecules and absorbs moisture from the pet stain. Baking soda is affordable, easy to use, and effective in neutralizing the odor-causing molecule – it does not merely mask the odor like typical fragrances.

Application Procedure:

Step #1: Look for a container, cloth bag, or a Ziploc bag big enough to hold the baking soda and your shoes. Then, put a generous amount of baking soda in each shoe, for example, between one and two tablespoons per shoe. If you are dealing with a large stain, you should use a higher quantity than that.

If the poo stain you washed was small, just sprinkle the baking soda on the affected area and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Ensure the affected areas are directly exposed to baking soda.

Step #2: Once the baking soda has time, remove the shoes from the container or bag and dust off the baking soda. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to lift the baking soda from the shoes before wearing them again or returning them to their storage area.

Please note: Baking soda may not be effective enough for deep-seated cat feces stains. Therefore, you may have to repeat this process or upgrade to more sophisticated cleaning methods.

How To Use Activated Charcoal Odor Eliminator

Activated Charcoal Odor Eliminator For Shoes
Activated Charcoal Odor Eliminator

Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon that’s heat- and chemical-treated producing numerous, perhaps thousands, minute pores on its surface. The tiny pores on activated charcoal help trap and absorb contaminants and other impurities, in this case, cat feces odors.

Generally, activated charcoal is used as an odor eliminator due to its porous surface, which gives it high absorbency and odor-neutralizing qualities. It is also safe and readily available in local pet stores or online outlets.

Please note that activated charcoal comes in different forms like filters, bags, or pellets. Therefore, when buying activated charcoal, select the ideal product type based on your cleaning needs.

Application Procedure:

Step #1: Sprinkle a generous amount of activated charcoal on the cat feces stain. Then, allow the activated charcoal to sit on the stain for about 24 hours to fully absorb the urine odor from your shoes or sneakers.

Step #2: Afterwards, you can vacuum the activated charcoal using a HEPA filter. Consider repeating this process until you have removed all the odor. 

Using Hydrogen Peroxide-Baking Soda Mixture As An Odor Eliminator

You can use hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dishwashing soap, and water to make a DIY odor eliminator. This way, you do not have to buy one from the store.

How To Make DIY Hydrogen Peroxide Odor Eliminator

Mix one hydrogen peroxide and two parts of water in a spray bottle. Close the bottle and shake the solution to mix. 

Then, add two tablespoons of dishwashing soap and shake the solution to mix properly. 

Next, add baking soda until the solution forms a thicker paste, close the bottle and shake some more to ensure the solution mixes well, and that is it.

Application Procedure:

Step #1: Spray the hydrogen peroxide solution on the affected parts – you may need to spray it on your shoes until they are soaked if you are dealing with huge contamination.

Step #2: Air-dry the shoes to dry them completely. To hasten the drying process, consider blotting the excess wetness from the trainers using a dry and clean towel or paper towel.

Please note you may have to apply the hydrogen peroxide odor eliminator more than once to remove the stain completely.

Using Commercial Pet Odor Eliminators

Commercial pet odor eliminators are cleaning products formulated to eliminate and neutralize offensive odors caused by your cat, dog, and other pets. These cleaning products contain certain ingredients that target and break down odor-causing organic and volatile compounds in cat feces and other body secretions.

Pet odor eliminators like gels, sprays, powders, or plug-in air refreshers may come in various forms. They can eliminate pet odors on different fabrics and surfaces, such as upholstery, carpets, and hardwood floors.

Examples Of Effective Commercial Pet odor Removers

Consider purchasing the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator Spray, the trusty Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Remover, or the Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator.

They rely on advanced enzymatic action to remove stubborn stains and odors. Enzymatic cleaners are also easy to use – you only need to shake it before, spray it, and wait a few minutes. 

However, you may have to apply the product more than once to attain the desired results. Also, apply the odor eliminator liberally to the inside and outside of the shoes.

Enzymatic cleaners are an example of commercial pet odor eliminators. Here is how you can use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the odor from your shoes:

Application Procedure:

Step #1: Apply or spray the enzymatic cleaner on the affected surface while following the instruction on the product’s label

Step #2: Allow the enzymatic cleaner to sit on the shoe surface for some time, usually between ten and fifteen minutes

Step #3: Rinse the shoes with water to wash off any residue enzymatic cleaning product

Step #4: Air dry the shoes until they are completely moisture-free before returning them to the house or wearing them

How Commercial Pet Odor Removers Work 

Ordinarily, a cat’s poo contains organic compounds. When a cat pees on surfaces like shoes or carpets, these compounds permeate and form a strong bond with the fabric’s fibers.

Usually, this is so a strong bond that traditional cleaning products and techniques fail to completely remove the stains, which continue to give off an awful smell even after repeated washing.

Once applied to the cat stain, the pet odor removers break down and neutralize the odor-causing molecules in the stain rather than simply masking the smell.

Specifically, some of these commercial pet odor removers rely on biological enzymes (usually called proteases and lipases) or bacteria to speed up the decay process of the volatile organic compounds in waste and produce harmless and odorless byproducts like water and carbon dioxide, which are much easier to clean.

Essential Oils As Pet Odor Eliminators

Essential Oil

To keep the shoes smelling fresh, consider revitalizing their smell by applying a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender or lemon, on the soles of the shoes or the previously-soiled areas. Essential oil and their solutions can act as a deodorizer, helping you to eliminate the cat poo odor.

Please note essential oils can be toxic to cats, especially when ingested by cats or applied topically in high or concentrated dosages. 

Essential oils naturally have a strong smell that can be used to deodorize your shoes and improve their smell. You also score twice with one strike because cats loathe the smell of essential oil, which they find repulsive. Using the right amount of essential oils can deter the cat from urinating on your shoes.

Application Procedure:

Mix 20 drops of your preferred essential oil and water in a spray bottle. Close the bottle and mix the solution before applying it to your shoes. You can also use a dropper to directly apply a few drops of undiluted essential oils to the shoes to give them a different smell.

Alternatively, you can place a few lemon peels and allow them to sit inside for some time to eliminate the smell.

Learn How To Use Essential Oil To Deter Cats From Scratching

Using Vinegar And Water

A solution of vinegar and water has shown a notable ability to help neutralize the cat feces odor on your shoes.

Application Procedure:

Step #1: Mix one part vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle or a suitable bowl. You may also add a few drops of essential oils to regulate the vinegar smell – vinegar has a strong odor that can exist for an extended period even after rinsing your shoes

Step #2: Depending on the extent of the stain, apply the vinegar solution on the stained parts of your shoes by way of spraying or dipping a clean cloth or towel in the solution and wiping the shoes

Step #3: Allow the vinegar and water solution to sit on the shoes for about 30 minutes

Step #4: Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any residue vinegar solution

Step #5: Air dry the shoe until it is completely moisture-free.

Please note vinegar solution may damage delicate materials such as leather. 

Step 5: Store the Shoes Properly

You need to store your shoes properly to prevent the cat poop smell from returning. Please keep them in a well-ventilated area away from any potential odor sources. You can also use a shoe deodorizer or place dryer sheets in your shoes to keep them smelling fresh.

Also, make it a habit to regularly clean your shoes to prevent dirt, sweat, or odor buildup.

Conclusion: How to Get Rid of Cat Poop Smell on Shoes

In conclusion, getting rid of the cat poop smell on shoes is not an impossible task. You can easily eliminate and prevent the odor from returning with the right tools and techniques. Remember to act quickly and follow these steps to keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean.

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Remove excess poop and stains from the shoes before washing
  • Wash the shoes thoroughly, including the soles and the inside of the shoes
  • Dry the shoes completely before applying an odor eliminator
  • Use a commercial odor eliminator or use baking soda and essential oils
  • Store your shoes properly in a well-ventilated area away from potential odor sources


Q: How do I prevent my cat from pooping on my shoes?

A: The best way to prevent your cat from pooping on your shoes is to ensure their litter box is clean and easily accessible. You can also use a deterrent spray to protect your cat from your shoes.

Q: Can I use bleach to clean my shoes?

A: Using bleach to clean your shoes is not recommended as it can damage the material and cause discoloration. Instead, use a mild detergent and warm water.

Q: How long does it take to get rid of the cat poop smell on shoes?

A: The time it takes to get rid of the cat poop smell on shoes can vary depending on the severity of the odor-causing stain and the materials used to make the shoes. Typically, it can take a few hours to a few days.

Q: Can I use a hairdryer to dry my shoes?

A: You can use a hairdryer to dry your shoes, but use it on a low or cool setting to avoid damaging the material.

Q: What is the best way to store my shoes to prevent odor?

A: The best way to store your shoes to prevent odor is to keep them in a well-ventilated area away from potential odor sources. You can also use a shoe deodorizer or place dryer sheets in your shoes to keep them smelling fresh.

  • Francis Kimani

    Meet Francis Kimani, a seasoned blog writer with eight years of experience producing engaging and informative content for websites. Armed with a BSc. in Geography from Egerton University, where he specialized in Environmental Sciences, Francis combines his academic knowledge w...

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