I have a cat who is 2 or 3 and she has started peeing on our dirty clothes. She has done it before once or twice, but now it's getting to be every other day in the same spot. I've washed all of our clothes 2-3 times now and I can't get the smell out! This last time she pooped on the clothes also. What should I do? Does anyone have any suggestions?
Alicia from Downers Grove, IL
Here's some ideas:
Anne H. <Guest Post>
Try a product called Feliway. It comes in a plug-in dispenser (sorta like a plug-in air freshener) and a spray bottle. It is a pheromone that calms and reassures cats, and only cats (not humans ) can smell it. It has a 95% success rate. Petsmart sells it, but you can find it cheaper online at KV Vet Supplies and other pet and vet supply companies. I've been using it with my "problem" cat and it seems to be working so far.
There are also many online articles about cat spraying and marking that you can read. I read up extensively on this subject and found that changes in the household, too many cats, not enough litter boxes, litter that the cat doesn't like, and other factors can aggravate marking behavior. This is not an uncommon problem, so a little research will yield lots of results.
Good luck, and have patience with your kitty!
Ness <Guest Post>
I use Out from WalMart. It smells great, like vanilla and the creator of Thriftyfun advised me to use Arm and Hammer laundry detergent to take the smell out of things. It's great. I saw an expert on TV who recommended putting foil where they pee as they don't like to walk on it. I don't think there's enough foil in the universe for my house.
Ann <Guest Post>
When you wash the blanket, pillow, etc. make sure all the odor is gone from that, too. I wash first in Lysol and then a second time with detergent with a vinegar rinse. Also, really soak the cushion in vinegar. Also put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray around the area. I really think they are attracted to the same area because they can still smell it. You could also spray the vinegar toward them (but not on the cat) when they went near the area.
Linne <Guest Post>
Another thing you might try is getting the piddle pads from PetSmart. They are normally for dogs with bladder or house training problems. Cover the couch with them or at least the place that he normally pees. They can be easily thrown away, but trap the odor inside them. You could also crate up the cat during the times he normally does this. Each time you take him out of the crate, put him in his litter box.
Vinegar may remove the smell as far as a human is concerned, but leaves plenty of scent calling the cat back to the same area. You need to use a product specifically designed to remove pet odors. Pet Out works well, and is available at WalMart, or look for something that says it uses enzymes to break down the odors. With cushions, you really have to soak them to eliminate all of the odor.
Once you have totally eliminated the smell (use a black light, urine with glow green) you have 2 more jobs: find out why he isn't using the box and train him that the box is the only acceptable place to go. Think back to when this first started: is the litter box near the furnace/laundry/water heater or anything else that could have cycled on, was there a change in school/work/social schedule, new significant other or roommate, significant other or roommate left, one or both cats went to the vet, there was a stray cat or dog outside the window, a change in litter or litter box location, litter box not as clean as the cat would like, litter box is covered and he wants it open or vice versa.
There should be one litter box per cat plus one extra (2 cats need 3 litter boxes), and the box should be in a location where the cat can have some peace and quiet. If the roommates are frustrated with the cat, he may be sensing that and that alone could cause the anxiety and inappropriate litterbox habit. Feliway (available through vets or pet stores) can reduce the anxiety, but you need to try to find the root cause, not just treat the symptom.
Retraining the cat to use only the litter box may be more difficult. Try keeping him in a room (bathroom works well) or large dog kennel with litter box at one end, bedding in the middle, and food and water at the other end. This arrangement doesn't really give him the opportunity to go anywhere, but the box. During the evening or when you can watch him, let him out and spend time with him. Interactive play (fishing pole toys) will give him additional exercise and relieve stress, and grooming or cuddling will reassure him that he is important and loved. Placing a layer of aluminum foil or carpet runner turned nubby side up in the area he likes to use may discourage him from using the area.
I have found; and I know this will go against the grain of thought, but it works. I have a keen sense of smell and hate cat pee (any other for that matter!). My problem was a brand new rug that my cat decided to urinate on even when there was a clean litter box 3 feet away. What I did was soak the area with water and then rubbed baking soda into it and then had to wait for it to dry. It took a couple of days and all the yellow came up and I was able to vacuum it. I could not smell it anymore even when I put my nose to check on the rug. Hope this helps. She never went there again.
Post by sshep
If you want to get rid of cat pee stink, you should try "Nature's Miracle". It's sold at Pet supply stores such as PetsMart. It'll take a couple of days for the product to chemically break it down, and the side effect of this is that the smell gets worse before it gets better. But, after 2 days, the stink is gone forever, unless your cat does it again. BTW: You can detect where cat urine is with a black light. Good luck!
Mary <Guest Post>
I bought a mat that goes on your couch that makes a high pitched noise when weight goes on it. I put it on my new couch and it trained the cats to not want to jump on it. I put it on during the day when I'm at work. They learned quickly. I bought it from Dr. Fosters. It's called the Sofa Scram.
I work at an animal hospital. I recently moved homes, where there is no carpet. I decided to have my cats declawed, with a laser ( barely hurts), so that they would not claw on my furniture. Well, my male decided to start using soft, cushy, things as his peeing place. I know that Cat Attract really works, and then for getting the smell out, try Urine Off. Use a black light to find all of the urine spots spray this stuff on, and it really gets it out. We sell out every time we get a shipment.
Erica <Guest Post>
Ok, after seeing all the hopeless posts here, I feel obligated to respond. I had a major, major problem with my cat peeing where she shouldn't. I tried everything enzyme cleaners, new boxes, Cat Attract (she hated it!), Feliway, you name it. The vet said she was healthy.
In the end, what cured her was Buspirone. It is a prescription anti-anxiety medication that my vet gave me. It only took a week or two before she stopped and she hasn't done it since. I took her off the meds after two months.
Why was she so anxious that she was peeing all over the place? I have no idea and neither does my vet, but it worked.
Don't give your cat away or live in filth, ask your vet for some anti-anxiety meds for your kitty.
KJ <Guest Post>
Pick up your dirty clothes off the floor. Wash them and hang them up and/or place in your dressers immediately. The cat may pee on something else now, but at least it is not on your clothes. (03/07/2006)
Mine did the same thing. I changed the product I was using in the litter box. It did not seem to help. Then I remembered how much he liked the evergreens in the yard. I started spraying the litter box with a pine scent and back to the litter box he went. He has been fixed for a long time, but I never had any problems with that sort of thing when it happened. The pine scent worked. (03/09/2006)
My cat has been peeing in my laundry basket and on any dirty clothes for years. I have resorted to making absolutely sure there are no dirty clothes in the house to prevent her from having dirty clothes to pee on. But when there were no dirty clothes in the house for her to pee on, she started to pee on my rugs and even in the middle of my bed. I have taken her to the vet wondering if she had some sort of urinary tract infection or something, and the vet keeps telling me nothing is medically wrong with her.
The vet suggested that I place bowls of food where she normally pees because cats will not pee where they eat, but I thought it was absurd to have bowls of food on my bed and in my laundry basket. Then it hit me. I keep her food bowl about 2 feet away from her litter box in the laundry room. She won't pee in the litter box because I keep her food near her litter box. Since I have moved her food into the kitchen area, far away from her litter, she has not urinated on anything, not even once. I hope this helps some of you, because I know how frustrating it is dealing with cat urine and cats can be very hard to figure out. (06/08/2006)
My 3 year old kitty would also pee in the laundry. This summer we went on a 9 day vacation, so I bought a self cleaning litter box. She has never peed in the laundry again.The only thing I can figure is that she is one of those very finicky kitties that has to have a completely clean litter box every time she goes. Yes, it was a little expensive, ($80 at Wal-Mart), but is so worth it! Not only do I not have to rewash clothes because the smell didn't come out or soak it in Oxiclean (which works really well), I no longer have to scoop the litter! I know I sound like an ad for the self cleaning litter box, but this really worked for our kitty. (09/13/2007)
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