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Cat Peeing on Clothing

Category Pet Odors
Cat getting into a laundry basket.
Sometimes cats choose places to relieve themselves that are not outside or the cat box. This guide is about cat peeing on clothing.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 15, 20050 found this helpful

My cat seems to pee only on my dirty clothes. Any idea's on why? She is almost 2 yrs old, and her litter box is kept clean. Please help with any ideas of how to make her go back to using her litter box. No changes in the household. Debbie

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February 15, 20050 found this helpful

I can't help you I'm afraid, but my cat only used to pee on white organza curtains. Strange Huh? But such is feline psychology!!! hope you get it sorted out! julie

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20050 found this helpful

The easy way is to keep your dirty clothes picked up!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20050 found this helpful

If you don't do this already, I would suggest that maybe you keep your dirty clothes in a hamper until you are ready to wash them. Hide the temptation from the cat - she will have to go back to her litter box.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20050 found this helpful

Why not just buy a hamper with a lid on it? You can find some decent ones for maybe about ten dollars. Or if you are a bit off the beaten path in your taste, get a smaller sized galvanised silver trash can (even a plastic kitchen trash can for more thrifty folk) both have lids, and will keep kitty out.

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February 16, 20050 found this helpful

Well laa dee dah! There sure seems to be a lot of judgemental, self-righteous people out there! I'll bet all of you felt so much better after responding so rudely to Debbie's post! Of course dirty laundry NEVER touches any of YOUR floors! You folks need to get a life!

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February 17, 20050 found this helpful

Since this is unusual for your cat to do this, I would take her to the vet for a checkup. Our pets sometimes act out of character when they are not well. That is their way of "telling" us. If her health checks out I would confine her to a small room with her clean litter box. Put her food and water dishes and something to sleep on in the room also. But do not keep her dishes near her litter box. Under no circumstances let her out. We had to do this with a cat we adopted. We kept her in our bathroom for one week. You must go visit her and play with her during her time in there. Warning: she may cry and howl for awhile. Our vet told us to do this and it did work for us.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 25, 20050 found this helpful

Just for the record, my cat does this too. Always a clean box and clothes are usually kept out of site w/o incident. But came back from trip and left dirty clothes near suitcase and he peed on them. He used to do this prior when he could get into the basket (now kept in closet). Cannot explain it. He's very healthy, happy, structured, clean, in great environment - so I'm just as curious! There has to be something to this...

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 11, 20050 found this helpful

My cat or cats...we aren't sure who was doing it...liked to pee on the clothes too! Mostly towels or the kids clothes. We bought some Rubbermaid bins with LIDS...very important...we found out that they don't mind climbing in to pee either! The only problem now is that they (or one) has decided to pee ONLY on the kids toys...directly onto it...my son left his gameboy on the floor and one of them peed right on the screen...what aim I tell ya! At least the kids know to pick up the toys now! Might want to take him/her to the vet though...just in case.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 13, 20050 found this helpful

I recently adopted a second cat...a 4 year old male from the humane society. When I'd return home from work, I'd smell that foul odor only cat urine could produce! It took me a while to find the source but after a couple days I found several spots of urine on clothes that I'd leave on the floor. I gave him extra attention when I was home, and recently...about 3 weeks into his adoption, this behavior has subsided. Needless to say, my leaving cloths on the floor behavior has subsided as well! Boy did he straighten me up! Good luck everyone...

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 28, 20070 found this helpful

I have a weird one for you, my boyfriend moved in 3 months ago, and my cat was fine but now, he pees only on my boyfriends clothes, in a pile of both our clothes my cat found his stuff and peed on it. can someone tell me why

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 29, 20070 found this helpful

I have a female cat that pees on dirty clothes. And I have read your answers about getting a hamper. I have one.. but not all of us keep our clothes in it... and when I make rounds to pick them up.. they've been hit already. Could this be because she's becoming sexually mature? She lives with two male cats.. but they are fixed. She is not.

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 17, 20070 found this helpful

I used to work at a vet clinic and we got this question all of the time. If your cat is neutered the problem can probably be fixed. You have to ensure a pristine litter box for your cat, pick up the laundry and clean all areas that the cat urinated on - twice, with bleach or specialty cleaner designed for pet odors - to ensure the smell is gone. If they can smeel their own smell at all, they will continue to go there. Then, you should probably go to the vet to ensure your cat does not have a UTI. The vet I worked for said that sometimes cats will associate the pain of urinating when they have an infection with where they are goinig and not the act of going itself. You may have to close the doors to the room(s) where the laundry is sitting as well because once a cat gets in a new habit, they hate to change.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 10, 2011

How do you stop your cats from peeing on your clean and dirty clothing?

By Karri

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By 0 found this helpful
December 17, 2015

I just brought home a 5 month old cat who isn't fixed yet. It's been two days since I brought him home and he's only used the bathroom 3 times since he's been here, once in the litter box and the other times on my bed/clothes. Earlier today is the time he used the litter box, but only because I closed him off in the bathroom while my boyfriend and I weren't home.

He just started eating this morning and because he used the litter box I thought he was making progress. Am I freaking out too soon? Is there anything I can do to speed along the process so he doesn't have to be locked in the bathroom at all times? He came from a house with a lot of animals and didn't seem to have any problems there. Please help! I've grown very attached and would hate to have to get rid of him.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 16, 2010

My cat is 2 yrs old and has just started peeing on our clothing and our bed. Her litter pan stays clean at all times, but she insists on using our stuff to pee on. I punish her by showing her what she did wrong and then putting her in her cage for a time out. Why is that?

By Shaby from St. Louis, MO

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April 8, 20150 found this helpful

Clean or dirty clothes, my 6 year old female cat pees on them. She never used to do this until after she had a stroke in February 2013. I've tried different litters, boxes, different locations of the box, removing access to clothes, towels, etc. The only thing I haven't done is have her checked for a UTI, but she doesn't show signs of it. She's a chatty cat by nature so her constant meowing isn't anything unusual. The only other thing I can possibly think of is I have a 16 year old male cat whose health is in decline, he's nearing the end of his life and I think maybe she's refusing to use the litter box because of him. She avoids him, growls and hisses at him so maybe she's sensed his decline over the last 2 years and has been avoiding anything he touches. I don't know. I'm really upset because I'm already going to lose one little sweetheart to his aging, I don't want to lose another to something that I see as preventable and fixable. Any advise is appreciated. Thank you.

By Erin

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By 0 found this helpful
July 10, 2010

Why does my young kitten pee on my clothes instead of her litterbox? Also, how can I stop it?

By Stephanie L from Columbia, MD

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June 18, 20060 found this helpful

I have two 15 month old cats and about 6 months ago I noticed that if I left clothes lying in the floor the cats would pee on them. Just a few days ago when I was doing laundry I left a pile of clothes in the floor and warned my cats not to pee on them. As soon as I turned around I heard one cat scratching in the litter box and the other one peeing in the floor next to the clothes. They have always been litter buddies and I see both of them using the box. Do you think that maybe they are starting to refuse to use the same box? What do you suggest that I do? Please help!

Beverly from Arizona

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 18, 20060 found this helpful

I have had multiple cats in the past and everything that I have read or heard recommends having at least one litter box per cat. This is not to say that they won't use the same box, but it gives them the opportunity to use another box if they get finicky. The boxes should not be next to each other as the cats may confuse the two as one box and the problem remains.

Once that is accomplished, the area that they have peed will need to be cleaned thoroughly - a flourescent black light will help to find all of the urine areas, even old ones - cats will assume that if their urine scent is in an area, then it's okay to go there again. Also, the area should be made inhospitable for the cats, at least for a week or so while you're weaning them from the behavior. This means putting down carpet runners and the like upside down so the spikes are up - cat's don't like that stuff. Cats also typically don't like citrus, so using a citrus scented freshener in that area may help as well.

Good luck!

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June 19, 20060 found this helpful

I had the same problem, but my problem was with the only cat in the house. He'd been using the litter box since I'd got him (about 8 months) - no problem. Then suddenly- he was peeing on clothes, and pooping in the box. Asked our vet and she said it could be that he needs fixed, or he has crystals in his pee, and that it burns him to pee, and he associated peeing with the box, so he goes elsewhere to pee- hoping that it won't hurt. You might ask your vet about the crystals. Good luck.

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June 20, 20060 found this helpful

If they are males, it sounds like a trip to the vet. Both genders get urinary tract infections, but males get a particularly painful kind. Are they neutered? If not, that could help. Or they could be marking their territory. Whatever smells like family is theirs.

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April 2, 20120 found this helpful

How do I keep my 17 year old calico cat named Samantha from peeing in the dog kennels and on my dirty clothes? I have 7 animals in my 864 square foot home, 3 large Labs and 4 cats. All of the animals are over 10 years old, except one dog and one cat.

I suspect she has a urinary tract infection, but she can't travel to the vet's office. She gets very car sick. Can the vet give me something to make her woozy so she can go to the doctor and get checked out?

I am pulling my hair out. We also just took one of my mom's cats and I was wondering if she is doing this in protest of my mom's cat being there. This cat has lived with several animals including snakes, rats, other dogs, lizards, etc. What do I do?

By Deborah D

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By 0 found this helpful
January 12, 2007

I have gone through the web and still can't find anything to clean cat pee on leather pants. Please help

Anne from Denver, CO

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January 13, 20070 found this helpful

you can try a product called urine gone, i think thats it, not sure google it. sorry i can't be more help

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January 15, 20070 found this helpful

I had that problem on a leather jacket. I used Urine Kleen, white bottle w/red writing and cap, found at Petsmart. I proceeded with caution, cotton balls, and a roll of paper towels. I kept soaking a cotton ball and wetting the stains that way, then blotting almost dry with paper towels so as not to ruin the leather. After several rounds, I finally dampened one more cotton ball and dabbed the areas, not making them quite so wet as before. I let it air dry. So far no smell has reappeared and this was at least 3 years ago, and the leather went back to its normal texture (as opposed to the urine texture).

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May 25, 20040 found this helpful

For some reason, when ever I have company over my cat decides to not use the litter box. Instead, he pees on my friends clothing or on the carpet. I guess guests upset him but he is generally a friendly cat. Anyone had this problem?

- Mel

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May 25, 20040 found this helpful

He obviously sees them as an 'invader' and is marking his territory. Have you tried putting him outside, or confining him to one quiet area away from company, when your guests are there? The only other thing I can think of as a last resort may be to get him neutered - although this is a bit extreme and may not work as the behaviour is now entrenched.

Good luck - hope you get some better suggestions!

Regards

Jo

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By guest client (Guest Post)
May 25, 20040 found this helpful

Neutering may help, and if your cat isn't already neutered, HE SHOULD BE! Otherwise, confine him and his litterbox away from guests. He obviously doesn't have good company manners!

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 25, 20040 found this helpful

Your cat is marking territory, and company clothing counts when it is within the cats original territory. Don't use amonia when cleaning the basic ingredient is cat urine. Certain scents like perfume and bleach will get a cat to react, but since you cannot control that, purchase a squirt gun. It is the easiest way to get your cat to flee the scene, it doesn't hurt them, they just don't like it.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 21, 2016

Why does my female cat urinate on my daughter's clothing but not on my son's?

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April 17, 20150 found this helpful

I live with my roommate and her cat, and this cat has it out for me. She deliberately pees on my stuff. Even last night she came up stared me in the eye and popped a squat on the blanket I was under and let a rip. How do I get her to stop?

By Brittany A. from Houston, TX

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By 0 found this helpful
January 7, 2014

My cat, Kida, is a twelve, almost thirteen, year old female cat. I've had her since she was a month old, along with her brother. Both of the cats are strictly indoor cats, and their front nails are clipped. They are both also fixed.

Until 2012, Kida never had any problems going outside of the litter-box. Recently, two of my friends moved in with me. They both take care of the cats when I am away at school, feeding them, giving them fresh water, cleaning their litter-box, etc.

That was when Kida began to pee outside of the litter-box. Sometimes she goes on the floor, but she usually goes (when it is outside of the litter-box) on clothes or towels. The clothes/towels are not mine, rather ones that belong/were used by the other two roommates.

But neither of the roommates do anything to mistreat her; instead they take care of her a great deal. She lets both of them pet her, and she isn't unhappy being around them. She doesn't pee on other fabrics that they have used though, such as blankets that often fall from the couch to the floor.

Also, one time when I was here alone with the cats, she peed on a grocery bag of garbage (that didn't contain fabric). Neither of the new roommates had even touched the bag, so that doesn't make sense with the idea that she dislikes them. The same with peeing on the floor, that is has nothing to do with either of the roommates. There are also similar things left in the floor that she does not pee on, such as grocery bags and pillows.

Despite this, I do believe that her peeing has at least something to do with marking since the two new roommates moved in. However, I do not know what I need to do to fix the problem. The litter-box is cleaned regularly, and even when clean, she will still go outside of it. She usually pees on things she isn't supposed to, when we are in another room or not at home - mainly where we won't catch her in the act.

I just want to know if there is something I can do to fix the problem. The roommates will be here for at the very least another seven months. I also will not get rid of my cat, so I really need to find something to fix, or at least help with, her peeing outside the litter-box.

By Karley G.

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June 29, 20120 found this helpful

Why does my female cat keep wetting on any item of clothing that is on the floor? My cats are very good about using the littler box, but lately Maggie (who I caught in the act, so now we know the culprit) wets on any item of clothing that is left on the floor. I scoop the cat box 2 times a day and have gone back to the regular litter we used. Why is she doing this?

By Bonnie B

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By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2016

My cat is a year old and every time I do laundry I have to keep it away from my cat or else she will pee on it. Even if it's been put away in a drawer she will pee on it if she can. Once it's been in the drawer for about a week she doesn't care any more. What is wrong with her? Could it be the smell of the detergent making her pee on the clean clothes? Her litter box stays clean and she doesn't try to pee anywhere else. Only freshly cleaned clothes. Is there a way to deter her from doing this?

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By 0 found this helpful
June 1, 2015

My cat just started doing this. She is peeing on my clothes and not on my husband's things. She only started this when she was in heat. She has never done this before. When she is in heat she wants to be with my husband more and will walk around the house and cry at the top of her lungs. Why did she start this?

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

I have four rescue cats all fixed and about the same age of 5. We have had them since they were each a few months old. One female keeps peeing on my husband's clothes and anything on the couch. She has done this almost since we got her. Lately, she will pee on the couch while we are sitting right there. She has also peed on my boys' beds so they keep her out of their rooms. It's not all the time as far as I can tell and my husband does pet her and tries to be nice and not threatening. She does use the litter boxes too. I can't narrow it down as to why she pees mostly on his stuff. He is ready to send her back to the rescue. I have the Comfort Zone spray, but can't constantly keep putting it everywhere. I'm not even sure it works. I really don't know what else to do anymore, but give her up. The other cats seem fine, but I can't follow her around all day either. This cat is my cat, she only meows/talks with me.

By Sharon H

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By 0 found this helpful
October 5, 2014

I have a little kitten only a few months old. We found her outside in our yard in May, We also have three other cats; they are boys and fixed, but recently Loulou has started to pee on clothes that are on the floor, clean/dirty she pees on it. Can you help?

By velvet

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August 28, 20130 found this helpful

Why does my female cat pee on my things only when she is in heat?

By Margaret

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July 16, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

<title-green>Answers:</title>

Here's some ideas:

  • They sell some cat pee/spray deterrent at Pet Smart, I can't remember what it is called. Just ask them.

  • Try a different litter and make sure there is a enough litter that the box doesn't tip when they get in it, that can scare them.

  • Try moving your litter box or boxes and see if they are more likely to use them in a different place.

Anne H. <Guest Post>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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.

Susan

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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.

Patticat

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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.

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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>

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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)

By valleyrimgirl

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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)

By Shirley

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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)

By Jacki

Cat Peeing on Dirty Clothes

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)

By Becky

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