Cat Is Dragging Laundry Around House?

One of my cats started doing something strange this past year. Jesse is a 4yr old neutered male. He brings dirty laundry downstairs. I know he's trying to tell me something, but I can't figure out what it is. He'll grab a sock usually, but sometimes he'll bring underwear, t-shirts, pajama pants, and once he brought a blanket!


While he's carrying it in his mouth he meows; but it's not a normal meow, it's more of a moan or a howl. Then he drops the laundry at the bottom of the stairs and goes about his regular business. It's truly disturbing. He does it when all of his basic needs are met (clean litter, food, etc.) I thought maybe he was bringing us 'gifts', but he doesn't bring them anywhere near us, he just drops it at the bottom of the stairs. He has never been, and has no desire to go outside, so it's not that either.

He seems to do it most after supper, but sometimes he'll do it in the middle of the night, but bringing the laundry from the bottom of the stairs back up and waking me up with that crazy howl. If anyone has any ideas about what my cat is trying to tell me, please let me know.

Linda from Spokane WA

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May 8, 20080 found this helpful

Maybe he's trying to tell you he don't like Dirty smelly Clothes :)

May 8, 20080 found this helpful

Perhaps separation anxiety. The laundry items you mentioned have "skin" smell. When my puppy does something very similar to what you described, I give her a drop of Rescue Remedy (bought it at Whole Foods) and she calms down.

December 15, 20190 found this helpful

My cat dose this alot dragging my clothes around the house and crys .
Just now she bought my dress I wore today she will drop it and come upto me I than pick her up and give her a cuddle.


My cat drags my clothes around and just drops them near me crying all the time I pick her up and give her cuddles.
Through the night she grabs what ever she can find tea towels and anything she can get her paws on. I wake to clothes ever where.
Dont no how I can help her.

May 8, 20080 found this helpful

hey! A cat that wants to do the laundry lol.
Maybe he smells your body's pheromones and he is like how a female cat gets when she is in heat. My cat went through it and howled and wailed like that in evening for like 2 weeks she must have been in heat. We accidentally let her out and guess what? She just had kitties! So it could be the pheromones.

By Oberhund (Guest Post)
May 9, 20081 found this helpful

It could be a health issue, so get your cat checked out. It might be nothing but at least you've covered that possible cause.

Another thing it might be is another cat in the neighbourhood that might be hanging around.


It might also be a change in his environment that's put him out of sorts.

I hope you find a solution.

January 8, 20182 found this helpful

It is a kitty being a kitty! When they are indoor cats they have to invent "prey" and your underwear or socks smell like you, therefore it is fair game for them. They are not only telling you that they love you, they are telling you that they "own" you!!! Ha ha! Yay for the kitties!!

November 16, 20193 found this helpful

Are you joking? A health issue? You dont have any history with cats at all do you? Lol

May 9, 20080 found this helpful

Welcome to the loony world of felines!! My daughters cat does this also, usually with her clothes. Whenever they go out they come back home and there is one or more articles of clothes in the living room. One time "Frankie" dragged my son in laws sweat pants into the living room and my son in law is over 6 feet!


Our cat started dragging around my daughters stuffed yellow "woodstock" that came with valentines candy a few years ago, and does it EVERY DAY!! It is so hilarious!! Usually she will do it until somebody calls her then she will drop it at that persons feet.

May 9, 20080 found this helpful

My females do this. I think they're hunters and carry the laundry as they would their catch!

May 9, 20080 found this helpful

My cat does this with only socks! We call her the sock monster!...LOL
She seems very proud of her Catch!


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May 11, 20080 found this helpful

Our cats like to sleep in my son's dirty laundry basket. I think maybe they just like the scent of the clothes. Dogs like all sorts of stinky things, so it could be the same with the cats.

By Linda (Guest Post)
May 11, 20080 found this helpful

Can you teach her to take the clean clothes to the right rooms?

June 24, 20170 found this helpful

My Cleopatra does this.
I throw socks and shirts and boxer shorts down the steps, to do the wash later.
She drags them up stairs, and drops them in front of the door in the hall.


Sometimes if the door is open, she will bring it in the living room and meow loud like she is showing me she brought it up.

October 2, 20180 found this helpful

Lol my cat just started this .every morning there's all kinds of treasures I hope she is ok .& not anxiety.

By Anastacia (Guest Post)
May 11, 20082 found this helpful

My orange tabby female, Newt, did this all the time whether the clothes were clean or dirty. When I lived with my brother and sister in law, they were a bit scared of her howling as she normally had a sweet voice. I explained that she was playing a hunting game, and the howl was a victory cry. After my explanation, it became a family joke to see socks and underwear in odd places in the house. It does no harm-it's enrichment play for indoor cats.

By Jim (Guest Post)
May 12, 20080 found this helpful

Put your dirty laundry in a hamper with a lid.


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May 12, 20080 found this helpful

I had a cat when I was a kid do that all time, but only with one particular pair of striped socks. Clean or dirty, she didn't care. He's just having fun driving you nuts.

May 16, 20080 found this helpful

My cat carries around a rabbit foot key chain & makes the same sad howling sound. I figure it is some sort of hunting instinct. He also howls like that when my hubby leaves for work at 11:pm. I always thought it was a way of mourning his absence, they are crazy about each other.

Trish in CT

By Chemoqueen (Guest Post)
September 17, 20082 found this helpful

OMG, I can't believe there are other cats that are doing this. My female has been doing this for about 3-4 months. It started happening about 2 months after we moved in with my boyfriend. I could understand if it started happening right after we moved in but she was completely normal for 2 months after her change of environment and now she drags laundry all over the house, clean, dirty, folder, unfolded it does not matter. She also makes a strange meowing sound when she does this. Anyone know of someplace that might be able to solve the mystery?

November 24, 20140 found this helpful

My 1 year old cat carries dirty socks only up from basement and meows a sttange sad meow! Why?

July 16, 20170 found this helpful

It's definitely a hunting thing/present thing, our cat started bringing up dirty laundry a year ago,prior to that, he'd bring up odd things like masking tape and other little trinkets from the basement. He will howl and meow, waiting one of us to come to the stairs to see what he brought us. If we don't come, he will bring it all the way upstairs to us. He's very happy when we come to the stairs to see what he's brought up. He doesn't do this when we are not home. It's become a game now, I will throw the laundry down the shoot, and at the end of the day see how many articles of clothing he's brought up. So far the record is 9 in a day (socks, washcloths, pants, underwear are his favs)

May 27, 20180 found this helpful

This is crazy my cat does this to 2 flights of stairs! Hard working cat butler!

December 11, 20182 found this helpful

My feral reformed cat Maow-Maow does this. When she was around 5 months old she broke INTO my house because I had 2 male cats (fixed of course) but she had no clue. I shooed her out about 3 times found the place where she was breaking in and blocked it off.

Then, at about 11 PM of the block day she told me in the loudest strident voice that she wanted IN! That is when I dubbed he MAOW-MAOW because that is what she was introducing herself as. Tired and needing sleep, I finally let her in and she has not left the house since. A few months later, lo and behold 6 kittens joined the menagerie.

Now, you have to understand that she was feral. All of a sudden I was in slave mode to the cat that was supposed to shy away from humans. She has made it clear to my other 2 cats that I am HER slave - Not theirs!!!

So, I have a born again feral to pampered indoor cat that rules my every move with a sharp claw ready to keep me in line.

I notice right when she joined us that clothes started showing up in odd places where I would never put them. Socks, underwear, shirts, tops... There were no favorite clothes. As long as I had worn them once - they were fair game. I can be sitting in the chair next to her and she will grab a pair of long legged jeans and proceed to take the out the cat door to destinations unknown. She does Maow a low (clothes filled low and desperate type of Maow. She does this even when I am right next to her. I personally think that she is covering my scent with hers to make sure the other 2 cats absolutely KNOW that I am her human and no one better say otherwise or she will go into her save the slave mode where when any other cat gets near me she attacks. I think she has sharing issues.
So, I have met the sock monster of all fables - And she is a black and white feral drop-out and rules me with iron paws and claws

March 15, 20191 found this helpful

My 6 year old Male does this with my clothing,socks, leggings, his favorite are the chair arm covers brings them down to my room every day all the while making a weird meowing noise

September 5, 20190 found this helpful

This story is EXACTLY to a tee what my 2 year old male neutered cat has begun doing past 6 months.

March 2, 20200 found this helpful

Our 1 yr female cat brings in OTHER people's clothes through the cat flap...NOT FUNNY!! wake up and find someone else's socks, underpants, gloves etc in the living room.

December 23, 20201 found this helpful

My cat Zeus, I have had him sense 2 weeks old and have bottle fed him and he is about 2yrs old now and 15lbs I also have his sister who is half his size and bottle fed her too they are orange tabbys. Zeus loves carrying things around and meowing while doing so, its not a normal meow not really sure how to explain this meow but you just know when you hear it that hes dragging something around. His most favorite thing to carry is bathing suits dirty or clean it does not matter nor does it matter whos it is mine my kids hes not picky, he also carrys stuffed animals, sports bras and shorts the pj kind he takes all items to my room every time from downstairs to upstairs and into my room in the middle of my floor. Hes very vocal and loves when I talk to him for he talks back more like meows but you get the point. I like to think he does this to show he is trying to care for me by bring me things and to show his love you definitely can tell he is proud after doing so. He follows me everywhere even to the bathroom well there is my story of my wonderful cat Zeus.

September 15, 20220 found this helpful

So late to the party here, but these shared stories are great. I have a 4 yr old neutered Siamese. Historically he would come up from the basement with one of my husband's shirts, howling occasionally.
He has recently begun grabbing all kinds of random dirty laundry and dragging it around the house and howling.
After reading some of these posts, I figured out he's doing this because he's out of a specific toy he usually bats around the house and plays fetch with. (primary colored plastic coils, not the longer narrow ones, but he prefers the shorter wider ones. They're about 2.5×1"). Since I found him some coils from under the fridge, he has done this less with the laundry. Sorry, so late. Maybe someday someone else will read this and it will help as you've helped me. (The laundry thing is funny until you've got clothes all over the house when you wake up, lol. Plus it's much quieter now that he has his coils back. Siamese cats get loud).
My grey tabby doesn't even look at the coils, so if there is a specific toy for your cat that works better that's just because they're all so unique. I could go on because cats are the best, but you already know that!


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