Cat Peeing on Clothes – What to Do About It?

why is my cat peeing on clothes
4 minutes to read

Life was good with your feline until one day you come home to a shocker. You follow that stink from the door and it leads you to the laundry room where Whiskers left his stinky pee on your dirty clothes. You are shocked beyond words, ‘Why is my cat peeing on my clothes?’

 

If your cat starts peeing on laundry, it is probably marking its territory. Also, cats can develop this new habit if they are sick, are seeking comfort, or want to get your attention. It is possible to train your cat out of this habit for good.

 

‘Help, my cat peed on my clothes right in front of me!’. This is just one of the concerns many pet parents have when their felines decide to go rogue on their daily etiquette. But why is your cat peeing on your clothes when he has a litter box? You are about to find out!

 

Why is my cat peeing on my clothes?

why cat peeing on clothes

A kitten peeing on your clothes is not uncommon. The cat is young and is yet to learn how to use the litter box. Training them at this age can help control or stop the behavior for good when they grow up.

But what if your mature cat pees on your clothes? There are many reasons why this is happening. Here are the common ones;

  • Territory marking
  • Comfort seeking
  • Mating call
  • Seeking attention
  • Sickness
  • Problem with litter box

 

Territory marking

Strange as it sounds, cats use their pee to mark their territory. It is called spraying and is their way of ‘fencing the yard’ to keep away intruders such as other pets. A cat may decide to spray their territory if they are feeling insecure about other pets or people invading their space.

Male cats, especially unneutered ones, are more likely to spray your clothes. They will do this when they are expressing their dominance over another pet; either a dog or a new cat. If a cat feels anxious living in your home, they may spray some areas to mark them as safe.  They always target secluded areas like the laundry room or a pile of clothes of boxes under your bed.

 

Comfort seeking

Cats are creatures of comfort. One of the ways they seek comfort is to establish a strong bond with you. Scent marking is a powerful tool in the feline world for establishing deep bonds. If your cat decides to pee on your clothes, they are leaving their scent there for you. It sounds absurd but they are trying to make themselves comfortable around you.

 

Mating call

Part of the mating ritual for cats is leaving their scent in various places for a female or male cat to pick up. During mating season, a cat’s pee is filled with pheromones that attract a mate to them. So spread their chance, cats would pee on various places in the house including your clothes.

 

Seeking attention

Cats are great attention seekers, some more than others. If they feel neglected by you, they will throw a fuss to get you to notice them. Some cats will get into a destructive behavior of chewing or scratching at things in the house. Other cats will take it to the next level by peeing on your clothes.

Cats are smart. They can tell the things you value the most in your house. They know peeing on your clothes will get you upset and turn to them. And that’s the attention they want, whether positive or negative.

A jealous cat will pee on your clothes if they feel another pet, or a newborn baby is getting all your attention.

 

Sickness

Incontinence is one of the conditions that will cause your cat to pee on your clothes. They find it hard to hold it in until they reach the litter box. Rather than peeing on the floor, they will find a hidden place to do it. It could be under the bed, inside a cardboard or, sadly, on your pile of clothes.

Health conditions that can cause feline incontinence include;

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder trauma
  • Nerve and muscle damage around the bladder
  • Kidney failure
  • Feline cognitive dysfunction (especially in senior cats)
  • Consuming toxins that affect a cat’s bowel movements

 

Problem with the litter box

Cats are naturally clean. They can tell if their litter box is dirty or is filled with their waste. A cat will refuse to go in a dirty litter box and instead seek alternatives like your pile of laundry. Other reasons that cause a cat to neglect its litter box includes;

  • If another cat uses the same litter box
  • The cat has outgrown the litter box
  • The litter box is in a noisy area
  • If their old litter box is replaced.

 

How to stop cats from peeing on clothes

cat peeing on clothes

If your cat made an accident on your clothes, do not scold him. This will only upset the cat and make them anxious. The cat may opt to find more secretive places to make the same mess.

Take your cat to the vets to have them checked. If the problem is disease-related (incontinence or kidney stones) the cat will get treated and their health restored to normal. This will help stop the strange habit.

Spay or neuter your cat as well. This will make them calmer and less likely to pee on your clothes for scent marking. If your cat feels neglected, it is about time you gave them attention. Schedule time each week to play with your cat; you can even do chores together.

Always empty and clean your cat’s litter box. Also, ensure the litter box is in a secluded area to give your cat privacy.

 

Video: How to Stop Cats From Urinating Outside the Litter Box

 

Final thoughts

A cat that is peeing on clothes could be anxious or sick. Find out what is ailing your cat before taking the next step. Also, keep your laundry in a safe area where your cat will not reach.

 

Resources

  1. Why is My Cat Suddenly Peeing on Clothes By Richard Parker, seniorcatwellness.com
  2. Why does my cat pee on my clothes? How to get your cat to stop peeing on clothes, rugs, and furniture By The Advisor Coach, theadvisorcoach.com

See Also


Frequently Asked Questions

Essential oils or fragrance oils made from plants will repel a cat. Cats don’t like the smell of citronella, orange, lemongrass, peppermint or lavender. Wash your clothes with a fabric softener container either of these scents to repel your cat.

Cats are unlikely to pee out of vengeance. But if they are doing it, it could be a cry for help. The cat could be sick, feeling insecure, or struggling to get your attention.

If a well-trained cat starts peeing in the house, it could be a medical issue. Take your cat to vets for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Urinary Tract Infection is the common cause of feline incontinence.

A cat will probably pee on your clothes to get your attention. They know this will upset you but they will do anything to feel less neglected. Spend some more time with your cat and see if the problem stops.

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