Do you have a cat that pees on your clothes? It might not be just your clothes, but your carpets, bedding etc. This annoying cat behavior can leave you frustrated and wondering what to do!
Cat peeing on clothes is a problem encountered by most cat owners especially male cat owners. The strong smell alone can cause you to think twice on adopting a cat!
Finding a way to stop it and also knowing methods to remove the pee from your clothes is discussed in this article.
You will also learn why your cat pees on your clothes and how to address their issues related to urine problems.
Table of contents
- Cat peeing on clothes
- Why do cats pee on clothes?
- Medical conditions
- Behavioral causes
- What to do when cats pee on your clothes?
- How to stop cats peeing on clothes?
- How to get cat pee out of clothes?
Cat peeing on clothes
Cat urine as you probably know, smells strongly of ammonia and can permanently stain clothes. Thus if your cat starts peeing on your clothes, you will have a big problem at hand.
It is a common thing for male cats to pee on clothes or other surfaces. They do this by shooting the urine on to the surfaces and so this behavior is known as spraying.
This is because when male cats become sexually mature they tend to establish authority. Thus they mark their territory by spraying urine around them.
Spraying can occur even if there are no other cats around your cat. However, it is most likely to occur when there are other cats present.
There are two types of urine marking depending on the type of surface. Urinating on vertical surfaces and urinating on horizontal surfaces.
Female cats can also do this when they are stressed or are anxious, especially younger ones. They can also use urine marking to attract a mate.
Spraying and peeing outside the litter box are two different things with common roots.
The location, quantity and purpose in these two methods are usually very different. The amount of urine released during spraying is less than when a cat pees outside the litter box.
It is best to find out the exact reason for your cats peeing behavior to eliminate diseases and other problems at the earliest.
Why do cats pee on clothes?
Cats can spray outside the litter box due to various reasons. It can be due to a medical condition, a behavioral issue or a combination of both these situations.
Finding out what is really troubling your kitty can save your time and money spent on cleaning the pee, as well as help your kitty if it is in any sort of distress.
Let’s take a look at these conditions in detail.
There are a number of illnesses that cause cats to spray on clothes. Here are some of them which will necessitate a visit to your vet.
- Urinary Tract Disorder
- These are common occurrences that can cause changes in urinating patterns.
- Urinary tract disorders can occur in both sexes at any age.
- Urinary tract infections can also occur and the symptoms are; peeing outside the litter box, peeing small amounts and straining to do so, frequent urination, blood in the urine, crying when urinating and constant licking of the genital area.
- If your cat is showing any of these signs, take it to your vet for treatment.
- Feline diabetes can also cause cats to pee on clothes.
- About 2% of the entire cat population is assumed to be suffering from chronic diabetes.
- Increased urination and peeing outside the litter box are symptoms of this disease.
- Insulin therapy is the treatment when it occurs.
3. Kidney diseases
- Elderly cats are most likely to suffer from chronic kidney diseases and kidney failure.
- Kidney problems can also occur due to other medical problems such as Feline leukemia (FeLV).
- Act immediately if you see symptoms such as; peeing outside the litter box, excessive straining during urination, inability to urinate, weight loss, unwillingness to eat or drink, anemia and general weakening of the cat’s health.
- Although FeLV is quite rare, be aware of the symptoms and take immediate action if you see them in your cat.
- If your cat is elderly and is suffering from arthritis, their movements can be restricted.
- Thus they will be inclined to pee somewhere they are able to move to which is not the litter box.
- Getting treatment for their arthritis can help them to try out the litter box again.
If you have ruled out a medical condition for your cat peeing outside the litter box, then it’s time to find out other reasons.
It is most likely to be a behavioral issue. In addition to male cats marking their territory, there are some other external factors that cause cats to pee on clothes.
Here are some of them.
- Dirty or difficult –to- reach litter box
- Just like humans preferring a clean bathroom, cats too like to use a clean litter box.
- They will not use a dirty litter box, but opt to pee on your clothes, which is soft.
- This can be seen especially in indoor cats who don’t have another option.
- If the litter box is in a higher position, your cat will have difficulty reaching it. Elderly cats can also have this problem.
2. Excessive stress
- Stressed cats can exhibit some strange and unusual behaviors.
- Peeing on your clothes and other places outside their litter box is one such behavior.
- Cats can get stressed due to various reasons.
- Boredom, inactivity, territorial insecurity, outdoor animals, noise, foreign smells, other cats and also so many other reasons.
- They can get intimidated easily by strangers in the house too.
- Exhibiting unusual behaviors such as peeing on clothes is a coping mechanism.
3. Presence of another cat
- If you have several cats at home, there can be instances where one cat prevents another from using the litter box.
- This is because they tend to establish authority, and the ones with authority might tend to scare away the other ones.
- So your poor cat will have no option other than to pee on your nice, soft, comfortable clothes!
4. More comfort
- Your clothes can be more comfortable for your cat to pee on.
- Cats like soft things and also your clothes will have your smell.
- So, a cat peeing on your clothes can also be a method to strengthen the bond with you.
- Cats use scent as a form of communication and might see you as another feline and leave you a message.
5. Attention seeking
- Cats wish to play and seek the attention of their owners.
- If you are ignoring your cat, they will take matters into their hands or paws, rather!
- They will know that clothes are important to you and pee on them to leave an unmistakable scent to remind you of them.
What to do when cats pee on your clothes ?
What do you want to do when you see or smell cat pee on your clothes? I’m sure most of you will want to punish your kitty.
However, this should be the very thing not to do. If your cat is not well, it cannot help it. Punishing a stressed cat can add to the problem.
If your cat is seeking attention, punishing them will give them that. Your cat might not link the punishment with its action and be confused.
You can give a firm ‘no’ command and place the cat in the litter box when you see it peeing on your clothes. This will help them make the connection.
You can also ignore any unwanted behaviors from your cat. Do not take your cat to a shelter just because it pees on your clothes.
Try to find the problem and solve it instead of creating another one!
How to stop cats peeing on clothes ?
Once you have found out the reason for your cat’s peeing problems, it’s time to stop it! So, how can you possibly do it?
Here are some methods to stop your cat peeing on your clothes.
- If it is a medical condition, contact your vet and get proper treatment for whatever disease your cat is suffering from.
- Neuter your cat if it is a male one. This will prevent them from marking their territory by peeing on your clothes as they will not want to engage in mating behaviors.
- Clean their litter box regularly. Buy several litter boxes if you do not have the time to clean them regularly or if you have several cats, one for each.
- Make sure the litter box is easy to access and large enough for your cat to use it in comfort.
- Place the litter boxes in a place that your cat is most comfortable doing their business.
- They can get anxious or stressed if you watch them or if the place is uncomfortable to them.
- You can also eliminate stress if your cat suffers from it. Contact your cat with other pets such as dogs and larger cats.
- When you invite guests to your home, make sure you cat has some privacy and is not intimidated by them.
- Play with them and provide various enrichment activities. You can also provide territorial security.
- Restrict access to your clothes.
- Get your cat into a strict routine.
- If none of this works out, try contacting a behavioral specialist to determine a proper treatment for your cat.
How to get cat pee out of clothes ?
Now that you know why cats pee on your clothes and how to stop them, let’s find out how to remove that awful smelling pee from your clothes!
Cats can get attracted to an area that smells familiar and so is likely to pee on it in future too. So, the smell has to be removed thoroughly.
A normal wash might not remove the unpleasant smell completely. So what should you do?
Here are some simple steps to follow in order to remove the cat urine from your clothes.
- Soak the stain and try to remove as much of the urine as possible.
- Add some white vinegar on to the stain. This will help remove the smell. Add some baking soda over it and scrub.
- Wash the foam formed after scrubbing and dry the clothes.
You can also use an enzyme cleaner to neutralize any remaining odor.
Cat peeing on clothes can be a huge problem to cat owners, especially if your clothes have been cleaned already. The pee smells strongly of ammonia and can leave a permanent stench.
Cats tend to pee outside their litter box due to various reasons. It can be due to marking of territory in males which is known as spraying, and also to attract a mate in the case of females.
They can also pee on clothes if they are suffering from certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, arthritis or urinary tract infections.
Behavioral issues such as dirty litter boxes, stress, anxiety, attention seeking, comfort and also the presence of another cat can cause your cat to pee on your clothes.
Yelling and punishing your cat will not solve the problem. You need to find out what’s wrong with your cat and address the issue appropriately.
Never leave them at shelters or abandon them just because they peed on your clothes! Seek veterinary advice when in doubt on what’s the best thing to do.
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