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Why Is My Cat Peeing on Laundry?

Note to readers: This is one of our most popular articles. We’ve updated it with new and more detailed information for 2023.

Inappropriate urination is the leading cause of cats being surrendered to shelters.

While there are a number of underlying causes, they can generally be broken down into medical causes, behavioral causes, and litter box causes (or some combination of these three).

Why Is My Cat Peeing on Laundry? | AtlanticVetSeattle.comMedical causes

When cats choose somewhere besides their litter boxes to urinate, veterinarians look for health concerns such as such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, crystals in the urine (a potentially life-threatening situation in male cats), bladder stones, or bladder inflammation caused by an infection or even stress.

Common medical conditions that can cause inappropriate urination:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): A UTI is a bacterial infection of the bladder or urethra. UTIs are common in cats and can cause pain, urgency, and frequency of urination.
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD): FLUTD is a group of conditions that affect the lower urinary tract in cats. FLUTD can cause pain, inflammation, and blockages of the urethra.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney disease can cause an increase in urination and thirst.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can cause an increase in urination and thirst.
  • Endocrinopathies: Endocrinopathies are disorders of the endocrine system, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including inappropriate urination.

The pain cats experience can lead to behavioral-inappropriate urination due to a learned aversion to the “offending” litter box seen as the source of pain by the cat.

Laundry on the floor offers a soft, welcoming place to try to relieve the pain.

Behavioral causes

Conversely, behavior may be the underlying cause of inappropriate urination in and of itself.

Domestic cats are very, very closely related to wild cats who live in groups of related female cats, roaming and defending territories of about 10 acres.

We humans, who love them, often force them into unnatural situations where they feel crowded, bored, or anxious.

Squabbling between cats or a dog, strangers in the home, noise, or a scary event that occurred while they were using the litter box (intimidation by another cat or a washing machine buzzer, for example) can also be the underlying cause.

Other stressful situations may include changes in the household, such as a new pet or a new baby, or changes in the cat’s environment, such as a move to a new home.

Cats may mark their territory with urine, especially if they feel threatened or insecure.

Litter box causes

Let’s not forget the litter box itself!

When a litter box isn’t up to a cat’s standards (think Porta Potty at a trailhead in August) or she doesn’t care for the perfume or texture of the litter, she may decide to “go” elsewhere (like on the laundry).

Two rules of thumb we champion

You can never have too many, too large, or too clean litter boxes.

 You need one litter box per cat, plus one, and one on every floor of the house.

Litter box tips

  • Litter box location: Place the litter box in a quiet, private location.
  • Litter type: Cats have texture preferences for a number of the things they do naturally, including urinating. Some cats prefer softer substrates, such as laundry or plastic bags on the floor, instead of cat litter (especially pelleted or old-fashioned clay litter). Other cats don’t seem to care. Experiment until you find one that your cat likes.
  • Litter box size: The litter box should be large enough for your cat to comfortably turn around in.
  • Litter box cleanliness: Scoop out waste daily and completely change the litter at least once a week.
  • Pheromone diffuser: Some cats may benefit from using a calming pheromone diffuser in the area where the litter box is located. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can sometimes lead to inappropriate urination.

Determining the cause of inappropriate urination

If your cat is showing signs of stress, such as excessive grooming, hiding, increased vocalization, or aggression, consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist. These changes may be a sign of a medical problem or a behavioral issue that requires treatment.

Figuring out the underlying cause of inappropriate urination starts with a thorough history and complete physical exam, including a urinalysis that is run right away (not sent to the lab) to look for crystal formation, blood tests to look for diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism.

Often, we will also recommend bladder imaging, such as X-rays or an ultrasound, to look for bladder stones and possibly, at kidney health.

If all tests check out, we’ll explore possible behavioral causes. Here is where a house call visit from a veterinarian experienced in cat behavior can be very helpful in assessing life from the cat’s point of view.

Fortunately, there is hope for most cats that are urinating outside the litter box if the problem is addressed quickly, before it becomes a more serious medical issue or a habit, if it’s a behavioral issue.

98 Responses to “Why Is My Cat Peeing on Laundry?”

  1. Reply Tracy

    Hi my daughters cat Maya is 2 she got fixed about a year ago. We rescued her. She was healthy got all her shots bloodwork. Emote she got fixed she would per all over my daughters clothes. We figured once she got fixed it would stop. And it did. Until today. She went to grab her jeans off the floor and maya had peed on them. She’s healthy has nothing wrong with her. I know it’s behavioral but can’t put my finger on it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so much

    • Reply Melissa

      I was just reading your response to the cat pee blog. Did you ever find a remedy for your cat peeing on clothes? I am about to get rid of my cat if I can’t figure this out. It’s driving me crazy!

      • Reply Caitlyn

        The most common reason cats are brought to shelters is for this issue, it’s often medical behavioral or an issue with the litter box. Please don’t do that do your baby. If your having these thoughts you might not be as emotionally invested in your pet as you think you are. If so rehoming her might actually be in the cats best interest. It’s our jobs as pet owners to care for them through thick and thin, and to dive deep and figure out what’s going on. If your kid was wetting the bed we wouldn’t get rid of them.

        • Reply Wendy

          A cat urinating on clothes is a hygienic concern. Comparing this to getting rid of a child is an attempt to make pets equal with children, and highly inappropriate. Rehoming a cat because or something that consistently urinates on items does not mean a person should be shamed. Cat urine can be difficult to remove and harmful to breathing, especially in asthmatics. Not to mention the ridicule that might ensue for a child going to school smelling like cat urine. Do what is right for your family. I love my animals, but they are NOT on the same plane as my children, and they should not be. You can be a responsible , loving pet owner and still make a hard choice.

          • Angelica

            Cats are living beings and yes are just as important as your children. Try different avenues before rehoming thoroughly. I hope they start making laws prohibiting people from adopting pets and then putting them in shelters. Good luck im dealing with this also

          • Ally

            You know how you keep your house hygienic and your cats from peeing on your clothes? You pick the clothes off the floor, keep them in dressers or in a closed laundry room where the cat can’t get to them. It’s that simple. The first comment in this thread literally said ” She went to grab her jeans off the floor” that’s the problem. If people are worried about hygiene and asthma maybe try having a clean house. Or, I don’t know, don’t adopt a pet you can’t commit to caring for? It’s not some secret that cats tend to have peeing issues, and as they age the likelihood increases. Maybe they aren’t as important to you as children, but they are living beings, and they are killed every year because dumb people think they’re cute but don’t want the responsibility of cleaning after them, training them, or taking them to the vet. It emotionally damages them when you rehome them. You are not a loving owner if you ‘re willing to get rid of a cat over peeing, as if carpets can’t be cleaned and clothes washed; you are simply a pet owner for how it benefits you, and you don’t care to hold up your end of the commitment to them. If anyone reading this thinks that sounds like you, then you should feel guilty! If someone knows they have done literally everything possible before rehoming their pet, then they won’t feel guilty when someone compares rehoming cat to getting rid of a bed-wetting child. I’ve had my cats pee on all kinds of things, I wash them, and wow! it doesn’t smell like cat pee anymore! It’s amazing what soap can do.

          • Owner

            I agree with Wendy. It takes a mature person to make these hard decisions and consider all aspects of the risks. No owner should be shamed for rehoming. Better this than neglect and abuse. You’re giving them a chance at a happier future.

        • Reply Bill

          Nonsense. If the cat won’t stop ruining clothes, bedding, and expensive luggage and other items, kitty goes. Kitty does not pay the mortgage. If kitty behaves, and my first one did, then kitty gets love, food, shelter, and attention. This new one gets the same but then randomly turns around and destroys something of mine. Regular medical attention…heck, we paid nearly $2,000 to the vet for an unrelated issue. I like the kitty. I play with the kitty. Kitty has the run off our home and three clean and large litter boxes. Kitty has multiple toys, and one room she can access that the dog can’t. And it’s not the dog…kitty steals the dog bed and the 85 lb Lab allows her to do so. They often sleep cuddled. But I’m sick of her peeing on my stuff. You’re right about a kid, but a cat is not my child.

        • Reply Tiffany

          I’m sorry but if I had a cat that was peeing on all my stuff, I’d consider getting rid of it too if nothing else worked. I’d have to really really love the cat for me to be willing to struggle with this issue and a bad smelling house.

      • Reply Megan

        Stop leaving your clothes in places they can reach. Don’t get rid of your cat, because you’re not taking responsibility for it’s behavior. Find the solution.

        • Reply Natalie

          I have had my cats both twin boys for 6years. Both have access to outside 24/7 but one of them has always peed on everyone’s stuff and carpets. Tried alsorts of products and multi litter trays but nothing works. He will do it right in front of you and just run off when you try to stop him. It’s getting to the point that am considering spilting the boys up and getting rid of him. Anyone have any ideas

          • Susan

            i had 2 sisters one got lost in a move the one left behind was devistated.. never stopped meowing very sadly and staring out window.. we couldnt take it. fortunately 1 month later a friend saw her and brought her home greatest day!! they went back to normal hope everything works out

        • Reply Todd Jumper

          What if the clothes that they can reach are what you are wearing to bed? Cat will not stop peeing on bed or our clothes on the bed while we sleep at night. Cat is about 12 years old, uses the litter box, but just walks over and pees right in front of you on your blanket or pants.

          • Tara

            Todd- there are many reasons why your cat might be doing this. You need to take it to the vet first to make sure there isn’t an underlying health issue, especially as it gets up in age. Without knowing the full history and touring your household, I cannot give you specifics on a solve but cats are extremely clean creatures. If you are not scooping every day, emptying the entire box once a week and completely cleaning it (with hot water) once a month- your cat may be trying to tell you something. Again, there are numerous reason why a cat would fall into this behavior. Cats only act out of their nature and it is not a “them” problem but an “us” problem. We need to change something as they are only reacting like the wild animals that they are. If the cat is healthy, I would encourage you to reach out to a feline behaviorist for assistance. This could be a very easy solve.

          • Lauren

            We have several cats, one in particular I had noticed small things but I thought nothing of it. One night he climbed up in my bed and proceeded to pee on my legs. I knew something was wrong, he’d never done that before. I took him to the vet and unfortunately he had Feline Leukemia, a very contagious and terminal disease. We tried to manage it but he passed on a few weeks later. Another cat we had starting using the fireplace as his litter box. He had diabetes. Another one, female, had a uti. There is a reason they do this, it’s just figuring out why.

          • Lauren

            I forgot to add. All of our pets are fixed asap when we get them, if they weren’t already when they came to our home.

      • Reply Tristen

        If you’re wanting to rehome your cat simply because he/she is peeing on your clothes maybe try picking them up off the floor? Keep them away from all access to clothing. That way they can’t pee on your clothes if they are not hanging around. If this issue persists you need to take him to the vet. When you adopted or got your cat you should have known the consequences of having one. You personally took on the responsibility of having a cat so take care of it, don’t rehome him so he can think you just abandoned him giving him more behavioural issues for the next person. Take care of your cat, don’t give him away because it’s easier. If everything was easy your life we be boring.

        • Reply Marie

          I agree. There are a lot of comments here justifying getting rid of a pet because they don’t like their behaviors. My mom is this way and if the shelters are full she drops the pets off at a “farm”. The two cats she has done this to did not seem fit to survive on their own. She thinks the same way these people do. Pets are not just an item you get for joy or because your kids want them, they’re a commitment. My mom thinks she loves animals, but she really just loves what they bring to HER life. I love the woman, but she doesn’t do her research or think things through. She just got a dog that she “loves so much” and I’m sure she does, but doesn’t feel she needs to walk him. Once again she just wants something there to love.

          I’m guessing half of these people are just like that. I’m pretty over humans thinking we are some superior species. Yes, we are supposedly “smarter” but I’d argue that the fact that we have these capabilities and still cause pain and useless destruction just makes us pretty dumb.

          Anyway, sorry for the rant. But if you don’t want a pet to cherish the bond that you can share with another creature, get a stuffed animal. Hopefully they will have realistic robotic pets for all of the people that think they’re disposable soon enough.

      • Reply Junior

        Same with my cat milo. Adopted him from a shelter when he was a kitten. He does this time from time. He’s not fixed yet but I just don’t leave clothes on the floor and shut all my doors when I’m not home. So far that has worked.

      • Reply Jess

        In my experience, it’s less often a medical issue and more a behavioral thing with a cat being incapable of ignoring a carpet, blanket, or piece of clothing not picked up. Cats, and dogs, can get sick and obsess just like people do. My eldest cat still sprays any bit of carpet not fully covering the room, so I don’t bother buying accent rugs. My newest addition seems to want to own any blanket, bag, or sweater left on the couch and not put away so I have a place for those items when not in use. Animals can have neurosis just like people and if you can’t shift your house to accommodate that OCD tendency then find them a better home.

      • Reply Bella

        I completely agree. I love my cat. But he continues to pee on my clothes: I don’t have a dresser or a closet in my room so I just have to leave my clothes in the hamper. But lil butt keeps climbing in it and peeing no matter what I do. He just continues, or finds a way to get in it if I put a cover on it. I have to rewash my clean clothes like 4 times a week. Vet says he’s healthy. I clean his litterbox daily. But I don’t know what to do. Working a full time job and coming home to find all your clean clothes dirty is a pain.

        • Reply Ally

          My cat has recently started doing this. She is one year old, fixed and according to the vet healthy. Has 3 litter boxes for just her as she is the only cat. They get changed everyday. Her and the dog sleep together and she has lots of toys and cat towers. She will pee in my clothing hamper and I have watched her climb my clothes hanging in my closet and pee on them. My closet does not have a door and I am renting so I can’t just add one. Just thing morning my husband and I were laying in bed and he caught her peeing on the bed because he was one minutes late to feed her. We love her and keep the house and her litter clean. My husband scoops it several times a day, typically in the morning, when we get home from work and before we go to bed. I think she may just be very needy and demanding as I was writing a school paper once, she meowed at me as I pet her and I then went to get water, came back and she had peed on my laptop. Not really sure what to do anymore. I don’t want to get rid of her we have had since she was 6 my months old and she didn’t start doing this until recently.

      • Reply Pc

        Could be boredom if you ruled out everything else. Indoor cats need enrichment and interactive playtime to burn off energy and need to hunt.

    • Reply Christine

      Please do not get rid of your cat. Just really try to find a solution. I know it can be challenging having to deal with urination issues. I have 2 fully indoor cats but one of them has an issue with uriniating on my couch. I have had to get rid of my couch and get a new one. This has been happening for 1.5 years . I’m at my wit’s end but I so love my cat. I could not dream of getting rid of him. In the end, I had to find a compromise. I now have to place a furniture cover that itotally covers all angles and is waterproof. It just means I can’t plop and sit right on it without havijg to remove it first but my cat is worth it. It hasn’t recurred eversincr. Perhaps he is fussy with texture and doesn’t like polyetheliene.

  2. Reply Naomi

    We have two cats that just turned four. We have had them for four years and they started peeing outside of their litter boxes about a year and a half ago. Our Male cat had a UTI and the vet gave us food to prevent it from occurring again and now our female and Male cats are on the food but they are still peeing everywhere. They usually pee in our clothes baskets and they have peed on my bed a few times as well. We dont like to spend a bunch of money on things that will not work. My parents want to get ride of them because they want to redo out carpets but we cant if the cats continue to pee everywhere. If you have any other options that wont cost us a lot of money I’m willing to try them because I really dont want to loose my cats.

  3. Reply Shantelle

    My cat Jade, she is only 2. She was spayed when we got her as a cat. Recently, she’s been peeing EVERYWHERE. On the basement floor, our hardwood floor on the second floor and our bedroom up stairs on the carpet. OUR HOUSE SMELLS SO BAD. Sometimes we have to keep her in the bathroom because she won’t stop. She’s very healthy, she’s had all her shots, she eats normally- drinks normally and plays and sleeps like any other cats. PLEASE HELP 🙁 She especially loves going on our laundry clothes.

    • Reply Emily A Straub

      Hello, I have a male and female cat bothe are fixed and just in the last year they’ve started peeing outside their litter box. I’ve gotten a second litter box I’ve also tried the feliway spray and wall plug in but unfortunately they’re still peeing only on clothes left on the floor nd or basket. The only new thing to recently happen is we had a baby this last year, but it wasn’t till about 6 months later the cats started peeing on the baby play mat… and then clothing that escalated further. Please help i really don’t want to loose my cats.

      • Reply Knavius

        Perhaps the cat is stressed by the change. Bringing a baby into the house is pretty stressful for our feline friends. It could be that they don’t like the litter or that they have a medical issue. First things first I would go to the vet and tell them what’s been going on. They will likely run some tests to determine if it’s medical or behavioral.

    • Reply Val

      Female cat 1 year old or a little older, (she was a stray kitten when we found her) just got her spayed, and she still pees on clean clothes in baskets. Just wondering besides cat boxes etc if possibly the smell of my detergent might be the reason??

    • Reply Scott

      My 12 yr old female has also been peeing on plastic bags full of old clothes in the closet that we have been meaning to take to the Goodwill or to a local church but have not gotten around to it. Started leaving the spare bedroom door open to even the cooling of the house in these very hot summer months and just discovered she has been going in there quite often. I was wondering why her litter box wasn’t as used as normal thought she was doing most of it outside, but now we know.

  4. Reply Sur

    My male cat is 31/2 yes old & has been intermittently peeing on materials in the basement & occasionally on material in a spare room & now in my closet clothes/laundry bag & tonight found wet bed in a spare room.. He is very lovable , fairly social able .. I’m perplexed. Two things I’m considering .. 1. UTI and recently took a 10 day road trip. 2. I had a new cat sitter , who is a cat person. ??! He can’t stay & continue to ruin my furnishings ??? Help

  5. Reply Julie serio

    My make cat only pees on a peice of laundry left on floor periodically . If bath mat or towel or my son leaves his dirty laundry on bathroom floor.

    • Reply Allie

      My cat does the same. He old did it once. Then We got a new cat and I thought it was her because it was happening more often so for the past two years I’ve been blaming her and so I finally caught him in the act this morning how sad I feel terrible to be blaming and yelling at my other cat so now I’m concerned that there may be something wrong with him but he only does it periodically but i also read they do this is they are stressed or nervous and he’s a rescue from the shelter and he’s always had anxiety so who knows.

      • Reply Miriam Santiago

        Use a cup of white vinegar in the wash will eliminate the smell extra rinse with your favorite fabric softener… My advice would be keeping both liter boxes clean .. also boundaries. Keeping doors shut
        I also give them flirtatious eyes when I’m pleased with them. I have 5 all white cats
        They love playing with water. I wash and blow dry They’re fur. I love them so much!!
        Everest is the mum ..her first born is Rio quite jealous of his baby brother. Vivo. Then there’s Fluffy and last Topaz.. she has an orange eye and one s blue.. Be easy on each other!! We’re just sharing our stressful issues. I started singing and humming to Rio.. so far so good. Take care folks!!

  6. Reply Kelly

    My cat is diabetic and has been urinating on everything lately, had all kinds of tests done does not have no infections, even bought the feliway and it does not help. He has ruined my carpet, laundry, boxes , etc. Please help on what else to do..

  7. Reply Morgan

    My cat is almost 4, and she won’t stop peeing all over my clothes. Her litter box is cleaned daily, but she even pees on my rug. What do I do?

  8. Reply Les

    My cat does take thyroid medication so I don’t know if there’s a place I can look to see if it’s thyroid and what I can do about it her peeing on my clothes

  9. Reply Denielle Henson

    My cat has been peeing on the clothes I leave on the floor. She used to be an outside cat until she started coming on our porch and I started feeding her. Then I took her in. She didn’t used to pee on the floor, but now she does. I’m not sure why.

  10. Reply Mary Graves

    I have multiple indoor cats,, all neutered males. The 3 older adults spray everything! And, I am afraid the 2 younger ones will soon do the same. What can I do ? I am not expecting miracles; I just want them to cut back on spraying. Their favorite site is my desktop computer and MAIL! Mail and Bill’s are soaked daily, even when I lay a towel over them. Please help!!

  11. Reply Melanie

    One of our spayed cats pees on me and my husband’s clothes Has done this at random times over a few years Can’t afford time take her to the vet Husband’s wanting to dump her somewhere but I think she was feral before she found us and would hate for that to happen since she’s depending on us for food and is cold right now Any thoughts?

    • Reply norah

      Please don’t dump the cat!!! If you can’t keep her, surrender her to a shelter. Imagine the poor kitty starving to death outside.

    • Reply Elizabeth Stone

      Please don”t be cruel. Ask your vet for help placing her, contact a rescue, reach out to friends. Dumped kitties get smushed, intentionally run over, caught and drowned, maimed, paralyzed, shot, attacked by other cats, tortured by cat haters, torn apart by dogs, eaten by wildlife, catch disease….SERIOUSLY!!! REACH OUT – don’t pawn off your responsibility. You did the right thing the first time..please do it again!
      DUMPING is horribly cruel- Kitty may be very unwelcome-even if its a barn or a home where you see other kitties and pets.ASK FOR HELP from all available animal groups in the three counties nearest you!

      • Reply Earth Motherr

        @Norah & @ElizabethStone Thank you for this! I am in an utter state of shock by the comments I am reading here…I truly cannot believe how many “people” are willing to abandon their beautiful “forever” friends as if they were nothing more than month old moldy containers of Chinese take-out pushed to the back of the fridge: into the dumpster they go! It’s disgusting, narcissistic, & down right shameful behavior by any measure. NEWS FLASH: Your cat is not a half eaten order of orange chicken!!!!!!! SHOCKING, I know!

        I understand that not all pet relationships can work out all the time, but it is your obligated duty to society & your responsibility as a willful pet owner to ensure that your cat is safely & properly put into the care of either a new owner capable of handling this issue, or relinquished to a shelter with available space.

        At the VERY LEAST, in the future, please do us all a favor & remember that you are incapable of handling the responsibility of caring for another living creature…Maybe opt for something like a Furby or Tomagotchi instead. At least when these things break, you can just toss them in the bin right next to that forgotten container of soggy old Beef & Broccoli.

      • Reply Owner

        You’re overreacting, that doesn’t happen to most feral cats. We have community cats here and everyone had pitched in helping taking care of them but they are feral and don’t want to be in a home.

    • Reply Dedre

      Please take your cat to the vet. She more than likely is sick don’t dump her. Take her to. Shelter please don’t dump her.

    • Reply J

      Please never get pets again if you can’t afford the time to help them if they’re sick. And don’t dump that cat, please take it to a shelter……………..

  12. Reply Katelyn marie

    I have a 13 almost 14 yr old cat she is peeing on all my clothes even in the laundry basket I don’t know what to do anymore

  13. Reply Ivy L

    Our cat Puffy has been driving the entire family crazy with his spraying everywhere. We bought de-scenting sprays and special cleaners, which he ignored and re-marked all over the house… Some advice? (I refuse neuter my cat.) Thank you.

    • Reply Graham Coia

      Sorry but your cat is spraying because he isn’t neutered. Simple as that.

      • Reply Lyn

        Graeme our cats are all neutered or spayed, the four month old kitty is neutered but pees on the bath mat, so neutering isn’t the issue. Sorry

        • Reply Kay

          Spraying is different than peeing. Cats typically won’t spray if they’re neutered. Unless you’re breeding cats, you shouldn’t have an unneutered/unspayed cat.

      • Reply Chantel

        It isn’t as simple as that. Many cats who are neutured and spayed still spray or urinate all over furnishings. It’s a real issue and a real struggle and takes a lot of time and critical thinking to find the cause and find a solution.

  14. Reply Nat

    My female cat used to pee in my clothes and bed every nights until i found out that she started doing this when I had my friend sleep in my bed. Also everytime when i have someone visit me and stay over. I fixed it by introducing everyone to her first thing they come in to my apartment. Everyone will have her smell their hands, pet her, give her treat until she feels comfortable having them around. Before i and my friend go to bed we will play with her in the bed as well since she often pee on my blanket during the night. It works out for me and my cat. I guess she is a territory cat and is easy to be stressful when she meets someone new. One think i noticed is that she will also pee on cat toys thing like a doll with catnip in it and a cat bed so i get rid of them. She is fine playing with other cat toys and sleeping in my bed. It could be the smell that she does not like. Not sure if this would help. I have tried everything before i figured it.

  15. Reply katie

    so I just got two 10 week old kittens about 2 weeks ago. growing up I’ve always had two cats and they always only had 1 litter box so thats what I did for these boys (they are brothers btw) but we seemed to be having issues with one of them peeing on our laundry or shoes. so I went out and bought another letterbox and it seemed better for a day. Then today I found pee on our laundry again. Stanley received his first round of shots yesterday and Clive is to get his in about a week. the vet said that Stanley is healthy as ever and there is no issues. we also know that the boys have worms as Stanley was dewormed yesterday and there was worms in his stool. so obviously Clive will be getting dewormed ASAP as well. anyways I cannot for the life of me figure out why they keep peeing on our stuff. if anyone knows or has experience with this please please please let me know. Thank you in advance.

  16. Reply Haley

    We just just adopted my kitten in August, he is not even 6-months old yet. He isn’t fixed and he can be pretty rambunctious. However, up until now, we haven’t had any potty problems. He’s been happily going in his litter since we got him but all of a sudden I woke up to find he had peed in my dirty laundry basket. I don’t understand why since we’ve gone all this time with no issues.

  17. Reply Alexis

    My female cat is about 12 years old and recently she’s been going into the laundry room, which is near her litter box, and peeing on the clothes. We try to keep the door closed but when we don’t close it, she goes and pees. I don’t know if it’s a health thing or maybe her litter…. she has also gone to the bathroom right beside her litter box because there was a little bit of litter pieces on the floor. Why does she do this? I don’t want my parents to get rid of her 🙁

    • Reply Rachel Rohrer

      Alexis, your kitty is older and a female. It likely is a UTI that can be treated cheaply with antibiotics. She would likely face a life long stay the shelter or euthanasia due to age. I can only image your pain. That’s a long time with a pet and certainty not appropriate to discard her after she’s spent almost a life time with your family. That would break her heart. Yours doesn’t seem behavioral. I truly think a trip to the vet would easily solve it. Hoping the best for her!!

  18. Reply Rachel

    I have 2 cats, one male (3 years old) and neutered and one female who is 2 years old and not fixed. They are indoor cats until we find a more permanent home. They have 2 litter boxes and a small part of the day they share a room which is clean, ventilated with lots of windows to look out of so they don’t get bored. Both cats have been peeing on towels, on the floor ect. I’m not sure if it’s the change in season or a behavioural issue between them. We do have a noisy toddler and a baby aswell so there’s always noise

  19. Reply Sydney

    I have 3 cats, 1 dog.
    2 of my cats are siblings, a boy and girl, almost 3 years old, I just adopted a kitten a month ago, so I’m sure this is why. My female cat is now not using the litter boxES at all!! I have 3 of them, and don’t have room for a 4th because I keep them away from the dog to avoid him stressing them while they are going potty. The other cats use them…what do I do???

  20. Reply Carly

    I have 2 cats, a male and a female. We have had the male for 5ish years, hes been fixed since he was a kitten. The female was a stray we brought in 3 or 4 years ago. She is fixed also. One of them keeps peeing on my husbands folded clothes in his closet, dirty clothes on the floor and his work boots!! Not all the time just randomly. So I am not 100% which cat it is but I am pretty sure it is the male. The spot that he pees on has sparkles afterwards but not big crystals so Im not sure if that is a health problem or not after reading this. Also I do not know what to do!! My husband is ready to throw them outside but I do not want to loose my cats!! HELP!!!

  21. Reply Susan

    Prozac cream on the inner ear stopped it. Anxiety creates his peeing.let’s the only thing that worked and l tried everything.

  22. Reply Bonnie

    READ MINE!!!! Seriously!!!! It might help! Read to the bottom!!!!
    It looks like I’m a little late to the party but hopefully my post will be helpful to someone who lands on this page in desperation.

    I’m too lazy to write out my story, but it’s just like all of yours. They’d pee on clothes and bags on the ground, on the bed and couch, it was awful. Completely stressful, I get it. But please know that this is always a cry for attention from your cats.

    These are the things I did to fix it:
    1. Firstly they need a LOT of cat furniture, things to climb on, and scratching posts- things to call their own, things that are soft surfaces that will soak up their scent, and they need them all around the house. Good stuff. Not those dinky little ones that go up to your knees. Cats are climbers and scratchers. Think to satisfy these instincts.

    2. Play time. Play with the cats- as much as you can. Don’t leave your toys out after play time, put them away. Take them for walks once a day if you have to but do something to keep their life interesting, cats get bored too.

    3. Wash everything … like 3 times. Get rid of anything that might have even a little bit of cat urine smell still on it, because once they pee on a spot, they will over there again. You need to use an ENZYMATIC cleaner. Look it up. It’s the only thing that will actually get that horrible cat pee smell. For soft surfaces, get a waterproof mattress cover first of all, while you’re going through all of this, but laundry- again, wash 2 or 3 times – go to Costco and get a few gallons vinegar and baking soda. In your laundry, pour a LOt ( the more the better) of vinegar and a good heaping cup of baking soda in it. Normal amount of detergent.

    3. Try to keep things off the ground. (Duh) I know but I get the feeling most people here, like I am, a little messy and habitually leave things laying about .

    4. Put out litter boxes , as many as you can, spread throughout the house, particularly in the areas you discover a lot of pee. Make sure you try all sorts of litters. Some people use those pellets and a lot of cats hate those as house cats sometimes have sensitive paws.

    3. Buy litter attractant – what?!?! What the heck, how have I never heard of this? That can’t be real. Well, yes it is and it’s amazing. Go on Amazon and buy a bunch of litter attractant. It’s not cheap but it’s not all that expensive either and it’ll be a small investment for a few months that end up being worth it. Sprinkle it liberally on top of your litter. Sit and watch. Your cat will WANT to pee inside the box. Every time you add litter, add some attractant on top of it. Oh and make sure your litter box is deep- and has a lot of litter in it- and that it is cleaned often. Cats hate dirty litter boxes.

    4. Be vigilant. The cat that pees outside it’s litter box is crying for help right? What are they crying about? Try to notice the little things. A realized for me, my cats learned this habit of “when mom ignores my meows, I can pee and get her attention this way.” And boy are they right.

    3. Do NOT scold your cats. They will not respond to it well. This actually goes for but dogs and cats but MORE for cats. If you scold them and rub their noses in their pee, they won’t get it. All they will feel is scared and threatened and confused that their mom/dad is being this way. It will disorient them and make them associate you with fear and distress. The very thing that usually makes cats pee everywhere. Instead, keep a box of treats anywhere near the litter box, every time you see the cat pee, wait for them to jump out and give them a treat right away. Positive reassurance is really the only way with these guys. The way to say “NO” is actually to show them what the “yes” is and to show it over and over again.

    I hope this helps someone out there. Please don’t get rid of your cats. Watch my cat from hell. Call a behaviorist. Try to think outside the box (no pun intended) and try new things. It’s extremely stressful I know but your cat needs you and your love. Love will heal all!!! <3 good luck everyone

    Oh- and my cats now have accidents maybe 1 every few weeks but i can identify exactly why now.

    • Reply Elissa

      Bonnie, I found your post incredibly helpful, so thank you. I currently have 6 grown cats and 4 kittens none of whom are fixed yet because I was only recently gainfully employed so as soon as I can get them fixed I will, that is for the cats I intend to keep. The rest will go to the shelter. Anyway, two of my male grown cats are peeing all over my house, on my clothes, on my bed, my counters, dressers, chairs, couch, the floors, I have been at a total loss as for how to help. Some of the kittens are doing it too but the litter attractant has worked wonders though not totally fixed this problem. The two male cats are peeing brown ish red ish tinted pee progressively getting more red, needless to say I’m getting increasingly concerned about their well being. I was hoping for some home remedies to try and I think ive gotten at least a couple from you so I’m grateful. I have been scolding them, simply from being so utterly overwhelmed with the constant cleanup of cat messes. But there’s no doubt I have too many cats in too small a house with never letting them go outside. Thanks again, I hope what I have to try proves successful. Time will tell.

      • Reply Lucy

        Elissa – please PLEASE take your cats that are peeing dark colours to the vet. It sounds like they may be seriously unwell and have kidney problems. This can end up being fatal. If you cannot afford to take them to the vet, then I’m sorry but you cannot afford to have cats. If you are unable to take them to the vet you really need to be taking them to a rescue so they can get the care they need. They are peeing outside of the litter because they are unwell, no home remedy will fix this- they need medical attention.

    • Reply Owner

      There are people doing this or more but still have this issue. Stop thinking everyone wants to invest in $500 in toys and $1000s in vet bills. Rehome your cats so someone else can take care of them if you can’t.

    • Reply Candice

      Thank you Bonnie for your post, it has really helped me and gave me some insight. I have managed to figure out why one of my cats pees on clothing, bed etc THANK YOU

  23. Reply Christin

    My cat, Farkus, has always urinated on clothing from the time we got him. We had litter boxes everywhere and they were kept clean. There is nothing medically wrong with this cat. Sometimes he wees in the litter box. Sometimes he prefers a bath towel on the floor of the bathroom, right next to his litter box. He loved peeing in my bathtub when I had a bath mat down. I finally had to get rid of the mat because I couldn’t get the urine stains out.

    He doesn’t poop outside of his litter box. Honestly, he is the strangest cat I’ve ever owned.

  24. Reply Maxwell Malone

    I recently moved my cat from my parents’ house to my new apartment (just moved out from dorms for college). He was previously an indoor-outdoor and had been his whole life, but I am attempting to train him to be an indoor only with walks. He has been litter trained and he poops in the litter box and even pees there, too, but he also pees on my laundry, wood floors, and any available boxes (avidly avoids peeing on my carpet, these are the only other spots he deems acceptable). I don’t think it is a health issue but most likely due to his big change in lifestyle. Is there anything I can do to help him stop? I have been spraying him with water when I catch him in the act, making sure his litter box is extra clean, providing him with lots of toys, and slowly harness training to take him outside. He is also regularly allowed out on my porch balcony, because he doesn’t leave it and can sit out there unsupervised. I am just unsure what more I can do to get him to stop.

  25. Reply Barbara D

    One of my female. Cats does this. I put potty pads down for the dog at night and found she much enjoys going on a pad rather than in a litter box. Unfortunately we now have potty pads all over the place but id rather her go on those than anything else. The dog doesnt use them all like her tho lol he has his usual 2 spots as long as a pad is there he will use it. I been cleaning all day still tryin to get the smell out. The best product i found and it wrks is called “FOLEX” its got live enzymes tht eat away the urine. If its under ur carpet pad etc..ur gonna have to pull it up to get it. Good luck

    • Reply Sally

      This is such a great solution!thank you for sharing ! Obviously I can’t ask my cat why she is peeing on my bed, bath mat, clothes but I can give her an option with the pee pads that will give her a safe place to pee and make my life easier with easy clean up. Genius!!!

  26. Reply Jeanie Hendersen

    It’s a cat’s instinct to smell around and dig before peeing or pooping, A good sized litter box should do the trick. I placed it in the location where they always do it. It is always a mess the first time but they will eventually learn.

  27. Reply Yudi

    I was wondering how can I tell if my female cat mated. This is her first heat cycle. She should be around 1 to 2 years old.
    She managed to escaped early morning and was gone for the entire day, i would call out for her but she wouldn’t appear. I come back home i hear her meowing, hiding behind a bush in my neighbors yard. I end up catching her around 9 or 10 pm. She was acting normal but still meowed like she is still in heat. She won’t come near me but will come near my boyfriend.
    Can I tell she mated by her urine? She had peed on her bed twice and once in the litter box but while she was, she just looked stucked, focused or having a hard time urinating. And it looked like she didn’t peed that much just little. Could that been urine or something else?

    Thanks and happy holidays to all!

  28. Reply Justina

    So my cat is a tuxedo cat she is five years old she’s been try pee on coat and my pants that are on the floor Cough her trying to do it in front of me And I’ve been picking my clothes up from the floor and keeping my bathroom door shut she knows where her litter box is I clean it out I don’t know what she is doing this

  29. Reply Lori K

    I suggest trying the following things:
    1) Let the vet check for medical issues first, then,
    2) Try a different brand of litter
    3) Scoop the litter boxes more often, your kitty might just like a clean place to go
    4) Play with your cat! They love personal attention and may just be asking for more of it.
    5) Are there new stray cats around your house? Your cat might be reacting to “strangers”. Think of how you might feel when strangers are hanging around outside your house for no known reason.
    I’m fostering two kittens and one of them (I don’t know which) is peeing on my personal space, like, my office chair (twice this morning), my spot on the couch and on my laundry. It’s clearly trying to get my attention but I haven’t figured out why yet. It even peed in an empty clothes dryer. Yay.

  30. Reply Ann

    50/50 peroxide and baking soda with a dash of dish soap will get the smell out of carpet/rugs. Mix it and spread it around then let it dry. After it dries rub it down with a towel and vacuum up. For laundry use baking soda and apple cider vinegar in the laundry with your detergent and softener. No more smell

  31. Reply Bernie

    I just moved out of a bad environment with my cat two months ago and she’s my emotional support cat. When she was living with me in the other place, she never peed on anything, now we’ve moved and it’s every day I’ll come into my room and find she peed on my bed. I have this cat because I have severe depression and am on the spectrum but I can’t clean my bedsheets every night after work. I’ve bought her calming collars and different food and litter and I can’t afford to do any big treatments if I take her to the vet. I would re home her if I needed to but I’m afraid it would send me into a spiral if I did.

    • Reply Sally

      I’m sorry your cat is doing this. They are most likely stressed from the move. Another response in this thread mentioned puppy P pads as an option. My cat has also been peeing on my bed and in my daughters laundry basket. I think I’ll try the puppy pee pads and put them around and see if that helps. If anything it will give her place to Pee that I can clean up easily I won’t ruin my bed or the laundry. Wishing you all the best.

  32. Reply Willow Blackwell

    I have a cute cat that is over 2 years old, lately, I don’t understand why it goes to the toilet in the wrong place, because since I was a kid, I have been trained very carefully in the toilet. That change made me really uncomfortable, I took it to the doctor and discovered it had a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, I discovered it early and took it to the vet. Now that my cat has gone to the toilet in the right place, I am very happy that it is cured and back to the way it was before.

  33. Reply Willow Blackwell

    Thank you for the article, it’s miles very beneficial for a cat proprietor like me, I recognize why my cat goes to the bathroom withinside the incorrect place, and I actually have found out the way to restore it.

  34. Reply Willow Blackwell

    Two years ago I was planning to get a cat and I thought a lot about it because I was afraid it would go to the wrong place to the toilet and might be very unhygienic. But finally, I decided to adopt a cat. , and this year is more than 2 years old. Recently my cat has a bad behavior going to the toilet in the wrong place. I was really upset. I shared my story with my feline friend and he taught me some tips on how to stop my cat from urinating in the house.
    As far as I remember there are generally 6 steps, we must determine the cause, then relieve the cat’s stress and if it is serious you can go to the vet, and 1 thing to consider. Always keep the area where the cat goes to the toilet clear.

    • Reply Willow Blackwell

      Thanks for the article, it is very helpful for a cat owner like me. I have found many ways to help my cat go to the toilet in the wrong place. I hope you find more useful information like this in the future.

  35. Reply Sylwia Watroba

    Hello I have two year old female cat, who has began peeing all over the house, behind the couch and under the bed, still poops in a litter box, but not for peeing.
    I’ve been using clumping clay litters, with no scent and she’s still peeing everywhere.
    We moved in with my little brothers who are 6 and I know this may have caused her a little stress, but she does come out to interact with them, and does roam around when they are home. They don’t go after her to scare her, I taught them to approach slowly and let her sniff their hands, and then pet her gently if she doesn’t go away.
    I have been gone a little more due to work post covid, and she is more confident when I’m home, but has taken a liking to my dad when I’m not there.

    I am not sure what to do to help her comfortably with this issue. She wasn’t spayed, which is something I’m going to do now, just waiting for the appointment.

    Any other advise of what I could do I’d be grateful. She pees in specific two areas, living room behind furniture onto the carpet and under my bed.
    So it’s not an issue with things she sees outside. We have another spayed male cat she grew up with since kitten they’re the same age, roughly few weeks apart.
    He is a little bigger and he tries to play with her, but because of how big he is she is not very keen of playing with him so I do take the time to tire him out with play and he doesn’t go after her anymore.
    They do relax together at times, sleeping close to one another and lets him lick her. He just starts nibbling and she goes away rather chilled and not stressed.

    Please help.

    • Reply B

      It could be separation anxiety! If you were around your cat a lot but that has changed recently that can trigger behavioral issues. Definitely see a vet first. It could also be a litter box type/placement issue. I would put a litter box in each area that she’s having problems and see if that clears it up.

      • Reply N

        Place treats close to where your cats pee inappropriately. If your cat is peeing on the bed, place treats there. Cats hate peeing near places where they eat. If you change the places where your cat pees to where they eat, they will stop peeing there.

  36. Reply Sabrina

    I got my baby 5 years ago, when we moved he started to have issues peeing on the couch it didnt start right away it took a while. When I we took him in to the vet fearing something medically wrong they said it was nothing bad environment. We lived in a area with lots of wild cats and other animals and figured he was marking ect. We moved to help him…… we replaced everything new couch even….. we have given it time to fix it all for him and nothing he is doing it on purpose as he uses his littler box just fine but the moment he gets a chance to pee on the couch or clothes he takes it. We have plastic on the couch cushions and wash everything 3x times before putting it back on the couch at this point we are out of ideas and its been going on for years we have followed everything we have found online anymore advice would be wonderful.
    -new bedding
    -new litter
    -clean litter box 2x day
    -spending more time with him (he has peed on the couch as I got up from spending 3 night is with him on it)
    -new food
    -urinary trac water helpers
    -anything else y’all can think of please let me know

  37. Reply Danielle Belanger

    My male kitten (about 4 months), frequently urinates on my clothes, laundry, housecoat, etc..
    He is a rescue.
    I also have a female kitten about the same age. Looks as though he has his moments of (getting his way with her). Normal?
    I’d like some answers.
    Have a terrific day!

    • Reply Pat

      You need to get both of those kittens desexed. If you cannot afford to do both, get the female spayed first. The SPCA has a low cost voucher program and so do many Humane Societies.

  38. Reply Ava Ree Van Pelt

    I have had this male neutered cat Jaeger for 6 years now. He is one of five cats in our large 2 story house. He pees on dirty laundry clothes and in his litter box.
    Recently he started peeing on the counters!! Its horrible and I’m doing everything I can to curb it. He has seen the vet. Seemingly clean bill of health. Only had to take some antibiotics.

    We have recently gotten a new kitten so we figured he could have been mad about that. But that was 3+ months ago. We have six auto cleaning litterboxes that get changed out and are spread evenly up and down the stairs.
    We use the clumping and the slide multi cat litter. Always have.

    Would scratch toys help him? In the areas he keeps peeing?

  39. Reply Brooke

    hi, i have 2 kittens almost 7 months old. they are both NOT neutered yet. one (thel) has a heart condition in which neutering will be life threatening with the anesthesia. the other one (jasper) we have not gotten to yet ad we anticipated to neuter them together but a change of plans with thel’s diagnosis. both use the litter box like a normal cat. thel does not pee/#2 anywhere else but the litterbox. Jasper on the other hand is quite a troublemaker. he has always been our vocal boy since the beginning from meowing for being downstairs alone for too long or howling at the closed bathroom door. we have not experienced any outside litter box accidents until we got our new bed (thank you lord for mattress pads being a thing) jasper had peed on our new bed. just recently if we would leave a tshirt on the ground. it would be saturated the next day. tonight was my breaking point as he urinated all over the place right in front of me. i saw him go into a pee stance on the bed in which my instinct was to push him off the bed. in which he rolled on his back and pee went everywhere. im going to get him neutered as soon as possible now but i am also curious if neutering will solve this issue? any help and or advice is truly appreciated

  40. Reply Lauren

    My cat has been having accidents lately. Pee in the corner of my closet, in the pantry, in a corner straight on tile, poop under my children’s slide. It’s not a cleanliness issue. His litter box is pristine! It’s because him and my husband don’t get along whatsoever and we just moved. I’m taking all the measures. Vet check. I switched the litter to cat attract which he has been using but my husband just gets mad thinking he peed somewhere and we don’t know. I’ve been giving him extra love, attention, and treats when he uses the litter box. I think of him as a third child and my motherly instincts tell me to do these things for him and nurture him but my husband doesn’t understand. I feel like my cat is constantly stressed at even the sight of my husband. What would you do in this situation as I can’t control their bond and since it’s not something I can fix the peeing behavior probably won’t stop. Would you rehome for the cats quality of life?

  41. Reply K

    The amount of comments on here shaming people for their concerns is disgusting. No pet is “just as important as a child”. I have loved all of my pets throughout my life but no.

  42. Reply Shell lavender

    Alternatively, we all should stop keeping “pets”. They are, after all, WILD ANIMALS that are meant to be outside doing their animal thing. Stop shaming others for being pissed off their clothes and furniture are being pissed on, but also, let’s quit bringing creatures into our homes for OUR enjoyment. Think about it, why do we get pets? Who does it benefit most? And lastly, if they are “misbehaving” , whose standards are you going by? Yourself? Or the animals? I’ll let you think about it.

  43. Reply Sarah

    Thank you for this article. One of the problems is that when cats have this problem of urinating on laundry, it’s not just a laundry problem. It’s also rugs, curtains that touch the floor, furniture, and anything made of fabric! My cat has started doing this only recently and he is 11 years old. I’m taking him to the vet to see if he has a UTI or something like that.

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