Have you noticed your cat urinating on your clothes recently? Are you left scratching your head and wondering,”’Why does my cat pee on my clothes?”
Sure enough, the smell of cat urine is unpleasant, but dealing with the cleanup and laundry afterward can be even worse. Getting to the bottom of your cat’s behavior is key to solving the issue, so let us help!
Why Does My Cat Pee on My Clothes
There are three primary reasons your cat may be urinating on your clothes:
- medical causes,
- behavioral causes, or
- litter box causes.
Let’s review each of these, so it’s easier for you to identify the root of the problem and get your kitty back to its best behavior.
Your pet’s current health status may be why they’re taking on this new (and unwanted) behavior. Several medical conditions may result in a change in urination habits, including:
FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)
This is a relatively common condition in cats that can result in frequent and painful urination caused by bladder inflammation. The bladder’s inner lining becomes irritated, leading to your cat feeling the urge to urinate more frequently and perhaps in more unlikely places than their litter box.
The usual culprit for this condition, infectious cystitis, is caused by a bacterial infection. Still, there are also non-infectious causes, such as struvite stones, leading to FLUTD.
Left untreated, it may result in bladder stones and even blockages, which can be fatal.
Chronic Kidney Diseases
If the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, this can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body and cause recurrent, diluted urination. The kidneys’ main job is to remove toxins from the blood, so if they’re not working as they should be, these toxins will begin to build up and make your cat feel unwell.
Other potential warning signs include loss of appetite, pale gums, and overall weakness. The more toxin build-up there is, the greater the risk of severe health complications, such as renal failure.
Believe it or not, this small gland in your cat’s neck plays a vital role in their overall health—including their urinary habits. When functioning properly, the thyroid gland regulates metabolism and hormone production.
However, if it becomes underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism), it can lead to a wide range of health problems, including urinary issues.
You can check the thyroid hormone level in your cat’s blood with a simple blood test at the vet. If it’s determined that an imbalanced gland is to blame for their recent urination habits, treatment options are available.
Regulating blood sugar levels is vital for diabetic cats, and one way they do this is by urinating more frequently. If your kitty seems to be taking more dips in the loo than usual and is leaving behind larger puddles than normal, it could be a sign of diabetes.
Other common symptoms include;
- increased thirst and hunger,
- weight loss, and
If you notice any of these alongside increased urination, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
The best way to figure out if diabetes is the reason your cat is peeing on clothes is to take them in for a simple blood test. The results will show how much glucose is in your cat’s blood and help your vet determine the best course of treatment.
Cats, like humans, can suffer from dementia as they age. This condition is characterized by a decline in cognitive function and often leads to changes in behavior. One common change is urinating outside of the litter box.
As your cat’s ability to recognize the need to use the restroom declines, they may start to forget where their litter box is or how to get there. This can lead to accidents, such as peeing on your clothes.
This painful condition, caused by the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints, is often seen in older cats. The discomfort and inflammation associated with arthritis can make it difficult for your cat to get in and out of its litter box, particularly if it’s high off the ground. As a result, they may start urinating on clothes as a more comfortable alternative.
What’s seemingly an unlikely answer to the question of “why do cats pee on clothes,” how your cat is feeling emotionally could be the reason behind their new toilet habits.
Sometimes that may be directly affected by external factors, and other times it may be a more internal struggle.
Marking Their Territory
You may have heard of dogs urinating on things to mark their territory, but did you know cats do this too? When a cat urinates on something, they’re leaving behind tiny amounts of pheromones in its urine. These chemical signals communicate to other cats that this area is claimed by the marker and serves as a warning to stay away.
Now, this looks completely different from regular urination, as marking is usually done in small amounts on vertical surfaces. If your cat is leaving behind large puddles of urine, this is not marking behavior and likely indicates a medical problem that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.
In any case, felines usually mark their territory when they feel they’re being threatened in some way— perhaps there’s a new pet in the house, or someone has been spending a lot of time in their designated space. If that’s the case, try to create a more stable environment for them and provide plenty of vertical spaces (like cat trees) for them to claim as their own.
If you have a male kitten, this could signify that they’ve reached sexual maturity, especially if neutering or spaying still hasn’t occurred. Once they’re neutered or spayed, this behavior will likely subside.
Stress and Anxiety
Like humans, cats can experience stress and anxiety from time to time. And when they do, it can manifest in several ways—including urinating on clothes.
Various things could cause your cat to feel stressed or anxious, such as moving to a new home, switching from dry to wet cat food, or even simply having a new baby in the house.
Since felines can’t exactly tell us how they’re feeling, it’s essential to be on the lookout for other signs of stress, such as excessive urination (outside of the litter box), decreased or increased appetite, excessive grooming, and hiding.
If your cat indicates anxiety and stress more often than usual, you can try CBD oil to combat their discomfort.
In some cases, a cat may start urinating on clothes as a way of getting your attention. This is usually done by an indoor cat who feels like they’re not receiving enough love and affection from its humans.
This doesn’t necessarily point to you being a bad pet parent—sometimes cats want more attention than we can give them. And we all have enough on our plate as it is, so it’s no surprise that we don’t always have the energy or time to give them the amount of love they want.
If their attention-seeking urination habits are becoming a problem, try to set aside some quality time each day to play with your cat and show them some extra love. It can be as simple as a few additional pats on the head or a throw-toy session before bed. This will help them feel more secure and loved and may solve the issue altogether.
Litter Box Causes
Last but not least, on the list of plausible answers to “why is my cat peeing on stuff?” is that there’s simply something wrong with their litter box. Of course, cleanliness is a significant factor—if you haven’t taken the time to scoop out their box in a while, that could be the issue.
These days, there are a number of self-cleaning litter boxes on the market that can help make things a little easier for you and your cat. They work by automatically excavating the waste into a sealed container after your cat uses it, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Additionally, some cats prefer a specific type of litter over others. If you’ve recently switched models and they’re not having any of it, that could be why they’re urinating elsewhere. It’s undoubtedly not comfortable for them to use a litter box that doesn’t suit their needs, so try switching back to the old type of litter and see if that makes a difference.
Avoid negative reinforcement or punishment, as this will only worsen the problem. Focus on rewarding them when they use their litter box instead.
How to Stop Cat from Peeing on Clothes
Naturally, the best way to stop your cat from urinating on your clothes is to figure out what’s causing the problem in the first place. Take a trip to the vet to rule out any underlying medical concerns because those will need to be addressed before moving on to anything else.
If there doesn’t appear to be a medical reason for their bad behavior, take a look at your cat’s environment and see if there’s anything that could be stressing them out or making them feel anxious. Try to provide them with more stable surroundings and plenty of love and attention.
And finally, take a moment to assess their litter box situation. Make sure it’s clean and that they have easy access to it at all times. Anything too high or virtually unreachable will certainly not work for them.
And that wraps up the discussion on “why does my cat pee on my clothes?”. At the end of the day, each kitten is different, and you may need to try a few different things before you find the best solution for your feline friend. Be patient, be loving, and most importantly—don’t give up!