Yuck, Gross! How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothes
Cats are adorable creatures. But all good things in life come with their drawbacks. It's all very well and good when you’re besotted with your cute furbaby's monkey antics. But what goes in must come out. Most cats will happily jump into a clean litter tray and do their business. It's almost like an unwritten rule with cats that they like being clean. Phew. But not so fast. If your cat is peeing on your clothes, there are two ways to address the problem. Basically, you need a two-pronged strategy that addresses the stinky garments, and stops your cat from relieving himself outside of the litter box. Here’s how to get cat pee smell out of clothes.
Toxins in Cat Pee
Your cat is a cute and tiny creature, but somehow and for some reason, they excrete some of the most toxic waste known to man. You can’t even put cat litter down the toilet as it's too toxic. And the only place considered suitable for soiled cat litter is a landfill where it remains unsafe for several years.
Cat urine contains a high concentration of ammonia even before it’s dried. Breathing in ammonia can be harmful to all humans. But it’s especially dangerous if you have respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. Cat pee can still trigger symptoms like rashes, itching, red eyes, and a runny nose in people who don’t usually suffer from allergies.
How to Stop Your Cat from Peeing on Your Clothes
It would be altogether better if your cat didn't pee on your clothes—ever. Let's discuss why and how you can stop your cat from using the laundry basket as a toilet. That way, you may never have to learn about how to get cat pee smell out of clothes.
First, let's address your cat’s typical toileting behavior. It's easy to get super busy and forget to clean the litter tray for several days. But where does that leave your cat? To not soil your house and pee on your clothes, your cat must venture with bare paws into the Trainspotting toilet from hell. So the main reason that a cat will urinate on your fresh laundry is that it seems like a perfectly adequate, cleaner bathroom solution to using an unclean litter tray.
The first port of call is to keep on top of the litter tray cleaning. You can invest in litter trays that will clean themselves. So even if you’re busy or gone for a few days, the cat won’t be tempted to do his business on your favorite cardigan.
Cat Behavioral Issues
If you have an unneutered male cat, he’ll invariably spray his pee around. Like all living creatures, instinct and hormones drive your cat’s (sometimes infuriating) behavior. He simply must get his scent out there to tell any lady cats he’s single and fabulous. His hormones demand it of him, and an unneutered tomcat is rarely a pleasant creature 24/7.
The urine he is genetically and hormonally driven to spray all over your home and clothes will have a pungent odor, almost like stale onions. In Cat World, your pee is your personal eau de toilette. It's Chanel, Gucci, Jean-Paul Gaultier—it's raw—and the pungency is intended to get those ladies coming. But it actually stinks so much that you don't need cat noses to pick up the scent.
As soon as a cat is around 8-14 months old, he will mature and start exhibiting this behavior. So have the little fellow neutered inexpensively, and he'll be much happier. And so will your clothes.
Cats also pee to mark their territory. If you have more than one cat, there could be a few unresolved issues about pecking order among the pride. Generally speaking, though, this should be minimal if all the cats are neutered.
Cat Urine and Veterinary Issues
If you’ve kept pristine boudoirs for your cat's daily needs, and he still chooses to urinate around the house and on your clothes, then take him to the vet. They can rule out any physical problems such as a urinary tract infection which is very common with cats.
Your cat may also find the litter box uncomfortable. Try different designs. Some cats prefer a box that’s built like a cave. While others find an open-bathroom concept more inviting. Also, the litter you use may be too rough for your cats paws. Experiment with a softer litter and see if that solves the problem.
Also, don’t set your cat up to fail. Don’t leave laundry lying around the house. Invest in a lidded hamper and put clothes away promptly. Leaving piles of laundry on the floor for sorting may be too tempting for a feisty tom. Now with prevention dealt with, let's tackle how to cat pee smell out of clothes.
Cleaning Strategies for How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothes
It's never a good idea to put urine-stained clothing directly into the washing machine. Aside from the fact that standard laundering could still leave your clothes smelly, one urine-stained item may make the whole wash stink. Follow these easy steps for how to get cat pee smell out of clothes.
- Rinse the affected clothes with cold water and blot dry with paper towels.
- Soak the clothes in oxygen bleach. Fill a sink with water and a half cup of oxygen bleach that won't damage clothes. Leave the clothes soaking for one to four hours.
- Soak the items in vinegar wash. Make a solution of one-part white vinegar to three-parts cold water and apply to the clothes for a few minutes. Then, scrub in some baking soda on the affected part and let sit for a few more minutes.
- Wash the clothes on a cold setting with no detergent. Then, air-dry the clothes after washing. Washing with hot water and then drying with a heat setting risks baking in the odor before the smell is removed.
- After the clothes air-dry, wash them again in cold water with detergent. Air dry once more.
Once you’ve followed these five steps, you should be able to wash the clothes on a warm setting with detergent and the smell should be gone.
Need a helping hand?
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