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Getting Cat Urine Smell out of Clothes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Help! I recently noticed that my clothes seemed to be dwindling in numbers in my closet. I discovered that my cats have apparently been pulling them off the hangers, ever so discreetly, and taking them to the one end of my closet that I don't really see or use. There, they have been urinating on them! I pulled the clothes out, washed them several times and then I soaked them for a week in a combination of vinegar and laundry soap. Some of the clothes seem to be okay, others still smell. What do I do next? Do I just need to throw them away? Is it hopeless?

It may not help but I purchased new hangers with a non-slip covering which will probably make it harder to pull them off, I hope! That is not really dealing with the root cause for their behavior but at least it might prevent future attacks on my clothes. I haven't even tackled the issue of why they're doing this! I think part of it is boredom. They used to be indoor/outdoor cats, now they are strictly indoor. Plus, I'm gone a lot so perhaps they're mad at me. Although, one of them pulled a pair of my slacks out of the clothes hamper the other day and she was rolling in them, pulling them around her, rubbing herself on them. So who knows!
post #2 of 6
It can help to put 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the wash water. I had to do this just yesterday, since one of my cats sprayed my curtains.
post #3 of 6
Odo-Ban (the kind specifically for pet odors) works wonders for me! Just throw a cup or two in the wash. You will probably want to wash them a sencond time though because the stuff has a pretty distinct smell itself. I like it (sure beats the scent of cat urine!) but some people don't.

Also I use this powdered detergent I buy at Wal-Mart for 2 or 3 bucks with Renuzit in it. It is AMAZING for the price. If the clothes are really bad, try that in combination with the Odo-Ban. I promise it will work!
post #4 of 6
I was just thinking you might want to wash down the closet with a good enzyme cleaner (maybe Oxyfresh, if you don't want to go with something like Nature's Miracle from the petstore). Otherwise, kitties may want to keep going back to the 'scene of the crime'. Also, for odor elimination (but not stain), I've had great luck with a product called Zero Odor (from Bed Bath & Beyond).

Oh, these kitties - they force us into spring cleaning no matter the season!

BTW, do you have windows, etc., that the kitties can look out of? I have cat trees by patio doors, and they're able to perch on a love seat in the second bedroom to look out. That might help in your absence, and you may want to invest in a bit of playtime (maybe twice a day, if you can fit it in) to run off some energy.

And, the tumbling around in your clothes might, I think, be trying to feel closer to you, since your scent is in the clothing, or trying to re-mark your clothes with their scent, to make you part of the family.
post #5 of 6
Aside from soaking whites in a ton of bleach I havent found anything that to me can truely rid the smell of cat pee. Especially if its a male cats spray. Ive always just thrown them out and it might be because I know they peed on something that I can keep smelling it but if you can manage to find something that takes it out to help with the odor I would use Gain detergent to rewash clothes because its very strong smelling and will help rid the smell of any cleaner you used on your clothes. I have found that Purple Power (garage cleaner but can be used in laundry to rid clothes of heavy duty stains works amazingly on almost anything [if only I had this 4 yrs ago]). Purple Power has gotten rid of dried in oil and garage stains out of Bfs clothes and also has gotten rid of the stains in carpeting from where we had accidents outside of the litter box. You can find it at Lowes or and AutoParts store like Auto Zone or Advanced for cheaper than at a grocery store or Wal-Mart
post #6 of 6
Has anyone thought to try adding 1/2c - 1c baking soda to the wash along with the laundry detergent? Obviously you can't add this in with vinegar, but I've used it with the detergent when I have clothes that have to be washed in cold or something smelly and it does help - even cutting moth ball scent some.

I use it along with an unscented, undyed laundry detergent and it helps, if anyone's curious.
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