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My cloaths are not a litter box

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Right now I have 3 cats and 2 litter boxes. Two share a box. I'm sure the cat who has her own box isn't part of this problem.
One or both of the other cats has been using my cloathing for a litter box. I would wash them, bring them in my room, and within 2 days they've soiled it and I have to wash it again. Today i discovered that one actually crawed into the dryer to soil my recently-cleaned cloaths so I had to wash them again.
There using their litterbox and I clean it often. The smell of cat urine is invading my cloaths and I'm having a hard time keeping up. I don't know how to teach them not to do this and I really don't know why they do it.
At first I thought it was just one of my cats that did it, and it turned out he was sick. He was urinating on my cloaths, and never used the box, and that was a sign of a urinary tract problem. He's passed on and now I know the other cats are doing it, and I wonder if maybe I should get them examined for having what he had or it's just a bad behaivor.
Any ideas on how to stop them from soiling my cloaths would be very helpful too.

-Sarah of Borg
post #2 of 10
Always when a cat is not peeing in the litter pan, take the cat to the vet and get it checked out first. That is always of prime importance. If the cat doesn't have a UTI then you have to take a hard look at the cat's world. What's changed? What could be stressing him out? Add a litter pan or two, and see if that helps. Has his routine changed in anyway? The are susceptible to reacting to the slighest changes, you would be surprised. Also make sure your litter pans are clean. What is clean to us does not necessarily mean a cat would agree to it.
post #3 of 10

I had the same trouble with Bella for a few weeks when I first brought her home. She was trying to tell me her box wasnt' clean enough for her liking - even though I scooped every other day, and with one cat I thought this was enough. I scoop every morning now, and she hasn't done it in weeks!

Definitely more litter boxes are needed. I have only one cat, but I have two litter boxes - one upstairs, one down. General rule is that you should have one more box than you have cats, i.e., you have three cats, you should try to have four boxes.

If your detergent isn't taking the urine smell out of the clothes, you may need to use some enzymatic cleaner (Nature's Miracle is the only one that comes to mind at the moment, but there are others) before or with your detergent. Anywhere kitty smells urine, he smells "litterbox" and will probably do it again.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
At one point I had 3 cats using one box without any problems, but yhea there has been one major change I know affects them.
The third cat, the one with her own private box, is actually a friends cat and she defintily dosn't get along with my own two cats. Now that I think of it, they've only been doing this as long as she's been at our house.
She stays in her rooms and they stay clear of her, but they have been acting differantly in general since we got her. It's been sort of a territorial fued between them.
We're also keeping a ferret that is our friends, but they all get along very well with her. The ferret thinks she's a cat. She even uses their scratching post.
Maybe this new cat and ferret have caused my cats to change their ways. Maybe getting another litter box would help, but taking care of 2 is difficult enough and I wonder if there's a better way that may solve this. I don't think the new cat will ever get along with my own cats, although she's not going to be here forever even though it's been a few months.
They are using the litter box, and plenty, but they want to use my cloathing too.

-Sarah of Borg
post #5 of 10
The only other thing I can think to ask is if they have been spayed/neutered. My female cats would pee all over things when there were two cats in heat in the house. I had no idea that female cats sprayed like that, but they do! I found that getting them spayed and buying my LitterMaids has eliminated these issues completely. And now you can get the LitterMaids refurbished off of e-bay for $50 and sometimes less.
post #6 of 10
While it seems like there could be an "environmental" reason for the change in litterbox habits (new cat and ferret visiting), it's always best to get a vet checkup. 95% of the reason there is a litterbox problem is medical. Once that's been ruled out, then try to address other reasons. UTIs in male cats in particular can be very serious, even life-threatening.

I'd also add at least one more litterbox if possible. We have five cats in a small space sharing two litterboxes. Most people at TCS would "EEK!" at this equation, but we live in an RV. I scoop four times a day, at least. A bad day is twice a day. I also completely dump the litterboxes, bleach them out and put new litter in every two weeks. This should be done at least once a month under "normal" circumstances.

Also, you MUST remove all smell of urine any place a cat has peed outside the box. The smell of urine will encourage them to continue this behavior. Even if you can't smell it, it could be that the cat can. Something that smells like freshly washed laundry to you could still have the urine smell in it for a cat.

Never use ammonia -based cleaners to clean up cat pee. This only makes the problem worse from the cat's perspective - ammonia smells like pee to them.

I think you ought to try an enzyme-based cleaner. It is the only thing I'm aware of that completely removes the smell, even to a cat. I've heard of Nature's Miracle and Simple Solutions and if either one isn't available in the pet section of your supermarket, then any pet store will carry at least one of them. The directions are easy to follow, and must be followed in order for the product to work. But it DOES work!!!!!!!

Even though the "new" kitty is just visiting for a few months, using the same method to introduce cats that are going to be permanent housemates could help this situation, if you've ruled out a medical problem. Cats are territorial, and it takes time for an "invader" to be accepted.

Here's an article on the subject: Introducing Cats
post #7 of 10
Have you changed litter at all? Some cats don't like certain textures or scents (we think it smells nice, but it's too strong for their sensitive noses). I agree with trying to get another box. 4 animals using two boxes can lead to problems, especially if someone is territorial. Also, we've read there should be one box on each level of the house. We have three boys, two boxes upstairs, one in the basement. We tried two boxes (one up and one down), but noticed someone getting anxious to get in a box while someone else wasn't quite finished.

Another thing, make sure the dryer door is kept closed and kitties don't have access to the clothes inside. It's a dangerous place for them anyway. I agree with others, always have a vet check for medical reasons for urinating outside the box before things get out of hand. Hope things work out!
post #8 of 10
Willow did this all the time, and i mean ALL THE TIME, but since we got an extra litter box, we haven't had a pee soaked sweater or something like that. But she will pee in a box or on a article of clothing thats crumpled in ther corner of the room if she's shut away in the room with no litter box. Sadly, the only excuse she needs is, "oop, door is closed" before she's heading to the forbidden stuff.

She might have something wrong, like a bladder problem, but my parents are lazy and cheap and won't take her. I'm saving my money as I speak
post #9 of 10
Though I have never had a problem of a cat urinating outside the box, I just want to emphasize that some cats are much more persnickety about having a clean box than others. I have only two litter boxes for two cats, but I'm retired and am home almost all the time so can clean them after each use. One cat is so particular that if I did not get every tiny little particle of soiled litter out, he will first sit in front of the box and whine. If I don't come and clean it better or give him fresh litter, he comes to wherever I am and demands that I follow him. He also whines and whines or wants outside to do his duty when he thinks the litter needs changing - and that is usually between one and two weeks even for the clumping litter. I go through 28 pounds of clumping litter every week or two just for two cats. My other cat is far less demanding about the cleanliness of the litter. I point this out because what may have been frequent enough or thorough enough cleaning for you before, may not be now that you have more cats sharing the facilities, especially when your original cats are under stress.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Sarah of Borg
At one point I had 3 cats using one box without any problems, but yhea there has been one major change I know affects them.
The third cat, the one with her own private box, is actually a friends cat and she defintily dosn't get along with my own two cats. Now that I think of it, they've only been doing this as long as she's been at our house.
There is nothing that sets off my cats quicker than a new addition to the house and mine have a preference to clothes laying around also. Agree with everyone that you need to rule out a UTI first. But think about it - they are marking your clothes - items that smell like you. They are telling you that you belong to them and want this cat to stay away.

Did you adopt the girl from your friend and is she there to stay? If this is temporary, perhaps you could keep her in a spare room for a while. If it's permanent, you need to use all the tricks offered here. Also keep your clothes off the floor, laundry in a covered bin, do not leave the washer/dryer open, etc. They might transfer it from clothes to your bed or furniture, so be cautious of that also. Spend extra time with the other 2 to make sure they are not feeling threatened by the new girl.

Good luck! Mine come around fairly quickly but not without extra effort on my part.
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