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Just thouight this may apply for some posters:

Question from Alma:

What is it about fresh laundry and plastic bags that entices cats to pee on them? I don't dare set a plastic grocery bag on the floor and take my eyes off it. A couple of my cats think that's far better than the litter! It's the same with freshly dried laundry. They normally won't pee on the bed or sofa, but if I drop laundry there, before I can get back to fold it, chances are good that it will have been peed on. What gives?

Response from Dr Patricia Simonet:

I find that cats are most mysterious when it comes to substrate preference. That is the fancy way of saying what cats pee on. Some cats that have lived outside and then are made into inside cats, will seek out potted plants. Some cats that have had urinary tract infections (UTI), will seek out substrates that are soft (and warm). Even when the cat no longer has an UTI, s/he will return to and potty on the substrate that was most comfortable.

Here is how it works: Cat has an UTI. It is painful to urinate (anywhere). It is less painful to urinate in a soft, WARM pile of laundry. Cat potties in the fresh warm pile of clothes. Cat does this for some time before human figures out that cat has UTI. Cat either battles UTI or human figures it out and takes cat to vet. Cat is better. Cat continues to urinate on fresh pile of laundry. Aargh! Why? Because the cat has developed a substrate preference based on conditioning. The cat is avoiding painful elimination, even when the cat no longer has the UTI. The cat has developed an association with the old litter box and pain. To fix this problem, take a small, freshly laundered rag and place it in the cat’s box. Encourage the cat to use her box again by limiting her access to anywhere away from her box. A laundry room – keeping all fresh laundry away from the cat – or low traffic bathroom is good for this training). She can only come out of her training room when she is being supervised. Do this for about 3 or 4 days. She will be retrained to use her box. Of course you will be cleaning her box frequently (at LEAST once a day) as cats hate messy boxes.

With all of the above being said (and true for many cats), some cats will just decide that the fresh laundry has odors that need to be modified. There are mixed theories that try to explain this behavior. Here is the one I most agree is correct. We humans secrete ammonias through our sweat. We also try to modify these odors in our garments with detergents and perfumes. These detergents and perfumes mask the odors effectively for our mere human noses.

However, the perfumed detergents do NOT mask the ammonias from our cats. As a matter of fact, these odors need further modification by the cat, because we have been ineffectual at modifying it ourselves. Cats are so helpful. I wish they could modify used car salespeople. Could you imagine shopping for a car armed with your cat? “Could you knock a couple thousand off that price, I have a cat!â€

Regarding plastics, I suggest that plastics have odors like ammonia. They are made from processed petroleum products. In the manufacturing process many chemicals are used that produce ammonia-like odors. I am certain that many of these odors are causing the same responses in cats, as would another cat marking in their territory.

Whoever said “better living through chemistry†probably didn’t have cats.