Unfortunately, cats that urinate outside of their litter boxes often choose to pee on their owner’s clothing. Some cats prefer to pee on piles of dirty clothing, while others, like ours, seem to like fresh, clean laundry. It is not pleasant to pick up a favorite jacket or shirt and find that it reeks of cat urine. Since most clothing is washable, it is usually easy to remove urine stains and smells. The following steps can help you restore your urine-soaked clothes to an odor-free state.
Removing Cat Urine Odors from Washable Clothing
- First, make sure that the cat only peed on your clothes. Sometimes the smell of your feline friend’s urine is so strong that it seems to come from all over the room. So, triple check to make sure that you have located every item or surface that is affected. If he or she “missed” and also urinated on the carpet, you need to learn how to remove cat urine smells from your carpet.
- Whether they are clean or dirty, place all clothes that were close to the your cat’s place of choice in the washing machine. If you have affected items that are not machine-washable, put them aside.
- Set your washing machine for a normal cycle. Use warm or hot water if the affected fabrics will tolerate this safely. Hot water helps remove odors by killing the bacteria that grows in the presence of kitty urine stains.
- Add your regular laundry detergent in the recommended amounts. The brand is not particularly important, but use an effective product for the best results.
- Include about one cup of enzymatic odor remover in the wash load. This step is important!. This product is specifically designed to remove animal urine smells; it is usually sold with laundry supplies or pet supplies.
- After the cycle is complete, check the clothes for any residual odor. If there is any urine smell at all, repeat the washing process. Once the odors are gone, dry as usual.
- If you have any urine-affected clothing items that can only be hand-washed, fill a sink or basin with warm to hot water and soak clothing in detergent and enzyme odor remover for up to an hour before washing and rinsing. Repeat as necessary until no odor remains.
- For clothing that is not washable at all, consult a dry cleaning company for advice.
Tips for Getting Rid of Cat Pee Smells in Your Clothes
- Always wash urine-exposed clothing items separately from other dirty clothes. This avoids the chances of contaminating other clothes with urine odor, which could lead to wasted water and detergent if repeated cycles become necessary to remove odors.
- When large, delicate or expensive items are soiled by cat urine and machine-washing is not an option, consider taking an enzyme odor remover to your local dry cleaners and ask if they can use it while restoring the piece if their usual methods are not successful. Believe it or not, it’s something dry cleaners deal with on a regular basis. In fact, we helped our local dry cleaner come up with a solution that he now uses for all “cat pee” situations.
- In an emergency, white vinegar is a safe, effective and inexpensive replacement for enzyme cleaner. Add a cup to the water in the sink or washing machine and allow clothing to soak in it for at least 30 minutes before washing normally. The vinegar smell will dissipate when clothing is rinsed.
- To discourage a repeat performance, keep all clothing put away while it is clear that your cat is suffering from a behavior problem. Search for an underlying cause of inappropriate urination and treat the problem so your home can once again enjoy peace and a fresh atmosphere.