Why do Some Cats Urinate on Laundry?


One of my rescue, foster kittens (Marshall is now about 18 mos. old) was adopted by a young, single guy. Cliff also has a small Lab cross female (Bailey). Marshall and Bailey get along great. Marshall was chewing wires, phone cords, etc. but has stopped. Now he is peeing on Cliff’s clothing while he’s at work; he gets home and Marshall is very loving & glad to see him, but has peed on anything that didn’t hit the hamper, or Marshall even gets inside the hamper and pees
(gallons according to the guy) on his clothing. Help. I don’t want to see Marshall returned to our rescue group. With this type of behavior he might not find another home. I’m contacting everyone I know for advice.

Nacogdoches, Texas

Inappropriate urination is also known as house soiling. It has two main causes: medical problems and behavioral problems.

Medical problems that can cause house soiling include bladder infections, bladder stones, and a syndrome called FLUTD (short for feline lower urinary tract disease) in which the bladder becomes irritated. Also, any disease that causes increased urination, such as diabetes, thyroid disease or kidney disease may cause cats to produce “gallons” of urine, and to urinate in inappropriate locations.

In young cats, however, medical conditions are infrequent causes of house soiling. A behavioral issue is a more likely culprit. I suspect that Marshall has a substrate preference for clothing. This means that he may find it more comfortable and pleasant to urinate on clothing than on litter.

I recommend that Cliff take Marshall to the vet to make sure that no medical condition is contributing to the problem. If Marshall gets a clean bill of health, behavior modification is in order. Several clean litter boxes should be provided in areas where Marshall won’t be disturbed by Bailey while he’s urinating. Several different types of litter should be tried.

And, above all, Cliff should stop tossing his dirty laundry on the floor. Instead, he should put it in a hamper with a sturdy lid.

Plenty of information on feline house soiling is available on my new website. Click here for more information on the causes of feline housesoiling:


And click here for more information on behavior modification to treat feline house soiling:


About the photo: Tiny has no record of house soiling.

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