Cat Peeing On Clothes? Remove Cat Urine, Avoid Laundry Disasters

Is your cat peeing on your clothes? Throwing them into the wash (your clothes, not your cat) and hoping for the best is not going to cut it. Here’s how to get cat pee smell out of your clothes, for good!
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Dealing with cat-pee problems comes with the territory of being a cat parent. But when they’re peeing on your CLOTHES?! Now that really stinks!

While it’s not fun to put in the extra effort to get cat urine out of clothes, it’s worth it. (You do NOT want to be known as the person who smells like cat pee.) So without delay, read on for how to get cat pee smell out of clothes, and the best cat urine remover to do it!

Help! Why Is My Cat Peeing on My Clothes?!

Knowing how to remove cat urine odors from your clothes is only half the battle when you’re faced with this problem. You also need to find out WHY your cat is engaging in this unwanted potty behavior. There are many things it could be: stress, arthritis, poor litter box conditions, hormones, health issues and more. Read about why cats pee on clothes and how to address it, then make an appointment with the veterinarian if the situation doesn’t improve.

What Does Ammonia Smell Like in Cat Pee on Clothes?

Ammonia is a byproduct of bacteria breaking down urea, a waste product in cat urine. Ammonia smells like pee or even burnt plastic or rubber if the cat is in heat. If your cat has a urinary tract infection, a high fish-based diet, or an anal gland problem, the urine can take on a potent fishy odor.

Whatever the smell of ammonia, it’s definitely gross. And here’s more bad news for your nose: the smell of cat urine gets worse with time as bacteria continue to decompose it. Using a cat urine remover that completely gets rid of the pee is paramount, so you don’t get an ammonia cat-pee smell wafting around your home and your personal space bubble.

How to Get Cat Pee Smell Out of Clothes

First things first: NEVER put your pee-stained items into the washer like normal with your other clothes. That will spread the stench around to the entire load. Instead, follow these steps to remove cat urine smell from your clothes.

Step 1: Blot the Cat Urine, ASA(Pee)

If your clothes are wet with cat pee, blot the stain as soon as possible to prevent it from setting. (The odor of old cat pee is more difficult to remove than fresh pee.) Use absorbent paper towels to blot, being mindful not to rub your clothing or you’ll drive the urine odor into the fibers of the fabric. Blot until the area is no longer wet. Throw the urine-stained paper towels into the outside garbage right away so your house won't smell like cat pee.

Step 2: Treat the Cat Pee Stain

You have two routes you can take here: you can whip up your own cat urine remover with what you have in your pantry, or you can go the more convenient route and use a commercial cat urine odor remover. Either way, here are your recipes for success.

How to get cat pee smell out of clothes with pantry items:

There are two options to get cat pee out of clothes if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. Experiment to see which one works best for you, or simply roll with option one if you don’t like the smell of vinegar.

Option one: Make a watery paste out of baking soda and water, spread it on your pee-stained clothing, then let it sit for 20 minutes.

Option two: Mix ¼ c. table salt, ¼ c. white vinegar, and ¼ c. borax powder. Soak the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.

How to get cat pee smell out of clothes with a commercial cat urine remover:

If you don’t like the fuss of DIY or the smell of vinegar, use a commercial cat urine remover specifically formulated for pets. Just spray the stain completely and let it sit according to the product’s instructions.

Keep in mind, not all cat urine removers are the same! Oxidizing agents work best because they break down the uric acid in cat pee. By targeting the source of the cat-pee smell, you can help prevent re-marking and get the odor completely out of your clothes.

It’s also smart to find a product that is free of scents. You don’t want to cover up one gross smell with another. Additionally, many pets and people are sensitive to fragrances, which are a mix of different chemicals. (These chemicals are not listed on labels because of trade secret law.) Even traditionally safer options like essential oils can be harmful to cats.

Step 3: Launder Your Clothing

Wash your stain-treated clothing on cold, as hot water could set the odor. (We love using scent-free laundry products to avoid all the fragrance chemicals.)

After your clothes come out of the washer, hang them up to air dry. If you use the dryer, the heat could cause the cat pee smell to stick around. This is one of the biggest laundry mistakes people make when dealing with cat pee on their clothes.

Gotta-know info: If you use cloths to clean up cat pee, don’t launder them with bleach. Bleach and ammonia form toxic gas. Also avoid using cleaning products with ammonia on cat pee stains. Because ammonia is a component of cat pee, adding more ammonia to the spot will encourage cats to keep peeing in the same place.

What If the Cat Pee Stain Is Old or Set into Your Fabric?

Commercial cat urine removers will work on old cat pee stains, but if you don’t have any on hand, no need to panic. You can still get old cat pee smell out of your clothes. With old stains, you’ll skip step one above and instead soak your clothing in a ratio of 1 cup vinegar to 2 cups water in a bucket or sink. Let the clothing sit in the mix for at least 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water and proceed with laundering (step 3 above). Note: don’t use vinegar on rayon fabrics, as vinegar can damage it.

Meet the Best Cat Urine Remover

Oxyfresh Stain & Odor Remover is the cat’s meow when it comes to getting cat pee smell out of clothes ... and anywhere else your feline likes to go: your mattress, flooring, the couch, you name it!

Awarded the Seal of Approval by the Carpet and Rug Institute (so you know it’s good stuff!), Oxyfresh uses the power of proprietary Oxygene® – a non-toxic oxidizing ingredient – to remove cat urine smells completely. No coverups with fragrance bombs or harsh chemicals. It’s 100% scent-free!

Oxygene® targets smelly bacteria right at the source and breaks odor bonds instantly, breaking the cycle of re-marking. Use this cat urine odor remover anywhere your kitty pees inappropriately. It’s safe for all surfaces.

Yes, Oxyfresh cat urine odor remover really works!

Independent, third-party lab testing proved Oxyfresh Stain & Odor Remover is better thanthe leading enzyme cleaner at removing cat urine stains. Unlike enzymes, Oxyfresh works faster and won’t leave a tacky or greasy residue behind, courtesy of FreshAir® technology, a proprietary surfactant blend that encapsulates pet stains completely and repels dirt and oils.

Because clean clothing, flooring, and furniture shouldn’t come at the price of your lungs or the environment, Oxyfresh cat urine odor remover is environmentally friendly, safe for use around pets and kids, and contains zero fragrances, harsh chemicals, bleach, parabens, ammonia or other bad stuff.

Try it, love it, and feel confident in your fresh, clean clothing!

stain and odor remover five star review

melissa gulbranson oxyfresh cmo

Meet the Author

Melissa Gulbranson is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Marketing Officer for Oxyfresh. A recipient of the Pet Age's "Women of Influence" Award, she’s passionate about educating pet parents in ways that really resonate with them. Melissa loves days on the lake and hiking with her fur kid, Parker, and husband, Doug. Parker (a total ham) can be spotted running laps through the office each morning, greeting every team member. You can find Parker near the treats, and Melissa on Linkedin.