Why Does My Cat Keep Peeing On My Laundry Basket?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of laundry basket peeing in cats and discuss solutions you can try at home.

Have you ever wondered why your cat insists on using your freshly cleaned laundry as a litter box instead of their own? You’ve tried everything to deter the behavior – from aluminum foil to double the number of litter boxes – but nothing seems to work. As frustrating as it is, this inappropriate elimination behavior is actually your cat trying to communicate something. As animal lovers, it’s our responsibility to understand what message they’re sending and address the root cause. In today’s blog post, we’ll go over some of the most common reasons why cats pee on the laundry basket and what you can do to remedy the situation. By the end, you’ll have some simple strategies to try that will hopefully solve the mystery of why your laundry just can’t seem to escape being a toilet.

Why Does My Cat Keep Peeing On My Laundry Basket?

There could be several reasons why your cat is exhibiting this behavior:

  • Medical issues: Conditions like urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or kidney disease could make your cat urinate more frequently. If your cat appears to be in discomfort or you notice changes in its urine, a visit to the vet is necessary.
  • Behavioral issues: Stress can cause cats to urinate outside their litter box. Changes in the household, like moving to a new home, introducing a new cat, or even rearranging furniture, can trigger this behavior. 
  • Dirty litter box: Cats are clean creatures and may refuse to use a dirty litter box. The laundry basket could be a more appealing option for them.
  • Litter box placement or design: The location or design of the litter box may not be to your cat’s liking. It could be too small, too large, in a high-traffic area, or not easily accessible. 
  • Preference for certain textures or smells: Cats can develop preferences for certain textures or smells and associate them with their litter box. If your laundry smells like you, your cat might be attracted to it as a substitute for a litter box. 

Remember, if this behavior persists, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian or a feline behaviorist.

Is This Behavior Normal For Cats?

While it’s not uncommon for cats to exhibit unusual behaviors, urinating on a laundry basket is not typically considered normal. This action is often a sign of a deeper issue, as outlined above, and should be addressed promptly. It’s important to remember that cats don’t do these things out of spite or anger, but rather as a reaction to something that isn’t right in their world. Understanding and addressing the underlying cause, whether it’s medical, environmental, or behavioral, can help restore your cat’s normal routines and maintain a clean and pleasant home environment.

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How Can I Prevent My Cat From Peeing On The Laundry Basket In The Future?

To prevent your cat from peeing on the laundry basket in the future, consider the following strategies:

Regular veterinary checks: Frequent veterinary visits can help catch medical issues early before they manifest in behavior like this. Regular check-ups are a crucial part of feline healthcare.

Maintain a stress-free environment: Try to keep changes in your household to a minimum. If changes are necessary, introduce them gradually to give your cat time to adjust.

Keep the litter box clean: Regularly clean and refill your cat’s litter box to ensure it always has a clean place to urinate.

Reconsider litter box placement or design: If your cat is not using its litter box, you may need to change its location, size, or type. The box should be in a quiet, accessible location and large enough for your cat to comfortably use.

Address scent attractions: If your cat is attracted to the smell of your laundry, consider using unscented laundry products, or store your laundry in a closed area where your cat can’t access it.

Training and reinforcement: Reward your cat when it uses its litter box, and discourage it from approaching the laundry basket. This can be done with treats, positive verbal reinforcement, or other means that your cat responds to. 

Remember, it’s important to understand the root cause of this behavior before implementing any changes.

Is There A Specific Type Of Litter Or Litter Box That May Help Stop This Behavior?

Yes, specific types of litter and litter boxes can help curb this behavior. 

Type of Litter: Cats often have preferences for certain types of litter over others. Unscented, clumping, and dissolvable cat litter is typically a favorite among cats because it resembles the sand or dirt they would use in the wild. If your current litter is scented or non-clumping, consider switching to a different type to see if it makes any difference. 

Litter Box type: Some cats prefer enclosed litter boxes for privacy, while others may feel trapped and prefer open ones. Therefore, it might be beneficial to offer both and see which one your cat leans toward. Moreover, make sure the litter box is large enough for your cat to move around comfortably. 

Remember, when introducing a new litter or litter box, it’s important to do so gradually to avoid causing stress to your cat.

How Can I Properly Clean And Remove The Odor From My Laundry Basket After My Cat Has Peed On It?

Cleaning cat pee and removing the odor from your laundry basket after your cat has urinated on it requires a few simple steps:

Empty the Basket: Remove all items from the basket, and if any are soiled, wash them thoroughly.

Rinse the Basket: Rinse the basket with warm water to remove any loose debris and dirt.

Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix a solution of one part white vinegar with three parts warm water. Vinegar is excellent for neutralizing odors and safe for most surfaces.

Scrub the Basket: Use a scrub brush or sponge to clean all surfaces of the basket with the vinegar solution. Make sure to get into all the corners and under the rim.

Soak the Basket: If the smell persists, let the basket soak in the vinegar solution for about 30 minutes.

Rinse and Dry: Rinse the basket thoroughly with warm water and dry it completely before using it again. 

Remember, cats are often attracted to the same spot to urinate, so it’s crucial to thoroughly clean the basket and remove all odor traces. If the smell persists, you may need to use an enzyme-based cleaner designed for pet odors. These cleaners break down the odor-causing compounds, effectively eliminating the smell.

Are There Any Training Techniques Or Methods I Can Use To Discourage This Behavior?

Yes, there are several strategies you can employ to discourage your cat from urinating in the laundry basket. First and foremost, ensure to clean up cat’s litter and make the box easily accessible. Cats are notoriously clean animals and may avoid using a dirty litter box. Secondly, you can try moving the laundry basket to a location your cat can’t access or get a basket with a lid. Using a pet-friendly deterrent spray on your laundry basket could also help. Lastly, if the behavior persists, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

Read more: Why Does My Cat Pee On The Dog Bed?


In conclusion, a cat peeing on your laundry basket can be frustrating and unpleasant for any pet owner. However, it is important to understand the underlying reasons behind this behavior in order to effectively address the issue. From territorial marking to medical problems, there could be various factors contributing to your cat’s behavior. It is crucial to observe your cat’s behavior and seek assistance from a professional veterinarian if necessary. Remember, patience and understanding are key in addressing any behavioral issues with our beloved feline friends. And if all else fails, don’t despair! There are always solutions such as switching out your laundry basket or providing alternative litter box options for your cat. So let’s take action and tackle this problem together, because our cats deserve a happy and clean environment just as much as we do.