How to Get Cat Urine Smell Out of Clothes

Anybody can have an accident.

Anybody can have an accident.

Cat urine is perhaps not your perfume of choice. It certainly is, however, pungent and lingering. If your cat has somehow managed to get pee on your clothes, you may or may not get the smell out, depending on the fabric.

Dump the clothes into a bucket immediately and cover with cold water. Add a few cups of white vinegar. The first step is to dilute and rinse out as much of the urine as possible.

Let the buckets sit for a few hours and tip the water into the toilet.

Put the clothes on a quick wash with plenty of detergent. Sniff them once they are done. If the urine smell remains, go onto step 4, otherwise hang to dry.

Wash the clothes again, this time using an enzyme odor-removal product as well as detergent and/or a warmer temperature. Alternatively, soak the clothes in buckets again but for longer, perhaps overnight, and with a stronger vinegar solution.

Repeat the above steps. However, if the smell has not gone after two or three washes, you probably won’t be able to get rid of it. In this case, it might be best to cut your losses and throw out the clothes.

Items you will need

  • Buckets
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Enzyme odor remover


  • If your cat has a habit of urinating in inappropriate places, take him to the vet. This could be a sign of a serious medical problem. Of course, if the cat is an intact tomcat, he’s probably doing it to mark his territory. He still needs to go to the vet though -- for neutering.
  • If your cat makes a habit of peeing on laundry, and there isn’t an underlying medical reason, put lemon peels in or drip any citrus essential oils on the laundry basket. Cats greatly dislike the smell of citrus fruits. Alternatively, put your laundry basket in a room to which your cat does not have access.

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About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

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