cat sleeping on clothes in washing machine

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Have you ever come home to find your kitten curled up on a pile of freshly laundered clothes? Many cat owners observe their pets seeking out their favorite sweatshirt or pair of jeans for their naptime retreat.

Cats are creatures of comfort and familiarity. They often choose to sleep on items carrying their owner’s scent, which makes them feel secure and loved in your absence.

In this article, we’ll explore the cozy world of felines and fabrics, unlock some mysteries behind those purring naptimes in your wardrobe, and provide tips to ensure both you and your cat enjoy a happy balance.

Key Takeaways

  • Cats sleep on clothes because they smell like their owner, which makes the cat feel safe and loved.
  • Clothes are soft and warm, making them a perfect cozy spot for cats to curl up in.
  • When cats lie on your clothes, they mix their scent with yours, marking their territory.
  • A cat sleeping on clothes can be a sign it misses you and might have separation anxiety.
  • To help your cat, create a special area with old clothes and soft bedding where it can rest.

Reasons Why Your Cat Sleeps On Your Clothes

Cats may sleep on your clothes for various reasons, including comfort, warmth, and the familiar scent of their owner. It can also be a way for them to mark their territory and feel secure in their environment. Understanding these behaviors can help you better manage your cat’s sleeping habits.

cat sitting in full laundry basket

Comfort and Security

Your cat sleeping on your clothes is like a warm hug for them. They feel safe and sound, all wrapped up in something that smells just like you. Imagine it’s their way of saying “This spot is mine and I love it!” because when they’re curled up in your laundry basket or on that pile of shirts, they might as well be back snuggling with their family group.

Clothes offer a soft place where kitties can relax without worry. They don’t have to search for safety – they’ve got it right there with the familiar scent of home. It’s like having a piece of you close by when you’re not around, making them feel protected and loved.

Your scent provides comfort and reassurance, telling your furry friend everything is alright.

Material and Warmth

Cats love the softness of your pile of clothes. These materials give them a cozy spot to curl up and stay warm. Think about it — freshly washed clothes are like a toasty bed for your kitty! They provide just the right amount of cushion and warmth that makes these spots irresistible.

Another reason cats pick clothes is because they hold heat well. Clothes, especially those made from fabrics like cotton or fleece, can keep a cat’s body temperature just right. Your fluffy friend knows exactly where to find the coziest sleeping spot in the house!

Scent Marking

Your cat may choose your pile of laundry as a bed to leave their scent behind. This is part of how they tell the world, “This belongs to me!” Think about it—your clothes have your smell all over them.

When your kitty sleeps on them, they mix their scent with yours. That way, they feel like you two share a special bond.

By lying on your clothes, your fuzzy friend can mark their territory without anyone else knowing. It’s a sneaky but smart way for them to say, “I’m comfy here and this place is mine.”

Separation Anxiety

When your cat sleeps on your clothes, it might also be a sign of separation anxiety. Cats can become anxious when they’re separated from their owners for extended periods. This behavior may offer them comfort and security by being close to something that smells like you, especially when you’re not around.

It’s important to provide your cat with a cozy and safe space, along with items that carry your scent, to help alleviate their separation anxiety.

If possible, leaving an item of clothing or bedding with your scent while you’re away can help reassure your cat. Additionally, spending quality time with your feline friend before leaving and upon returning home can make them feel more secure in the environment.

cat laying in laundry basket with clothes

How to Make Your Cat Feel Secure

Create a comfortable cat corner with soft blankets and toys to provide a safe and secure space for your feline friend to rest and play. To learn more about managing your cat’s behavior, keep reading for practical tips and guidance on helping your pet feel at ease in your home.

Creating a Comfortable Cat Corner

To create a comfortable cat corner where your feline friend can relax and sleep peacefully, consider the following tips:

  1. Provide a cozy cat bed with soft and comfortable fabric that carries your scent to help your cat feel secure and at ease.
  2. Position the cat corner in a quiet and safe area of your home, away from loud noises or high-traffic areas, to give your cat a sense of security.
  3. Place some of your old clothes or blankets in the cat corner to provide familiar scents that can help soothe your cat’s anxiety and promote relaxation.
  4. Consider using pheromone sprays or diffusers in the cat corner to create a calming environment for your cat, especially if it experiences separation anxiety.
  5. Ensure that the cat corner is located near a window or in a spot with good natural light, as cats often enjoy basking in the sun for warmth and comfort.
  6. Incorporate some interactive toys or scratching posts in the cat corner to keep your feline companion mentally stimulated and physically active.
  7. Regularly clean and freshen up the cat corner by washing the bedding and replacing any worn-out items to maintain a hygienic and inviting space for your cat.

Donating Old Clothes for Your Cat’s Bed

Consider donating your old clothes to create a cozy cat bed. Cats are drawn to soft materials and familiar scents, so your old clothes can provide them with comfort and security. By repurposing your old garments, you not only give your cat a snug place to rest but also reduce waste by recycling the fabric.

When considering donating old clothes for your cat’s bed, keep in mind that cats may prefer items with familiar smells, making your unworn clothes an ideal choice. This gives purpose to clothing items otherwise destined for disposal, providing a sustainable solution while giving your feline companion a comfortable resting spot.

cat sitting on folded clothes in closet


In summary, your cat may sleep on your clothes because of comfort, warmth, and the familiar scent. By creating a comfortable cat corner and donating old clothes for their bed, you can manage this behavior.

These practical strategies are easy to implement and provide a sense of security for your feline friend. Understanding why your cat exhibits this behavior is important in maintaining a harmonious relationship with your pet.

With these approaches, you can ensure that both you and your furry companion coexist happily in the same space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my cat like to sleep on my clothes?

Your cat enjoys the comfort and smell of your clothes. The scent makes them feel safe and happy because it reminds them of you.

Do cats prefer clean or dirty laundry to sleep on?

Honestly, cats aren’t picky! They might lie on clean clothes for your scent or dirty laundry for the stronger smells they love.

Is there a reason cats lay on clothes instead of their beds?

Yes, often clothing feels softer and holds your smell better than hard surfaces or even their beds, helping your cat feel closer to you.

Can sleeping on my clothes harm my cat in any way?

Generally no, but if you use strong detergents or chemicals that could be a worry – always keep an eye out!

Will washing my clothes more often stop my cat from lying on them?

It might not; cats get attached to these scents over time, so even after washing, some of those familiar smells can still be there.

What should I do if I don’t want my cat sleeping on certain fabrics?

Try giving her other cozy options nearby where she can comfortably rest without harming delicate items in your wardrobe.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Clothes?

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  1. Very helpful info… I funily enough just walked in to my bedroom and asked The cat why he was sleeping on my pile of clothes AGAIN! He didn’t answer but now I know! 🤣

  2. I have wondered why my mom’s cat sleeps in her dryer! 😀 This is good, I’ll share this one with her for sure!

  3. My cat loves to sleep on my clothes, and it’s so interesting to read more about why this is true. My cat also likes to steal our socks and drop them in different areas of our house like they are gifts for us!