Cat Triggered by Smell of Laundry Detergent?

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Thread starter
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
2,765
Location
New Jersey
So, a couple of days ago my husband washed all the bedding at the same time which he normally doesn't do. Sheets, comforter, blankets, the works.

All of it went back on our bed nice and clean and smelling great.

Luna for some reason has been completely triggered by the scent of the detergent and is going insane by it. I mean, wacko. And it's not a new detergent. Every time she gets onto the bed she's attacking it, rolling around, then madly licking herself, jumping and if we're near her, rushing at us and then running away to the other side of the bed. It's like she's reverted to behavior she had when she was 5 months old but that was just little kitten behavior. She's a year old now and has been very bed friendly for months.

Now this wouldn't be too bad if...she wasn't doing this at night also. Last night, I could not get to sleep for nearly an hours because she was so wired from the scent and I was afraid to shut the light and have her running over me in the dark. And this morning at 5:00 am I was woken up by her running all over the bed and she wound up scratching one of my toes in the process.

Has anyone ever had this experience before? Is this a known thing from detergent smells? I asked my husband if he had maybe put some bleach into the laundry also because I know that sometimes can trigger cats but he had not.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
12,922
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. Maybe because he washed everything at once, it is scent overload for her? Check the ingredients to see what might be the trigger. Also, if he used a new bottle, but you still have the old one, you could compare ingredients to see if they changed something. You might want to try an extra rinse cycle to help dilute the smell.

I know Feeby loves the smell of Soft Scrub - but, I am pretty sure that is because it does contain bleach. Maybe your detergent has added bleach in it?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Thread starter
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
2,765
Location
New Jersey
Hi. Maybe because he washed everything at once, it is scent overload for her? Check the ingredients to see what might be the trigger. Also, if he used a new bottle, but you still have the old one, you could compare ingredients to see if they changed something. You might want to try an extra rinse cycle to help dilute the smell.

I know Feeby loves the smell of Soft Scrub - but, I am pretty sure that is because it does contain bleach. Maybe your detergent has added bleach in it?
I thought maybe it was overload too - I know for me it was. I really don't remember ever noticing the scent so strongly before.

I know it has no bleach in it - same Tide we always use and it was not a new bottle though but...it IS a relatively new washing machine come to think of it. And it's a bit smaller than the other one. The old one broke and they didn't have the larger barrel available and well, we needed it now not weeks from now. We're only 2 people so we thought no big deal though I had some reservations about doing...comforters in it! So yea maybe it did need an extra rinse. And honestly, I thought that they were on the damp side when he put them on the bed (not wet, and not even damp but not completely dry) but I knew if I said anything that would lead into an argument for sure and when your husband is being nice enough to do all that laundry one learns not to complain!
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
12,922
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
I am with you on that one! I can't count the numbers of times I have redone something behind 'someone's back' in order to keep the peace and not appear ungrateful!!! Discretely (if you can) rinse them again! ;)
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Thread starter
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
2,765
Location
New Jersey
I am with you on that one! I can't count the numbers of times I have redone something behind 'someone's back' in order to keep the peace and not appear ungrateful!!! Discretely (if you can) rinse them again! ;)
Hahaha that's not possible at all. He's home more than I am.
And the laundry is in the basement and he's worried about me going down there with baskets/bags or even stuff in my arms (I have bad knees and the stairs aren't the best) hence why he's volunteered for laundry duty. And I am OK with this arrangement :yess:
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,095
Reaction score
10,268
My Willow goes absolutely wild over the scent of anything washed in Gain. She rolls in it like it was catnip. I dislike the scent myself, way too perfumed for me, but she loves it so much that I buy that soap just to wash her throws in. She also likes the scent of dryer sheets and always pulls the used ones out of the clean laundry to rub her face on. I rarely use bleach but if I have been in a chlorinated pool she goes mad for my wet swim clothes.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Thread starter
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
2,765
Location
New Jersey
My Willow goes absolutely wild over the scent of anything washed in Gain. She rolls in it like it was catnip. I dislike the scent myself, way too perfumed for me, but she loves it so much that I buy that soap just to wash her throws in. She also likes the scent of dryer sheets and always pulls the used ones out of the clean laundry to rub her face on. I rarely use bleach but if I have been in a chlorinated pool she goes mad for my wet swim clothes.
That's exactly what I thought of - the catnip analogy! It was like she'd been rolling around in it - same wild nuttiness.
 

sabian

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
822
Reaction score
1,672
Location
North Carolina
I don't use Tide anymore but I did in the past. Reading this reminded me of once, I washed my clothes just like I normally did but, for some reason the scent was really strong. It was so strong that I had a waitress at a restaurant where I ate at a lot make the comment "someone used to much laundry detergent." That's how strong it was. I wonder if maybe they had a batch that was a bad mix and, got to much scent added to it.
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,095
Reaction score
10,268
I just used some Tide for the first time in years and I thought its scent was very strong as well. But Willow went crazy for it so it will be her laundry soap along with Gain. I might try diluting it half and half with non scented soap to see if that lessens it’s smell.
 

Talien

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
1,432
Reaction score
3,273
Location
Michigan
I have a Cat that goes nuts over my dirty shirts, usually when I've been working outside and sweated alot. She will roll around and chew all over them, the first time I found a shirt that she'd played with I thought she'd peed on the shirt there was so much slobber but then I saw her playing with one.
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,095
Reaction score
10,268
I have a Cat that goes nuts over my dirty shirts, usually when I've been working outside and sweated alot. She will roll around and chew all over them, the first time I found a shirt that she'd played with I thought she'd peed on the shirt there was so much slobber but then I saw her playing with one.
She finds the smell of you intoxicating!
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,095
Reaction score
10,268
Cats are very scent oriented. Some prefer clean and freshly scented laundry while others love anything that smells like us - our dirty laundry, sweaty stinky shoes, used bedding. These are the smells of home and some of the things that makes them feel safe and happy. So long as it isn’t something dangerous, I think it’s important to indulge them in whatever they enjoy sniffing.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Thread starter
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
4,900
Reaction score
2,765
Location
New Jersey
Update: Things have mostly calmed down. I think now that the bedding has had a chance to air out for a few days and isn't as pungent she's not as triggered by it.
My husband admitted he may have overdone the detergent, even he was finding it a little overwhelming. And I mentioned that our new washer happens to have a smaller drum in it and maybe he might need less detergent next time.
We don't wash the blankets as frequently as sheets so hopefully Luna will continue to calm down on them. Last night was the first night she came to bed with me in days too. She usually sleeps over my head on a pile of pillows (has since she's had full reign of the house by her choice) so perhaps it was just too much scent assaulting her at once. Who knows. I'm just happy she's stopped attacking us LOL
 
Top