If your cat keeps sniffing your clothes, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat sniff my clothes? Possible reasons why your cat smells your clothes are that it likes their scent, it smells the scent of other people and animals, it is marking its territory or that it does it naturally.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat smells your clothes and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Reasons why your cat smells your clothes

Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat has been smelling your clothes and what would make each of them more likely.

It likes the scent

It is likely that your clothes have a strong scent on them. Since cats have a stronger sense of smell than we do, it is likely that your cat is picking up on the scent on your clothes. This would be more likely if your cat also smells things that have your scent on such as your blankets and shoes.

It smells the scent of other people and animals

Another possible cause is that your cat has been picking up on the scent of other people and animals. This would be more likely if your cat smells your clothes when you have been around other people and animals and if it does not sniff your clothes after you have washed them.

Separation anxiety

Another possible reason is that smelling your scent causes your cat to calm down. This would be more likely if your cat tends to smell your clothes more at times when it might be anxious such as when you are leaving home. It would also be more likely if it smells other things with your scent on such as your shoes or pillows.

It is marking its territory

Cats have sweat glands on the face. It might be the case that your cat has been sniffing your clothes because it is actually marking its scent on to them. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs itself against your clothes when it does it.

It naturally sniffs smelly things

Cats will naturally sniff smelly things a lot because cats gather information about things through their sense of smell. The reason why your cat smells your clothes could also be that it naturally likes to sniff things that are smelly. This would be more likely if your cat also sniffs other smelly things a lot around the house such as dirty washing or the floor.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat has always smelled your clothes

If your cat did not always sniff your clothes, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it when you starting using a different perfume or fragrance, it could be the case that your cat is picking up on the smell being left on your clothes.

What is different when your cat does not smell your clothes

If your cat tends to smell your clothes more at a certain time, it would help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more when you have been around other people or animals, it would be likely that your cat is picking up on their scent being left on your clothes.

What to do about your cat smelling your clothes

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Keep them out of reach

One option would be to keep your clothes in a location that your cat cannot get to such as in a box or wardrobe. It would also help to keep dirty clothes in a washing basket or bag.

Redirect its focus

Another option would be to redirect its focus towards something else when it seems likely to start sniffing your clothes. Things you could redirect its focus towards could include toys.

Let it do it

It is normal for cats to sniff things. If your cat has not been doing it excessively and it has been behaving normally otherwise, it would likely be normal behavior. In this case, it would be the easiest option to just let your cat sniff your clothes when it wants to and to keep the clothes, that you do not want it to sniff, out of its reach.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.