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Help! Cats stealing our clothes

(18 Posts)
vitaminC Wed 29-Mar-17 12:22:05

I own 2 cats - brother and sister - who are 2.5 yo. We got them as 2mo kittens from a friend. Both are sterilised and have always been very well-behaved. We've never had any damage from them scratching the walls or furniture, etc up to now. In the past couple of weeks, however, they have started stealing our clothes!

They've always loved to burrow in our wardrobe drawers, turfing clothes out onto the floor in the process, but now they've started dragging clothes around the house and even outside in the yard!

They are mainly house cats, but we have a catflap in the kitchen door and they play outside in an enclosed yard, with bushes, a small patch of grass etc, during the day. They also have the run of our (large, 6-bedroomed) home, so are not cooped up in a tiny space and they have various toys around the place.

DH was unemployed for most of last year and home all day, and he played with them a lot, whereas now we're both out of the house from 7am-6pm. Also, 2 of our 3 teens have recently left home.

Could the kitties be bored? Lonely? Seeking attention?

At first it was funny, but now, picking up previously clean clothes from out in the yard and around the house several times a day is starting to annoy me... Any suggestions?

cozietoesie Wed 29-Mar-17 12:44:45

I'm sorry that I laughed uproariously when I read your post - it can't be fun.

....bored? Lonely? Seeking attention?.....

Al of those things, possibly.

Are there any clothes/type of garment that appear to be favoured more than others?

cozietoesie Wed 29-Mar-17 12:45:34


vitaminC Wed 29-Mar-17 15:10:50

50% of the time it's socks. The other 50% is t-shirts, sweaters, scarves... Anything we keep in drawers rather than on hangers!

I will make more of an effort to pop home at lunch time when possible, to play with them, and see if that helps...

Chirrup5 Wed 29-Mar-17 15:15:38

How do they manage to open drawers?

vitaminC Wed 29-Mar-17 15:22:17

There's a gap at the top of the drawer front and they pull with their paws!
They have also taken items off the drying frame and out of laundry baskets.

ElizaDontlittle Wed 29-Mar-17 17:04:41

Mine does this with smaller things - but she is a small cat. Today I received a mouse (toy) a duster and a sock, just while I was in the shower!! But they are presented to me rather than taken from me which is possibly different. And a house cat so at least I am not retrieving my socks from next doors garden.
cozie is much more expert than me but maybe they need more to entertain themselves with? And they probably are missing the interaction.

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 29-Mar-17 17:08:02

Can you close the bedroom door(s) to stop them gaining access to the drawers and your clothes?

vitaminC Wed 29-Mar-17 18:30:35

It's an old property and our bedroom door doesn't shut tight (despite us saying for the past 3 years we need to sand it down).

There is a door I could close between the living room and the hallway leading to the bedrooms, but the cats would then have a much smaller area to roam.

A better solution may be to replace the (cheap, Ikea) wardrobes!

ElizaDontlittle Wed 29-Mar-17 19:19:15

I have a catch on my kitchen door - a hook and eye type thing - it holds the door shut (also an old house with odd doors!)

Toddlerteaplease Wed 29-Mar-17 19:45:04

Could you put child locks on the wardrobe or drawers? And wait and see how long it takes to fathom them out?!

Weedsnseeds1 Wed 29-Mar-17 21:40:29

Mine stashes toy mice in my laptop bag for me to find when I open it at a client's premises. Doesn't steal clothes though. Maybe you could try presenting them with some sacrificial socks for their amusement?

WitchDancer Wed 29-Mar-17 21:44:25

It could be worse - I'll never forget the day when my boy came running down the garden with a string of sausages in his mouth. Then the day after he came down the garden dragging a warm roast chicken, which was almost as big as he is. 😳

GreyStars Wed 29-Mar-17 21:44:49

You learn to live with it grin

I have one who will steal DH socks, nobody else's just his. Like I did originally you may think this is because he leaves them on the floor but no, she goes into the washing basket and turfs them out. For months I was moaning at him telling him he should pick his bloody socks up and put them in the basket, for months he said he thought he had confused oops

But no the cat steals them and murders them smile sometimes leaving them in random places occasionally hiding them in a pet bed.

cozietoesie Wed 29-Mar-17 21:50:00

Secure the cupboards and drawers but leave some (acceptable to you) things lying around to be snaffled. Preferably behind things so that they can have them as 'objets trouves'. wink

Papergirl1968 Wed 29-Mar-17 22:08:24

A friend of mine had a Siamese who used to appear with the neighbours' socks, gloves, knickers etc...they had a big bag of random items.
Our own, now departed Siamese, once stole a big clown toy belonging to a kid up the street that he had dragged over about four fences.

dailydance Wed 29-Mar-17 23:06:46

I had a cat who did this. I was a kid and she took a fancy to stealing my socks and bringing them out to the hedge to hide them. It was after she we let her have one litter and then found her kittens new homes. Maybe yours are feeling lonely??

Allergictoironing Thu 30-Mar-17 07:11:22

My DBro & DSiL ended up putting child locks on all their drawers and wardrobe doors due to their Burmese stealing clothes etc.

They found a massive haul of socks behind the sofa.

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