After I have used my bath towel following a shower, my cat, Gabriel, loves the smell of it. He loves to roll around in it and is pleased to be covered by it.
From my understanding of the domestic cat, the reason is because my scent is embedded into the fabric of the towel. Because it is damp the water in it evaporates. When it evaporates the water molecules carry the scent molecules into the atmosphere where they can be smelled more intensely by Gabriel. As the smell of objects and of us is very important to cats and plays a major role in a cat’s life, Gabriel finds that being amongst the scent is enjoyable. He revels in it. He is able to let my scent attach to his fur and to deposit his scent onto the towel. I’d call this a version of scent exchange, a way of making the environment more friendly for the domestic cat.
Does your cat like your recently used bath towel? If so why do you think he/she likes it so much?