Cats can behave oddly at times and one of those weird behaviors is taking a snooze or just chilling in the litter box.
This begs the question, is a cat sleeping in a litter box a thing in the feline world?
A cat will sleep in a litter box for many reasons. They could be either pregnant, unsettled, or have an underlying sickness. Interestingly, a cat could also sleep in the litter box to mark that territory from other cats.
Imagine walking in on your favorite feline happily sleeping inside her litter box.
It is a sighting that can surprise and even scare you knowing the kind of germs and bacteria that are lurking in there.
And if you are now asking yourself “How do I stop my cat from sleeping in the litter box?”, then you are in the right place.
First of all, it is not normal for cats to sleep in litter boxes.
A cat will only be driven to sleep or rest in the litter box if there are internal or external factors that are influencing this behavioral change.
Some of these factors include;
- Territorial threats
- Safety or security
A cat laying in litter box can be its way of marking the territory.
This will usually happen if there is another cat in the house that comes snooping around the litter box.
Cats are territorial by nature and unlike humans, they do not like to share the bathroom.
It is also possible that a cat will sleep in a litter box just to bully other cats from using it.
Bladder problems can cause a cat to sleep in the litter box.
Diseases like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or bladder infections can have your feline feeling like they want to go all the time.
Kidney stones can make urination difficult for a cat, so much so that they will spend their time at the litter box trying to relieve themselves.
Sleeping in the litter box ensures the ‘loo’ is close by in case they want to go again.
If you suspect your cat is sick and hanging out in the litter box too much, take them to the vets for a checkup. Part of sleeping in the litter box is so they can find solace for the discomfort they are feeling.
When cats are feeling anxious or frightened they will take refuge in familiar places.
If you just moved to a new area or you are renovating the house, this upsets the cat’s normal environment.
They will take refuge in the litter box because it is the only environment that has remained constant.
If you change the litter box as well, your cat will hide under the bed, chairs, or behind dressers and cupboards.
Pregnant cats will look for soft warm places to have their litter.
Because the sand in the litter box is often soft and warm, it will be one of the areas your tabby will consider to sire her kittens.
You must provide an ample place for the cat to give birth.
This prevents the kittens from thriving in the litter box where germs and other pathogens lurk.
Find a large basket or box and place soft clothes on it.
Place it next to the litter box where the cat is sleeping.
Within a few days, your cat will shift preference to the box or basket because it is cleaner.
Ensure the basket is kept away from human or pet traffic to provide private time for the cat to nurse her kittens.
Safety and Security
Cats are known to take refuge in hidden places if there is too much going on in their environment.
If you have guests around and they are making too much noise, your cat will disappear for a while and chill at hidden places like the litter box.
The same will happen if you adopted a new dog and they are causing a racket in the house each day.
Yes, cats love their quiet and they will take the litter box any day over sitting in on your late-night banter when the girls come over.
Should I be worried about my cat sleeping in litter box?
If you have ruled out sickness, then there is no need to worry about your cat laying in litter box.
But if you are worried about them catching bacteria and germs in the litter box, here are a few things you can do;
- If your cat is anxious because of its new environment, allow them time off to adjust to the new surroundings. Keep the litter box away and let them hide under or behind furniture. As long as you know they are safe, let them be until they are confident enough to come out.
- If two cats are fighting for the same litter box, provide separate litter boxes for each cat. If there is a bully cat, keep the extra litter box in an area where only the victim feline is allowed access to.
Video: How to Stop Cats From Lying in the Litter Box
Frequently Asked Questions
Cats love doing their business in private so the litter box should be stored in low traffic areas. A quiet corner in a room or outside in the garden, where the cat can easily access, are ideal places to put the litter box.
A cat will always prefer a litter box to do their business in. if your cat is not using the litter box, then probably they are finding it too dirty to do their business in. A cat may also refuse to use the litter box if there is a dominant cat that is hoarding the box.
A cat can use the litter box up to 5 times a day. Change the kitty litter every two to three days to keep things clean for your cat.
The cat could be guarding the litter box against a bully cat. Cats may also sleep in litter boxes if they are pregnant, anxious, or taking refuge from something disturbing in their surroundings.