Your Cats Uncomfortable Or Sick
Sleeping in the litter box can indicate that your cat is uncomfortable. One of the most common reasons why cats sleep in their litter box is because of medical issues. Cats with kidney disease, urinary tract infections, constipation, or other digestive problems may sleep in their litter box when theyre not feeling well. If your cat is struggling to go to the bathroom or they think they may not make it back in time, they may decide its best to stay close by. Some cats that are suffering from an advanced stage of dementia may also sleep in their litter box.
If you suspect your cat is ill, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. The veterinarian will be able to ease their pain and solve their digestive troubles. Once their medical condition is addressed, they should refrain from sleeping in the litter box once again.
What To Do If Your Cat Prefers To Eliminate In Inappropriate Places
If your cat simply prefers to go in other areas of the house, there are things you can do to steer him back to preferring the litter box. To start, set up one or more litter boxes that are very appealing and easy to access. Clean the offended area thoroughly using an enzyme cleaner to help eliminate the odor so your cat isn’t tempted to use the same spot again. Then, block off the area or place something there that serves as a deterrent. Cats usually won’t eliminate where there’s food, so try placing a bowl containing a few favorite treats on the cleaned carpet or floor.
You can also make the inappropriate areas as undesirable as possible by covering them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Plastic carpet runners placed “teeth” side up are good for covering large areas. Be sure you cover the area generously. If the spot is a foot or two wide, cover it with something at least four to six feet wide. After a few weeks of success, start removing the covering in areas that the cat is not bothering, working slowly toward the trouble spots.
Finally, in some cases it may be worth talking to your veterinarian about using some neutraceuticals and/or behavior-modifying medications. These meds can be helpful tools while trying to train your cat to urinate in an appropriate place and can help reduce the stress your cat feels.
The Cat Feels Safety And Comfort In The Litter Box
It may be that your cat just loves its litter box so much that he likes to chill or sleep in it. For example, my cat used to chill for long periods of time in her Litter Robot 3 just because it was always so clean and fresh, she couldnt help it. I had to teach her not to do that . When cats love their litter boxes they adopt them not only as a toilet but also as a bed or a house that provides safety. The following are the reasons why your cat may love its litter box to the point of sleeping or chilling for a long time in it:
- Clean and fresh litter at all times
- Soft sandy litter that the cat loves
- The shape of the litter box
- The box is enclosed providing security, similar to a cat house.
How to help? Get an extra litter box and set it up as a cat bed, placing a soft fluffy blanket that will provide the soft feel on your cats paws. If your cat uses a hooded litter box, buy a cat house and place it in a quiet area of your home. This will give your cat the privacy he desperately needs. You dont need to buy an expensive cat house, sometimes a collapsible cube cat house will do the trick.
It Could Be A Health Problem
Sometimes, sleeping in the litter box is a sign that your cat might be suffering from a painful issue thats causing frequent urination. Needing to use the litter box far more often than normal could lead to a habit of sleeping inside even though its not the cleanest place to nap.
Bladder infections, kidney stones, , and urinary tract infections are painful and can even be fatal in some cases. Have a visit with your vet to rule out health problems as your kittys reason for choosing to sleep in the litter box.
Why Does My Kitten Play In Her Litter Box
We all love our spaces, dont we? The same applies to a cat; the litter box is her safe haven. Thats her territorial ground. She is home so let her be. If the litter box is new, she may be trying to figure things out and learn more about the latest gadget in her possession. However, too much time in the box can also be a sign of illness, so watch out.
Why Is My Cat Laying In The Litter Box
If your cat lies, crouches, or sits in the litter box, she may feel anxious or nervous. When cats are kenneled, they dont have a lot of room to roam and they may not have very comfy beds, which makes sleeping in the litter box more appealing. Sometimes when the litter box is small, it can feel comforting and safe.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Sleeping In The Litter Box
Once youve ruled out illness, its time to present your cat with some better and far cleaner options!
Start by digging deep into your cats psychology. If they dont have a quiet, secure place to nap and perhaps a perch high up on a shelf or in a window providing some enrichment in these areas will work wonders and get your cat to stop sleeping in the litter box.
Your Cat Wants Privacy
In some cases, cats may see their litter boxes as private spaces, and your cat might choose to retreat there for a nap. This is particularly common with enclosed litter boxes, which mimic the quiet security of other spaces cats like, like closets and cardboard boxes.
If your cat seems to be sleeping in the litter box simply because they enjoy the privacy, then you may be able to change their behavior by giving him other spaces to snooze. Your cat might enjoy hiding out in cardboard boxes or on a cat tree with a perch that lets them get up above the action.
You’ve Changed The Litter
If you’ve always used one type of litter, such as clay litter, and then switch to a completely different type like recycle paper, pine, or crystals, your cat may be confused. Sometimes a cat will snuggle up on a brand new type of litter because they don’t associate it with the place where they do “their business.” In this case, try slowing down the changing the litter to a mix of half of the old type and half of the new. Do this for a few days and then decrease the ratio of the old type to about 25% and then fade it out completely over the next few days.
Why Cats Dont Use The Litter Box
Once you’ve ruled out possible medical conditions as the cause, turn your attention to the litter box itself, since this is most often the culprit. Here are some common reasons why a cat might avoid the litter box:
- There arent enough litter boxes
- He doesnt like the type of litter
- He doesnt like the type of litter box
- He doesnt like where the box is located
- The litter box isnt clean
Number of litter boxes: There should be one litter box for each cat in the house, plus one extra . Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in another, so sometimes adding more than one box per cat helps.
Litter preferences: If you’ve changed brands or types of litter recently, that may be the problem. Many cats have specific preferences about litter. Cats have sensitive noses and are not fond of chemical or perfume scents. Studies have shown that the most appealing type of litter to most cats is unscented clumping litter thats the consistency of fine sand. Its best to purchase different types, though, and offer them side by side to let your cat choose; try clay litters, shredded paper, sawdust, wood pellets, even sand or dirt. If you need to change to another type of litter, do it gradually by adding a little more of the new product each time you change the litter, until your kitty is used to the new litter.
A Pregnant Cat Is Ready To Give Birth
If your cat is pregnant and starts to cuddle up in your litter box, this is a sign she may be ready to give birth very soon. Cats will look for a safe, enclosed space to give birth to their kittens. If you don’t provide them with a spot, they’ll look for the next best alternative. In this situation, provide your momma cat with a soft, clean box she can give birth in. Keep it close to the litter box so she can have easy access without needing to move too far away from her kittens.
Not Enough Litter Boxes
If you have a multi-cat household, you may not have enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. The general rule is one extra litter box for how many cats you have. That means if you have 3 cats, you should have 4 litter boxes and they should be spaced out, clean, and kept away from chaotic areas of the house and the dog. Cats won’t use a litter box out of fear or inaccessibility.
Dealing With Cats Laying In The Litter Box
If your cat starts to lay and even sleep in his litter box, it’s wise to call your veterinarian first as this often is a sign of a medical problem. If it’s due to stress, your vet can prescribe anti-anxiety medication while you work on a plan to provide your cat with more physical and mental enrichment to make him feel better. Some cats will do this behavior only temporarily in relation to stressful events, such as moving to a new home or in some cases, if they’re ready to give birth. Providing them with an alternate place to be can alleviate the problem as you don’t want them to keep sleeping and staying in an unsanitary litter box.
Reasons For A Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box
Its not uncommon for cats to go through a phase in their life when they no longer use the litter box and instead prefer other spots around your home to do their business. This can be annoying. Especially if the bed or couch is involved, which happens all too often. Cat urine leaves stains and smells, and who needs that in their bedroom?
But you might be wondering, why has your cat suddenly changed their behavior? And why are they no longer using the litter box as they did before? The 4 most common causes are:
One thing is clear: your kitty doesnt do it to annoy you, or because they think its funny!
They May Have A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are very painful, they make going to the toilet a long and arduous process for your cat.
UTIs will cause your cat to strain to urinate and it will also mean that they urinate far more frequently.
Your cat will spend far longer in the litter box than usual if they have a UTI.
UTI warning signs to watch out for include:
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating outside the litter box
If you notice any of these signs your should speak to your vet ASAP.
Sometimes There’s Only One Place That Feels Normal
Cats like routine. They don’t like change. If there is a sudden change in your household like remodeling or a new pet or child, Kitty may be having a hard time dealing with all of this and may retreat to the one place that’s comfortable and familiar. Namely, her litter box.
Conversely, if the litter box itself is changed with a different type of litter , Kitty might think her litter box has somehow transformed into a place to sleep.
Admit it, you’ve probably made yourself a little too comfortable on occasion to leave the toilet with magazines or smartphones.
Kitty likewise might be amusing herself by toying with the sand beneath her paws like a toddler in a playground sandbox. As with the above, the solution is to provide someplace else that’s both safe and clean to hide.
Is It Normal For Cats To Play In Their Litter Box
As mentioned above, its perfectly normal for kittens and younger cats to play in the litter. Typically kittens will grow out of this activity in time, however, not all cats do. So, its important to offer your cat other activities besides playing in the box, such as social and enrichment activities.
How Do I Stop My Cat Sleeping In The Litter Box
Luckily, there are ways to encourage your feline to stop sleeping in its litter box. It may take patience, a new box, or a vets intervention, but it can be done.
Make Sure Your Cat Is Healthy
Before trying to change your cats litter box habits, its important to rule out that your cat is sick. After all, sleeping in a litter box is a common way for felines to show illness. Observe your cat and see if there are any other changes in its behavior. Important symptoms to watch out for are:
If any of these behaviors show up in your cat, contact your vet right away.
Provide Mobility Accommodations
Mobility accommodations are a must for senior cats. This is true even if your cat doesnt seem to be very troubled with movement.
Cats will instinctively try to hide their pain as much as they can. By providing a few helpful accommodations, your cat will feel better and be less likely to stay in its litter box long-term. Good options include:
- Litter boxes with a shallower lip
- Ramps for the litter box
- Stairs for the litter box, sofas, and beds of your home
- Carpeting on any inclined surfaces so the feline can get a better grip
As a plus, this will also reduce the amount of litter your cat tracks outside of its box. Since it wont have to struggle to get in and out, it can properly clean its paws before it leaves.
Provide A Better Sleeping Area
Is It Poop Or A Hairballwhat’s The Difference
Some cat parents might think they are finding poop around the house and in their bed or on the floor, but it might actually be a hairball. Hairballs come out of the digestive tract like a cylindrical tube and can be shaped very similarly to cat poop and even similar in color. They are not all that uncommon and are generally part of the normal grooming process for cats. You might find these hairballs on the carpet, in blankets, behind furniture, under furniture, and so on and so forth. If you are wondering if it’s truly a hairball, read on about how many hairballs are considered normal in cats and how they are treated.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Â© 2020 Laynie H
Your Cat Thinks Its Comfy
Some cats may find the litter box comfy, especially if youve recently changed the type of litter that youre using. A cat may be confused by the new texture and smells in his litter box, and your feline might find a soft litter, like recycled paper, to be comfy and the perfect spot for a nap.
To avoid this issue, make any litter changes gradually. Start by mixing in just 1/4 of your new litter, then gradually increase that new litter while reducing the amount of old litter in the box. Your cat will have some time to get used to the new litter and will have the chance to associate it with the place to do their business, instead of doing their sleeping.
Cat Likes To Lie Down In Its Litter Box
- Mar 13, 2014
Dear Dr. Fox Our problem isnt a huge one, but it drives us crazy all the same.
We have a wonderful 3½-year-old feral cat who adopted us after a blizzard in 2010. Tips is very sweet and is a really good boy, but he has a habit of lying down in his litter box. He usually lies on his side maybe hes trying to scratch his back? Our vet has never heard of a cat doing this. We get unscented, dust-free litter, but when he jumps out, he is covered and smells like litter. If I catch him, I say No.
He doesnt do it all the time, mostly when I clean the box and add new litter or if I add a refresher scoop when needed. We clean the box every time he uses it, and he has his own box. We have another older cat, Boomer, but they each have their own food, water and litter boxes.
Both cats get along very well; in fact, hes been the best thing that has happened to our older cat, who now plays and acts so much younger! Have you ever heard of such a crazy thing? Maybe he needs his back scratched more often? K.O., Brick, N.J.
Dear K.O. Your issue has a comic dimension, but I can empathize fully with having to clean the litter from your cats fur.
Thanks for reminding readers how a younger, easygoing cat can bring new life to an older one like your Boomer.
I have heard about the Silent Meow Theory, where some cats meow in a pitch that humans cannot hear. Is this a real thing? Id appreciate any information you could provide on this mystery. S.E., Kansas City