Cats like to nap in all sorts of places - especially boxes! But if your kitty is sleeping in their litter box it could be a sign that something’s off. There are a few reasons your furry friend might be doing this. Read below to find out more.
Usually, your fur baby will visit the litter box, do their business, maybe they’ll cover it with kitty litter, and be on their merry way! A kitty won’t usually linger there more than 5 minutes.
Speaking of 5 minutes: why not peruse our range of kitty litter while you’re here? We’ve got something to suit every feline!
Before we look at behavioural factors that could be causing your furry friend to lounge in their litter box, it’s important to rule out any potential medical reasons first. If you’re worried your fur baby has one of these conditions, we recommend taking a trip to your vet as soon as you can. Here are four common medical conditions that could be behind your kitty’s strange behaviour:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
What to look out for: Is your kitty hitting the litter box frequently but only expressing a small amount of urine? It could be a UTI. Urinating will probably be painful for your kitty, so you may see them straining when they go.
Feline Interstitial Cystitis
What to look out for: If your kitty has this condition they will have an inflamed bladder. As a result, even the smallest amount of urine in their bladder will make them feel the need to urinate immediately. Cats will often urinate outside the litter box and use it more frequently.
What to look out for: If your kitty is drinking more than usual, frequenting the litter box, straining or squatting and producing little to no urine, they could have a blockage in their urinary tract. It’s quite a painful issue so your fur baby may meow or cry when urinating and have a tender abdomen when touched. This usually affects male cats but it does afflict females from time to time and can be fatal if not treated right away.
Unrelated Underlying Condition
What to look out for: If your kitty has lost their appetite, started drinking more and taken to hiding, he or she could have an underlying condition that isn’t related to their bladder or urinary tract. Sometimes when a kitty is feeling under the weather they will seek out a space where they feel safe - which could be their litter box.
When cats are anxious, they cope by hiding in spaces where they feel safe. If there has been an environmental change or stressors in your fur baby’s life, this is likely the cause of them spending time in their litter box. Here are some common behavioural reasons why:
You’ve moved house
If your kitty is particularly sensitive to change, moving to a new home may have been highly stressful for them. Did you know that it’s normal for kitties to stay in their litter box for a couple of days in a new home?
Your cat is about to give birth
Is your kitty pregnant? When cats are about to go into labour, they look for a private space to do so. If they don’t have access to a safe spot, they will make do with their litter box.
Try: Create a nesting box - this can be anything from a cardboard box to a large plastic tub. Line it with towels, newspaper and plastic, then cover with a cosy blanket.
Your kitty wants their own space
Enclosed litter boxes offer the same peaceful quiet as a cupboard, carrier or box. Your kitty may just be using their litter box as a cat nap spot because they are in search of some privacy
Try: Giving your fur baby more hide-away spaces to sleep - like our cosy Cat Tunnel!
Your cat is marking their territory
If you have other pets in your home, your kitty may be sleeping in their litter box as a defence mechanism - to show the other pets that that is their space.
Try: Introducing more litterboxes to your home. While you’re at it, stock up on our cat litter too!
Your kitty is a new adoption
It can take a newly adopted kitty some time to get used to their new home and surroundings. They may be used to sleeping in smaller spaces. They may turn to a litter box because smells like your kitty, is cosy and familiar to them - which is incredibly comforting to anxious kitties.
Try: Giving your new fur baby a cosy box or carrier filled with blankets and pheromones. Our Medifleece Blanket is a great choice as it’s soft and comfortable!