What causes cats to sleep in the litter box?

Sometimes you'll find cats dozing off in the most unexpected places. But what if the feline has all of a sudden developed a taste for dozing in her toilet? An unexpected change in a cat's behavior, such as starting to lounge where they use the restroom, can have both behavioral and medical causes. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the underlying cause of your cat's dubious choice of sleeping settings.

What justifies kittens sleeping in litter boxes?

Cat sleeping on litter box

If you recently became the delighted owner of a boisterous, energetic kitten, you'll undoubtedly notice several peculiar kitten behaviors in contrast to those you observe in adult cats. One of these activities could be relaxing and taking a nap in the litter box.

While it's vital to keep an eye out for any unexpected behaviors from your kitten, it's equally important to remember that kittens are still exploring and learning about their surroundings. A kitten may be seeking a place to collapse after playing; thus, the litter box may appear as good as anywhere; however, napping within the litter box may not be appealing for an adult cat.

How do you deal with a cat who sleeps in a litter box?

Sleeping Cat

While a cat may simply consider her litter boxes to be a comfortable and secure environment, sleeping in what is effectively their potty is not common for felines.

There are many potential causes for this behavior, but Wieber divides them into two categories: medical and behavioral.

1 - Fear or worry

Sleeping Cat

Cats may become anxious while relocating, getting a new pet, making loud noises, experiencing pain, or when they are ill or in agony. A litter box, especially one that is covered, can be a calming place to go for a cat who is frightened or stressed out because it is known and safe there.

2 - Urinary issues

Sleeping Cat

Your cat may feel inclined to spend more time using the litter box if they are having urinary issues. Your cat can have frequent urination as a result of illnesses like kidney disease and diabetes, which would make them use the litter box over extended lengths of time. On the other hand, cats may linger in the litter box till they believe they have urinated sufficiently if they have urinary tract problems like FLUTD and other ailments that make it difficult to urinate. It's critical to seek guidance from your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your cat may be experiencing urinary issues.

3 - A tummy ache or diarrhea

Sleeping Cat

Cats experiencing the signs of diarrhea and constipation might spend an extraordinary amount of time using the litter box, which resembles urinary tract problems.

4 - A territorial attitude

Sleeping Cat

Some felines are more aggressively possessive than others, and they may defend their territory, including litter boxes. Another litter box per cat plus one is the typical rule of thumb when you have numerous cats, which might help with this problem.

5 - Pregnancy

Sleeping Cat

Similar to how it is in humans, a cat's body undergoes numerous changes throughout pregnancy. Cats who are pregnant may need to urinate more frequently, which makes them spend more time in the litter box. The stress on a pregnant cat's body can be very draining on their energy levels. This could make it difficult to enter and exit the litter box. Your cat might need to take a nap before leaving in this situation. The litter box may also appeal to your cat if she is nearing the conclusion of her pregnancy and is looking for a private, secure location to give birth. Read This: How can I tell if my cat is pregnant without a vet?

6 - Illness


Cats that lie and sleep within their litter box could be sick and looking for a peaceful, safe place to be, or they could be too exhausted to get out of it. If you think your cat may be ill or injured, call a vet right away.

7 - Mobility Problems

Sleeping Cat

Mobility problems, such as osteoarthritis, are particularly likely to slow down older cats. Cats may find it challenging to climb out of their litter boxes if they have creaky joints or other movement issues. Consult your doctor about the best cat supplements for joint fitness and mobility if you believe this to be the case. Consider looking into litter boxes, which are simpler to enter and exit.

8 - Cognitive Decline

Sleeping Cat

Laying and sleeping in a litter box can occasionally be an indication of cognitive loss, especially in older cats. Sleeping in the litter box may be a warning sign that it's time to consult your veterinarian, along with changes to one's sleep or wake cycles, higher levels of stress or irritation, confusion, and alterations in social behavior.

If the feline spends a bit more time using its litter box on a particular day than usual, it might not be anything because cats have all kinds of intriguing and peculiar behaviors. Make a note of it, and if it continues, consult your veterinarian for suggestions.

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