Your cat’s litter box is a major responsibility for any loving cat owner. While not the most pleasant item to maintain, it is crucial to the quality of life you provide your kitty. The use of a litter box also speaks volumes on the care and cleanliness cats demonstrate. This is why it’s so unusual when you see your cat sleeping in its own litter box. Why is it that cats which are known to groom themselves 30-50% of the day opt to sleep in their own elimination chamber? And, more importantly, how does one stop this behavior?
Keep reading to find out why cats sometimes sleep in their litter box and how to help…
Health and Prevention
The most common reason a cat slumbers or spends time in their litter box is when they are is suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The same way in which humans stay near the restroom when they are ill; cats will stay in the box if they are struggling to go or need to go excessively. This type of behavior should not be overlooked because it may possibly be symptoms of a more serious illness; and in rare cases even life-threatening. Kidney stones and constipation are further corresponding ailments that may provoke your cats immoderate litter box behavior.
It is crucial to stay on top of your cat’s litter box cleanliness. While not the leading cause of UTIs in cats; a dirty litter box can cause bacteria to enter their urinary tract. This occurs primarily when bacteria-filled dust is kicked into the air from scratching of the litter. The best course of action if these behaviors are noticed is to make a veterinarian appointment immediately.
Get out of my room!
Cats like independence and are territorial by nature. So, sometimes a cat will claim the litter box as their own space. Therefore, this is most prevalent in multi-cat homes. Getting another or multiple litter boxes and positioning them in different locations throughout the house will usually solve this problem. Kittens on the other hand will, often play and sleep in the litter box. This is mainly fueled by curiosity and the sound the litter makes when scratched. Once playtime ceases, the kitten will lay down exhausted and sleep in the litter box. It is important not to allow your kitten to associate the litter box with playtime. Try and get them excited to play with a toy or something else as to create a clear distinction between fun and the litterbox.
Kennel mentality and how to change it
Sleeping in their litter box is most common in cats that have been adopted or spent a longer than average time in a kenneled environment. When space is limited, your feline may choose to sleep in its litter box. This is not only a result of living conditions, it also can be comforting. The coolness of the litter and the scent of themselves can help ease the stress of a cat that’s in a kennel. While sleeping this way can be useful in the aforementioned setting, its relevance in your home is moot. For a newly adopted cat or kitten, this can be a difficult behavior to correct. Providing a new bed or even a box with a blanket has shown good results in curbing these negative behaviors.
Once familiarity with new surroundings and feeling of safety are established; the confined and uncomfortable accommodations provided in the kennel should fade permanently. Cats constantly provide puzzling motives behind their unusual behavior. Many times these characteristics are harmless, and even entertaining. Unfortunately, sleeping in their own litter boxes is neither of these things. This problematic behavior should be addressed promptly to ensure the proper physical and mental health of your beloved companion.