Litter Box - A Sleeping Place For A Cat?
Our beloved domesticated furry feline canines i.e, cats, all come from wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica).
Cats are lurking predators and so they choose the places where they can hide and get a good view of their prey.
A cat has that natural instinct to look for closed spaces like cardboard boxes as those are the comfortable places for them.
If you own a cat, you might have found him/her sound asleep in weird places and wondered if your cat is alright (I can relate to you as I’ve found mine in odd places).
Cats are usually found sleeping inside a cardboard box if you own one.
They can be seen doing their favourite thing which is napping and relaxing in high perches, under a blanket and on the lap of their owner (if you are a lucky one!).
Sometimes you might find your cat sleeping or spending more time inside the litter box as well.
It is not good but you should not imagine the worst-case scenario without proper consultation with the vet.
Aside from doing their own business, some cats tend to spend extra time inside the litter box and there are various reasons for it.
So let’s get into why they sleep, play or spend more time in the litter box out of all the other places they can find at home.
This might be because of the medical conditions or the behavioral reasons of cats.
There might be diverse medical conditions responsible for this action of your cats. Some are listed below:
Urinary tract infections: Cats with urinary tract infections have inflammation in the lining of their bladders.
So, even if their tiny bladder has very small amounts of urine, the infected kitty will have frequent urges to urinate.
As they have to use the litter box frequently, they opt to spend more time in the litter box or just stay near it.
Bladder stones and Urinary crystal formation: If a urinary crystal is formed inside a cat’s urethra, he/she will have the repeated impulse to urinate leading to the frequent visit to the litter box.
This is similar if a cat has bladder stones too. But, in both conditions, a cat won’t be able to produce any urine because of the obstruction by the crystal and stone.
Diabetes: Cats with diabetes will have an increment in water intake and as a result, increased urination trip to the litter box as well.
Pregnancy: Feline mothers, when they are about to give birth, have that instinct to seek safe places distant from noises and crowded places. Even though the litter box is not an ideal place for her to have kittens, it is her comfort place and thus pregnancy might be one of the reasons for her napping in the litter box.
If your cat is checked by the vet and does not have any medical conditions, then behavioural reasons are responsible for your cat’s litter box napping. Those behavioural reasons might be because of:
Stress/ adjustment anxiety: If there are not any medical complications in cats, stress/ adjustment anxiety might be a common reason for their sleeping and hiding habits in the litter box.
Having a new person in the house, adding a new pet to the family or certain changes in the surrounding of cats might lead to them retreating to one of their comfort places, the litter box and spending time there.
Territorial guarding: Cats have the natural instinct to mark their territory with their urine. If there are more than one cat in the house and only one litter box, spending more time in the litter box marking their territory might be one of their ways to claim it.
As the litter box is one of their comfort places, they tend to treasure and defend it as their own territory.
Still learning (kittens):
As little ones learn everything from their mothers, using the litter box is also learned from her. But as small ones don’t have the actual idea, some keep on burying their things and eventually fall asleep after being tired of the continuous hard work.
Safety: To feel secure and safe is a cat’s natural instinct. Even if a cat has been living in a certain place for a long time, he/she can spend more time inside the litter box.
A cat does so in order to feel safe from any perceived threats as the litter box is something that is theirs only.
How to stop my cat from sleeping in the litter box?
If your cat has any medical issues, you might want to address them and get your cat healthy. But if there are not any medical issues then you could make various changes.
Like: investing in some more litter boxes if you have more than one cat in the house. Also, getting a cat cave can be a good alternative instead of the litter box for your cat as their hideaway when they are stressed.
Does your cat seem uncomfortable? Is it incapable of finding itself around you or doesn't play around much? These problems can be solved with cat caves. Get to know more about how your adorable little friend can benefit from cat caves.
Being a cat owner, no one wants their cat to sleep or spend any extra time in their litter box. If there are no medical issues then this habit of your cat might not be anything threatening but just some behavioural issues.
Therefore, you should not panic and jump to conclusions yourself without proper medical consultation.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to be worried if my cat sleeps in the litter box?
If your cat does not have any health problems then sleeping in the litter box might not be that big of a problem. Your cat might be guarding the litter box, a little stressed or might just be napping because the litter box smells like her.
My cat is sleeping in the litter box, can she get sick?
Yes, as the litter box is not an ideal clean place to sleep, sleeping in the dirty litter box can lead to various health problems in your cat.
How often should my cat’s litter box be changed?
The general guideline for replacing cat’s litter is twice a week. However, depending upon the amount and the circumstances involved, you may need to change it frequently or less often than what the guideline suggests.