My cat sleeps in his litter box! What I can do?
Of all the nasty things your precious feline friend could do, one of the worst possible scenarios has to be sleeping in the litter box!
If you are reading this, chances are your own cat has already done this. And believe me when I tell you this, I understand your frustration, disgust and horror. The good news is that your cat has not gone crazy. The bad news is that aside from being unsightly and unsanitary, this type of behavior is problematic on many levels.
Sleeping in the litter box is not uncommon for cats of all breeds and ages. Instead of thinking “eewwcs” you should think about the possible causes, because sometimes they can indicate a bigger problem.
Why does my cat sleep in the litter box?
If your beloved feline has suddenly started sleeping in his litter box, one or more of the following factors may be influencing his behavior.
Fight for territory
Kittens are known for their territorial customs. If you live in a household with several cats and they are not very friendly with each other, it is possible that a cat will start sleeping in the litter box.
To promote proper use of the litter box, it is advisable to provide as many litter boxes as you have cats.
Sometimes “marking” with their scent is not enough for some cats, who will sometimes try to physically protect their territory.
Even if there are no other animals in your home, your kitten may decide to sleep or hide inside the litter box as a way to reclaim it when it feels invaded by unfamiliar smells, which can be from guests or new furniture for example.
If you have recently moved to a new home with your pet, there is a chance that it is still not used to its surroundings. Don’t worry, it is normal for cats to overreact when they move house. Just give your little friend a little time to adjust.
Stress can be a powerful driving force for even the laziest, most tolerant, and kindest cats in the world.
Familiar scents are sedating for all cats . If your cat has been suffering from stress lately, he may choose to bury himself in his own scent, because this is exactly how his litter box smells.
This may be hard to believe, but a stressed-out kitten may find the litter tray quite comforting simply because it has her scent.
Urinary tract problems
Unlike the two possible causes above, sleeping in the litter box could also be a behavior triggered by a physical health complication.
Bladder stones, lower urinary tract disease, and other health problems can cause your cat to hide in the litter box . Such complications generally go hand in hand with a lack of normal urination.
If you have noticed changes in your pet’s urination and defecation habits along with a tendency to spend too much time in the litter box, you should definitely call your vet.
How to stop my cat from sleeping in the litter box
Start by trying to get over your dislike. The more you think about the “disgust” factor, the more likely you are to scold your kitten. Not only will this stress you out, it can even lead to destructive revenge behavior. Instead, try to fix the problem with these recommendations.
Don’t yell at or punish your cat for sleeping in the litter box. Try to change the sand that you normally use, for one of another brand, which will have a different smell.
This will make the smell of the litter box not so familiar to the cat, and it will prefer to find a more “friendly” place to sleep.
Create a calming space in your home
Even if you haven’t recently moved, try to make the kitty’s environment as relaxing as possible. Be aware that new furniture, noisy neighbors, frequent guests, and basically all kinds of images, smells, and noises can bother your cat.
Encourage a suitable place to sleep
Make the litter box a less attractive place to sleep by encouraging the use of your own cat bed.
How to get your cat to use his cat bed
DISCOVER IT HERE
Call the vet
Even if you cannot see clear signs of physical problems in your pet, this type of behavior is harmful to the cat.
If you cannot dissuade the cat from stopping its unpleasant habit, call the vet and explain your situation. The cat may be suffering from an undiagnosed health complication.
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