Why is my cat sleeping in his litter box?
When your cat sleeps in their litter box, there could be a serious problem you need to decode fast, or maybe they could just be chilling out.
Kittens spending too much time in the litter box is normal but if your adult cats develop this tendency, there is a need to be alarmed.
Reasons for your cats spending too much time in their litter box could range from being unwell to finding a cooler environment in their litter box than anywhere else.
You, therefore, need to move with speed to determine the exact reason why your cats could prefer to be in the litter box.
Your local vet could run some diagnostics to determine if your furry friends are feeling well or you could just observe them more closely to get any hints of discomfort or lack of appetite.
Create Relaxation Spots
You can also check in their environment to see whether they have cooler spots to relax after feeding. If there is no shadow or a cool point where the cats can hide from the scorching sun, make sure to provide such facilities so that we can rule out the cats using the litter box as a cooler refuge.
Tiled floors for instance could make cool surfaces that your cat can lay when feeling hot. Roofs in the open space also make a cool place to lay with circulating fresh air. Your cat will choose to lay in any of these two places rather than in the litter box any day unless they are ill.
You can also find a metallic pan or tray which tends to absorb heat faster than a cloth or blanket could. Such pans or metallic trays could be a cool place to lie when there is lots of heat in the environment.
Create Hiding Spots
Another reason why your cat could be sleeping in their litter box could be because they are hiding from distraction and disturbance. Cats too require peace of mind and they could achieve this by hiding in the litter box where no one is bothering them.
You can therefore counter this problem by providing some quiet place to hide and relax without bother. You can therefore place your cat’s carrier or a box somewhere in isolation where they can enjoy their quiet time peacefully. Other options also include cat beds or some soft blanket in a box where they can relax.
This hiding place should be prepared well such that your cat can freely get in and out of it. For example, if you prepare a carrier as its hiding place, you can open up the front entrance covering up the top well such that they get that sense of privacy. You can also place a soft material like a blanket on the base so that your cat will enjoy some comfort and even fall asleep inside its hiding haven.
These hiding spots are therapeutic for cats who aren't on good terms with other cats and dogs around the compound. They are also relaxing spots after playing and feeding.
Check for Behavioral Change
On the other hand, your cat could be suffering from an illness if they are opting to spend too much time in their litter box and even sleeping there.
Observe your cat more closely for hints on what could be their problem. You could notice red flags like loss of appetite, prolonged sleeping time, their fur falling off, or any other symptoms. Communicate with your veterinarian for fast action.
The most probable causes of prolonged sleeping in their litter boxes could be:
Newly adopted cats could feel out of place and therefore spend most of their time alone despite there being other cats around. A cat accustomed to living in an enclosure will always find such places to hide in. if the litter box is the nearest place they can hide, you will often find them sleeping inside.
You can solve this by encouraging the cat to hide in other places like a box or a carrier rather than sleeping in a litter box. Encourage them by making them feel more comfortable in these hiding places other than the litter box.
When your cat sleeps too much in their litter box they could be suffering from kidney disease. Kidney disease is a condition where your cat has a urinary infection such that they are not able to pass urine as they should. Normally the urinary tract is blocked such that they are not urinating properly. They could therefore spend more time in the litter box passing the urine slowly by slowly as it comes. Dementia can also cause your cat to spend more time in their litter box. With Dementia, your cat feels insecure to stay away from the litter box. Contact your vet if you suspect your cat is suffering from any of these conditions.
If there are multiple cats in the compound, and there no enough litter boxes for all of them to use, then some of them could opt to sleep in the litter box.
This competition begins with the dominant cats marking territory and therefore sleeping inside his litter box to prevent the others from using them. The competition could therefore lead to these dominant cats preventing the others from sharing therefore spending much time in the litter boxes.
The weaker cats might also sleep in these litter boxes the moment they notice the dominant ones have vacated to eat or otherwise. They will relieve themselves and also sleep in this highly demanded place to which they haven't had access for a while.
To solve this stalemate, there need to be enough litter boxes for all the cats to use preferably a litter box for every cat so that they don't have to compete for one at any given time.
Pregnant cats tend to take refuge in the litter box when they experience labor. You might not even know your cat is pregnant if you do not spend enough time with her. Check whether she is undergoing labor if she spends lots of time in the litter box. Cats in labor tend to look for secluded places to give birth so that they can also hide their young ones from any imminent danger. Provide her with a better place comfortable and in isolation so that she feels safe to deliver her young ones.
Distressed cats will look for secluded places to hide. Just like the cat that is new to a certain environment, distressed cats will sleep in any hidden space to avoid disturbance. The arrival of new cats or the presence of other pets such as dogs could distress your cat.
Provide another option for a place where your cat can spend his time. Cats are some of the most secretive pets that require privacy often; that’s why you might never see your cat mating. Provide some privacy for them so that they don’t opt to sleep in their litter box.