Why Does My Cat Sleep in the Litter Box? Solutions?

Anyone who has a cat knows that they do some pretty crazy things, and they find the craziest places to sleep.

If there is an empty box on your floor, your cat will want to sleep in, regardless of how small it is. If you have a paper bag on the table, your cat will try to climb inside to take a nap. If your cat can find any enclosed space, they will use it for napping. While this behavior is not a cause for concern, it is a different story if your cat starts sleeping in the litter box.

Normally, your cat will go into the litter box, do its business, cover the mess, and leave. If your cat is sleeping in the litter box, your first thought will be why your cat is sleeping in the litter box in the first place. If your cat does start sleeping in the litter box, there are several reasons why they could be doing this, and some are serious.

why does my cat sleep in the litter box


The Litter Box Is As Complicated At Your Cat

why does cat lay in litter box

People who don’t have a cat don’t understand how cats feel about their litter boxes. Your cat’s litter box is as complicated as they are. If you have had multiple cats during your life, you know that different cats have different preferences regarding their litter box.

Cats are generally clean animals, and they want their litter box to be clean. This means scooping the box often. If you forget to scoop the box, some cats will still use it, even though they aren’t happy about it. Other cats will refuse to use a dirty litter box and relieve themselves in areas around the house they aren’t supposed to.

Some cats are very picky with the litter that you buy. There are plenty of types of cat litter on the market today. These include:

  • Clay litter
  • Silica gel litter
  • Pine litter
  • Wheat litter
  • Grass litter
  • Corn litter
  • Walnut shell litter
  • Paper litter

Each of these types of litter has its own benefits. You may find a litter that you think is great when it comes to keeping the litter box and your home clean; however, your cat might have a different idea of what is best. If your cat doesn’t like the litter in their box, there is a good chance that they won’t use it. This will result in your cat relieving themselves in other areas of the house.

The Litter Box Is As Complicated At Your Cat

Another issue that cats have is whether or not there is a cover on the litter box. Some cats love the covered cat litter box because it gives them the privacy that they crave when relieving themselves. Other cats don’t like the idea of being so closed in when they go to the bathroom.

Overall, cats are complicated, and their litter boxes are just as complicated.


Why Do Your Kitty’s Litter Box Patterns Matter?

Why Do Your Kitty's Litter Box Patterns Matter

As a cat owner, you should understand that your cat’s litter box patterns can tell you more about them. As mentioned earlier, some cats won’t be happy with their litter box if it is dirty, if you are using the wrong litter and if you are using the wrong litter box. If they aren’t happy with the setup, they might not use it.

You also need to pay attention to the length of time that your cat spends inside the litter box and what they are doing while they are in there. Unfortunately, your cat cannot tell you when there is something wrong. If you pay attention to your cat’s litter box patterns, you can get some insight into what your cat is thinking and feeling, which will allow you to make changes or let you know that it is time to schedule a visit to the vet.


Why Is My Cat Sleeping In the Litter Box?

Some cats spend more time in the litter box than others. Some feel the need to cover their mess over and over again, which results in them spending a while in the litter box. Others like to take their time relieving themselves.

If these patterns have been going on for as long as you have owned your cat, you don’t need to worry. If your cat is sleeping in the litter box for long periods of time, you should be concerned. If your cat is sleeping in the litter box, there are a few things that could be causing this behavior.

My Cat Sleeping In the Litter Box

  • Kidney disease and other health issues – Cats are prone to urinary tract issues, which, if left untreated, can be deadly. If your cat is falling asleep in the litter box, they could be having trouble urinating, and after so long, they fall asleep. There are other issues that can cause your cat to need to spend so much time in the litter box that they fall asleep. These include kidney issues, constipation, or a blockage. If sleeping in the litter box is new behavior for your cat, start paying attention to how often they are going and what is coming out. It is also a good idea to give the vet a call to see what they want to do.
  • Newly adopted cats – When you first adopt a cat, and you bring them home, they are going to be unsure about their surroundings. They will be in a new home, in new surroundings, and around new people. The only thing that will be familiar to your cat is the litter box. They had a litter box in their last home, so it will be the only thing they recognize. Because new surroundings and new people can be scary and stressful, your cat will retreat to the only familiar place. In the first few days, your cat might spend so much time in the litter box that they fall asleep.
  • Multiple cats in the home – Having multiple cats can be great for you and your family of cats. The cats will always have another cat there to play with, chase, and snuggle with. While having plenty of cats around can be fun, it can also be a lot for some cats. If your cat likes to be alone from time to time, they will find a quiet place where there are no other cats around. Because cats spend 12 to 16 hours a day sleeping, it isn’t uncommon for your cat to fall asleep in the litter box. If this is your cat’s habit, it is best to get another litter box for the other cats to use when your cat is sleeping in the litter box.
  • Stress or fear – Cats are bizarre when it comes to dealing with fear and stress. Rather than lashing out or leaving the room, many cats prefer to be in closed-in spaces when they are feeling afraid or stressed. If you don’t typically keep empty boxes or paper bags lying around the house, the litter box will be the next best option. When your cat is in the litter box, their fear and stress will begin to fade, and they will relax, causing them to fall asleep.
  • Your cat is pregnant – If your cat is pregnant, don’t be surprised if she starts sleeping in the litter box. Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that they need to go to the bathroom often. At the end of your pregnancy, you are practically living in the bathroom. The same is true for pregnant cats. Pregnant cats need to urinate so often that some choose not to leave the litter box, knowing they will need to go to the bathroom again soon. When your cat is very pregnant, she will also be very tired. After spending a while in the litter box, your pregnant cat is going to fall asleep in there.
  • Your cat is in labor – If your cat has been sleeping in the litter box all day and she is pregnant, there is a chance that she has gone into labor. Pregnant cats who are about to give birth will seek out a private place to give birth. This is their instinct to protect their kittens from predators when they are born. If you don’t have many hiding spots in your home, your cat might choose the litter box to give birth. If you find your pregnant cat sleeping there, she could be getting ready to go into labor.


Why Is My Cat Suddenly Sleeping In the Litter Box?

Why Is My Cat Suddenly Sleeping In the Litter Box

If your cat just started sleeping in the litter box, you should think about what has changed in the home.

  • If you recently brought a new cat home that is causing your cat to be stressed or annoyed, it could be why.
  • If your cat is ready to go into labor, that could be the reason.
  • If your cat is fixed, no new cats have come into the home, and nothing has changed to cause your cat stressed, you should call the vet.
  • If you have ruled out every other reason, there could be something wrong medically, and it should be treated right away.


How To Deal With Cats Sleeping In the Litter Box?

How To Deal With Cats Sleeping In the Litter Box

  • If your cat is sleeping in the litter box due to a medical condition or they are in labor, the behavior will stop with treatment or after the kittens are born.
  • If your cat is behaving this way when you first introduce them to your home, they will stop when they warm up to you and your home.
  • If your cat is sleeping in the litter box to get some “me” time or because they have a personality that often makes them stressed, the behavior won’t stop without you intervening.

Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do.

  • Get a second litter box: If you have multiple cats and they can’t get in the litter box because there is a cat sleeping there, get another litter box. This will allow your cats to go to the bathroom when the other litter box is being used by a bed.
  • Give your cat a box: If you give your cat another safe place to sleep, they won’t need the litter box anymore. You can set up a cardboard box or a milk crate in a quiet area of the home. If you put a blanket inside, it will give your cat a comfortable place to sleep where they feel comfortable.


Why Do Some Cats Play In the Litter Box?

Why Do Some Cats Play In the Litter Box

If your cat is playing in the litter box, there is no reason to worry. Most cats who play in the litter box are just trying to play. Litter boxes are like a sandbox. Your cat will find the sound of the litter and the movement stimulating. If you scoop the litter box and your cat hears the sound, they will come running because they believe that it is time to play.

In most cases, it is kittens who love to play in the litter box, and eventually, they grow out of it. However, there are some cats who refuse to grow up, and they continue playing in the litter box.

The best way to stop this behavior is to encourage your cat to play in other areas. You can keep their toys far from the litter box and play with their toys with them. If you keep doing this and are patient, your cat will eventually realize that the litter box is for going to the bathroom, and there are other areas in the house where they can play.


Final Thoughts

Cats are very quirky animals. If you have a cat, chances are, not a day goes by that they do something that makes you laugh or shocks you. This includes sleeping in the litter box.

If your cat is suddenly sleeping in the litter box, you should call the vet to be on the safe side. The medical issues that could be causing your pet to sleep in the litter box are serious and need to be treated.

If your cat was cleared medically, it could be your cat’s personality and habits that cause them to sleep in the litter box. Fortunately, there are ways to make your cat happy, and they won’t need to sleep in the litter box.