Why is My Cat Sleeping in the Litter Box?
Are you dealing with a kitty that spends all day in its litter box? Normally, the time spent by cats in their litter box is not for play but, rather, to defecate. However, a cat sleeping in the litter box should certainly have you a little worried. This could be indicating that something is seriously wrong with the physical or emotional health of your kitty and it is, therefore, vital to investigate why it is exhibiting this unusual behavior. This is especially true with cats that are already used to visiting their familiar litter points to do their thing there. However, if you are trying to introduce your kitty to a new litter box for the first few days, don’t be alarmed to find it sleeping in it since it is yet to identify that particular spot as the litter point. This simply means you will have to do a great deal of coaching to get your cat used to using its litter house for defecation alone. However, for those cats that have already familiarised themselves with their litter point, the following are the reasons they might sleep in their litter box.
When Your Cat Is Sick
Cats are known to be very clean animals so it is strange to see a cat sleeping in its familiar litter box. This type of behavior suggests that there is something seriously wrong with kitty and it is important you try to find out what it is. When kitty stays longer in its litter box than it normally does, it could be experiencing some difficulty or pain in moving its bowel or urinating, signaling some very serious health issues. Sickness in animals comes with its challenges. It could make kitty too weak or lazy to leave its litter box after each bowel movement. Its sickly condition could also make it lose its sense of good judgment – meaning that it may be unaware of its own irrational actions.
A visit to the vet is absolutely necessary at this point. The vet would have to find out what is causing this strange behavior in kitty which will be done by first asking questions and examining kitty to diagnose what the problem is. If it is a health issue, this may result in a prescription or your vet administering some treatment. If it is a psychological problem, then you may have to work hand in hand with the vet to ensure you help kitty to adjust and eliminate this anti-social behavior.
When Your Cat Sees Its Litter Area as Its Territory
It is a known fact that cats like to claim and protect certain areas as their territory and once they have found it and established the location as theirs, they tend to stay there for as long as they want. This is especially true with cats that share the location or home with other animals. The feeling of the territory possessor or defender is: “ this is my property, if I leave here for long, trespassers will come and dispossess me of it, so let me stay here for as long as I can’’.
When Your Cat Is Hiding From a Perceived Danger
Your kitty might hide in its litter box to protect itself from possible attack from another animal in a home where other cats, dogs or pets are present. The need to protect itself is important and it could see its litter box as a safe refuge since it is an already familiar place. It could be hiding from an unwanted visitor to your home or even from you – if you had earlier scolded it for doing something you do not like. Cats are very sensitive animals and hiding in a litter box could just be a sign of protest. Your kitty might even remain there for as long as it perceives the danger is still present. If you find out it is hiding from suspected harm, then it is high time you removed what is causing this sense of insecurity just to encourage it to come out.
When the Litter Box Is Relatively Clean
Your kitty might sleep in its litter box more if the place is relatively clean. Cats are very clean animals and would not mind sleeping in a litter box if they find the place extremely clean and comfortable to the point they more relaxed there than anywhere else. This is not to suggest that you should encourage it to stay in there. But remember, equal attention in terms of cleaning should be given to everywhere in your home.
When Your Cat Wants to Relax
Your cat could just want peace and quiet so as to relax. Some times, cats also want their own ‘me time’ in a place where they can shut down from the rest of the world. This is particularly true if the environment in your home is extremely noisy and unsuitable for relaxation. Cats, just like humans, detest noise. So when next you see kitty holed up in its defecation enclosure for hours, it might just be trying to catch a peaceful nap in it.
If You Fail To Make Its Sleeping Area Comfortable.
Cats like soft, dry and cozy places. If you fail to make its sleeping area as convenient as possible, it will have less urge to sleep there and high tendency to sleep in other places such as its litter room; If it finds the place more comfortable. Keeping the cat’s litter box clean all the time is always best practice; however, also keeping other places in your home cleaner will help a great deal in making your pet consider elsewhere their permanent bedroom.
Hiding in the litter box to consume a delicious meal alone is a common behavior in cats that don’t want to share the meal with other animals in your home. It might stay there for an extended period of time depending on the size of the meal. It could even drag the meal there with its teeth and put all day to devour the feast alone. So next time you are wondering what the hell your pet is doing for so long in its toilet, it might just have turned it into a dining room.
When Your Cat Is Trying To Keep Warm
Keeping the temperature in your home within tolerable limits is good practice for both you and your kitty’s health. If your home is too cold due to an air-conditioning system or if it’s left devoid of a good heating system on a freezing cold day, do not expect your cat to just sit around and be tortured. Cats, unlike humans, cannot put a warm sweater on, neither can they turn off the air-conditioner or turn on the heating system. However, it can spare itself the torture of the cold by looking for somewhere warm to shield itself, and this is when the litter box comes in. The litter box will provide a safe space to cool down if it’s too hot outside or warm up if it’s too cold.
If you are very sensitive to your kitty’s reaction to their environment, it wouldn’t take long to notice their behavioral changes. Thus, you will need to ensure that your home is warm enough or even keep it in a warm enclosure. Do not assume their fur-filled body will do all the work. You must also realize nature has its limitations. Their furry body may be incapable of withstanding a certain degree of cold, forcing them to seek some warmth in other places.
If You Sprayed Your Home with Citrus Smelling Air-Fresher
There are lots of reasons kitty might choose to hide in its toilet all day. Spraying your home with unwanted air-fresher or scents might just be one of them. Cats have a sharp sense of smell and a natural aversion for citrus smelling scents or places. So next time kitty just decides to lock itself in its litter room and refuses to come out, you might just need to double-check to see if your home was sprayed some at some point earlier. If you convince yourself that your kitty ran to its litter box to avoid inhaling it, it might just be time to descent your environment with some fresh air or by spraying a counter scent they can tolerate well.
Finding out why your cat engages in an unusual behavior is something worth discussing with a vet as well as fellow cat keepers. They could have similar experiences with their pets – through experiences shared, as a pet parent, you could get to know whether there is the need to worry or not about certain behavioral changes in your kitty. You will further be able to understand what you are doing or not doing that might be causing the behavioral change in your kitty.
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