Why is my Cat Laying in the Litter box?

Why is my cat laying in the litter box? Your cat may feel the urge to display territorial behaviour by sleeping in the litter box during kitten season when cats outside are noisily mating and marking their area. After all, cats mark their territory with their urine, and the familiar aroma of their box makes them feel safer.

Why Does My Cat Lay in the Litter Box After I Clean It?

Your cat could be reluctant to use the litter box if it’s filthy. Remember that a cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times greater than a person’s. The litter box could not meet their high criteria, even though it seemed clear.

To make the litter box as hospitable as possible:

  1. Scoop solid waste, including ■■■■■■■■■ and litter clumps, as soon as possible.

  2. Sift daily if you’re using a wood or pine pellet litter.

  3. About once per week, completely replace clay litter.

  4. About every four weeks, or as often as necessary, completely change wood pellet litter.

  5. Wash the litter box with warm water and a light detergent every few weeks.

  6. After a thorough cleaning, the litter box can be itself if the habit persists. Since plastics tend to absorb and keep odour during cleanings, plastic litter boxes should be changed at least once a year.

Cat Sitting in Litter Box But Not Peeing

  1. Due to a urination issue, your cat may be sitting in the litter box but not urinating.

  2. Clogged and either unable to urinate or having difficulty urinating are typical issues.

  3. If it’s the latter, it could expel a little bit of urine.

  4. Your cat may experience considerable discomfort and stress during this period.

  5. Therefore, if you suspect this to be the issue, you should get your cat examined immediately so your veterinarian can provide advice or alternatives to help your cat feel better.

Cat Sleeping Next to Litter Box

  1. There may be various causes for your cat sitting outside the litter box. The most frequent problem is that it dislikes or wants the litter box cleaned.

  2. It may not like the litter box for various reasons, including its size, depth, or position.

  3. Sometimes, your cat may need a thorough cleaning of the litter box to make her happy again.

  4. If maintaining the litter box requires much work, you may purchase a self-cleaning litter box.

  5. To keep your cat happy, you must commit to a regular cleaning schedule if a self-cleaning litter box is not for you.

Why is My Cat Laying in Litter Box?

There are several reasons why cats sleep in their litter boxes. Let’s look more closely.

It May be a Health Issue

Sleeping in the litter box indicates that your cat is experiencing a painful condition producing frequent urine. Possibility of sleeping in the litter box, even though it is not a very clean area to doze off.

In certain instances, bladder infections, kidney stones, crystals, and urinary tract infections may be deadly. Visit your veterinarian to rule out health issues that cause your cat’s preference to sleep in the litter box.

Your Cat Is Feeling Fearful

If you have numerous cats and not enough litter boxes (at least one per cat plus one or two extra), your cat may sleep in the litter box to defend themselves. This inhibits the other cats from using the litter box and establishes the cat’s authority over its companions.

If you believe this to be the case, you will need to install more litter boxes. This should stop this territorial behaviour quickly and provide your other cats with much-needed respite.

Even if your cat is the only pet in the home, it may sleep in the litter box because of a sense of ownership. During kitten season, when cats outside may be noisily mating and marking their territory, your cat may feel the need to display territorial behaviour by sleeping in the litter box; after all, cats mark their territory with their urine, and the familiar aroma of their box makes them feel safer.

Your Cat May have Kittens

If you have a pregnant cat, she may sleep in the litter box to signal that she is about to give birth. Cats require a quiet, isolated spot to have kittens; if you suspect this is the case, provide an alternative immediately.

Your Cat Feel Safe

Cats seek protection and security intuitively, even in the comfort of their own homes. Suppose you’ve visited a busy animal shelter or seen cats available for adoption in pet shops. In that case, you may have observed that some cats sleep in their litter boxes despite the availability of clean blankets.

In the same way cats like contained, remote locations that create a feeling of comfort because they feel protected from imagined dangers, litter boxes are familiar places where some cats may finally “let go.”

Even though your house is not a refuge for animals and your cat has lived there for a long time, they may still seek comfort by napping in the litter box.

Cats like familiarity and calm, confined locations; if they perceive their litter box as the only safe shelter, they may sleep in it rather than in the open.

Your Cat is Feeling Anxious

Cats may sometimes sleep in their litter boxes when they are anxious. This is especially prevalent after moving into a new house. When your cat’s surroundings have changed, they may seek everything familiar, even the litter box.

If your cat’s behaviour results from anxiety, you may need to discover strategies to make them feel safe. You might lay some blankets with your cat’s fragrance next to the litter box. Your cat should begin to explore the house and gain confidence over time.

Your Cat Wants To Be Alone

In some instances, cats may see their litter boxes as private areas, and your cat may opt to slumber there. This is especially prevalent with covered litter boxes, which resemble other cat-favourite locations, like closets and cardboard boxes, in that they are quiet and secure.

If your cat seems to sleep in the litter box because he enjoys the seclusion, you may be able to alter his habit by providing him with other resting areas. Your cat may like hiding in cardboard boxes or on a cat tree with a perch that allows them to see the environment from above.


Cats sleep in odd locations, but you should be concerned if your cat is napping in the litter box. A cat napping in a litter box indicates, at the very least, that environmental concerns must be addressed. The good news is that resolving the issue and persuading your cat to sleep elsewhere is relatively straightforward.

why is my cat lying in the litter box

My Cat Sleeping In Litter Box – Is It Symptoms of Death?

  1. Sick or near-death cats may attempt to hide in areas where they feel comfortable and won’t be harassed by you or other household pets. This is because cats dislike displaying weakness.

  2. You may also notice that your cat sleeps or spends time in unexpected places, such as her litter box. Significantly if her health is deteriorating, a litter box that smells like your cat might make her feel protected.

  3. A trip to the veterinarian is necessary if a cat naps in a litter box since it may be nearing death. This may also indicate that your cat is too frail to move and has slumped in place.

  4. In addition to signals that your cat is unwell, symptoms that indicate your cat’s impending demise include dramatic personality changes.

  5. For instance, a formerly aloof cat may become very attached and want to sit with you at all times, whereas a lap cat may want to hide in the closet.

  6. Other changes to keep an eye out for include your cat suddenly being confused or disoriented or becoming atypically aggressive. Additionally, your cat may begin eliminating outside of the litter box.

  7. These signs may signal that your cat is in discomfort or having a cognitive impairment, typical in cats aged ten or older.

  8. A cat with cognitive impairment may survive for many years if she receives veterinary care and anxiety medication to help her feel better and reduce her misery.

  9. It would help if you also modified her habitat to enhance her access to food, water, a litter box, and resting areas.

Why Is My Senior Cat Laying in Litter Box?

Cats who sleep in the litter box may experience discomfort. Medical difficulties are one of the most common reasons cats sleep in their litter box. Unwell felines with renal illness, urinary tract infections, constipation, or other digestive issues may sleep in their litter box.

  • If your cat has difficulty urinating or believes it may not return in time, they may decide it is best to remain close by. Particular cats with advanced dementia may also sleep in their litter box.

  • Stress is one of the most common causes of strange cat behaviour, such as sleeping in litter trays, hiding under the bed, and clinginess.

  • When your cats feel exposed and endangered, they seek a comfortable area to relax where they do not have to remain vigilant.

  • Occasionally, cats spend more time in their litter box due to digestive issues, such as diarrhoea or constipation.

  • In certain instances, your cat is so unwell that it lacks the stamina to leave the litter box and return to its resting area. Extreme discomfort may also inhibit a cat’s mobility.

  • Call your veterinarian if your cat is sluggish, not drinking or eating, or has diarrhoea so bad that it won’t leave the litter box.

Why Is My Indoor Cat Laying In Litter Box Have Fleas?

While your cat may live entirely inside, you do not. Fleas may enter your house on you or your other pets, such as your dog. Even creatures you are unaware of, such as mice, might carry them in.

In addition, your cat generally does not spend all of its time inside, and a trip to the groomer may result in insects on its coat. After fleas have invaded your cat, they will continue to breed until you destroy them.

Once fleas have taken hold, your cat will transmit them around the home, especially in the areas he frequents and the cat litter box. Unfortunately, fleas flourish in litter boxes and lay eggs there often.

Even if you cure all the fleas presently feeding on your pet, fleas may have returned if you discover your cat resting in the litter box. Removing fleas requires eradicating the ones on your cat and those in your home.

How To Stop Cat From Sleeping In Litter Box?

Even if the litter box is immaculately clean, you don’t want your cat to sleep in it. Otherwise, you will discover trash particles and who knows what else throughout the place.

Then, how can you alter your cat’s behaviour? Here are six easy tips.

Get Rid of Medical Problems

Even if your cat seems healthy, you should take it to the veterinarian, mainly if you observe a change in the amount it drinks or urinates.

Remember that cats are adept at concealing pain and suffering, so you must be vigilant for the subtle indications of sickness.

Change the Litter Box

As previously said, some old cats with mobility limitations cannot use the litter box. Changing to a litter box with shallow sides and a low entry point for older cats may help alleviate the issue.

Provide a Box to Your Cat for Birthing

If you have a pregnant cat, you should offer an appropriate birthing box in a calm area and ensure no loud sounds or people disturbing the cat.

Do not get alarmed if the cat begins to give birth in the litter box. Transfer the mother and kittens to a nesting box and thoroughly clean them. If the mother consumes too much litter, she will get unwell.

Create A Sleeping Spot for Your Cat

To prevent your cat from sleeping in unsuitable locations, you should provide it with a secure cave where it may escape during stressful situations.

Lay a comfortable cat bed or a cardboard box lined with towels in a quiet area, and use goodies to attract your cat to the location. Add extra vertical space and multiple perches to your home.

Reduce the Stress of Your Cat

Try to provide a controlled atmosphere for your cat. If things must change, allow your cat enough time to adapt, and do not disturb it if it hides under the bed or in the toilet.

Consult your veterinarian about cat anti-anxiety medications to help calm your pet. And improve your cat’s habitat to prevent them from becoming bored while you’re away.

Resolve Disputes Among Your Cats

To prevent fights between your cats, you must provide each with food and water bowls, a sleeping area, toys, and a litter box.

You need one box per cat plus one additional package. Ensure that you provide equal attention to your pets to prevent jealousy and possessive behaviour. And remember to introduce cats to one another gradually.


Consider this a transitory tendency since one of the causes above may be responsible for your cat’s preference for the litter box. Consult your veterinarian to rule out the possibility of a medical problem. And if your cat’s health checks out and everything else fails, you may always change the litter more often or as soon as you see your cat using it. Hopefully, in time, your adorable companion will find a cozier area to take sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs related to why my cat is lying in the litter box:

1. Can An Unclean Litter Box Make a Cat Ill?

It is unlikely that your cat would get ill by sleeping in the litter box, but it might be a clue that they are already sick or not acting normally. It is not very sanitary, mainly if they cycle between lying in the tray and on your bed or couch, so you may wish to dissuade your cat from napping in his tray.

2. Cats Lie in its Litter Box – Is It Normal?

Cats are often tidy and adept at segregating their toileting and sleeping regions. Therefore, it is weird if your cat begins to sleep in his litter box. It is crucial to determine whether an underlying issue is causing them to behave abnormally since most normal cats would choose a clean and comfy sleeping spot.

3. Why is my cat lying in the litter box after surgery?

After surgery, pain and discomfort are the primary reasons cats hide in the litter box. To verify that your cat is not in discomfort, contact your veterinarian to discuss the pain meds and any necessary revisions to the pain-management strategy. Ensure that you adhere to any restrictions on your cat’s activities.

4. Why is my dog lying in the cat litter box?

If you know that your pet used the litter box, continue to observe their bowel movements over the following 24 hours to ensure they do not have an impaction. If you see your pet vomiting or arching its back in agony, you should immediately take them to a veterinarian.

5. Why is my pregnant cat lying in the litter box?

If your pregnant cat begins to use the litter box, this might indicate that she is about to give birth. Female cats will choose a secure and pleasant location to give birth. Without other alternatives, they will often pick up their litter box.

6. Why is my cat lying in front of the litter box?

If your cat is sitting outside the litter box, it may be attempting to communicate. Occasionally, the litter box may be overly filthy. In other instances, individuals may have difficulty going because of constipation or a bladder issue.

7. Why is my cat lying near the litter box?

The enclosed space of the litter box may make her feel warm and secure; hence, she could decide to sleep there until she adjusts to the new, more open environment and can feel more at ease there.


If your cat’s habit of napping in the litter box has become a problem, it’s no fun. Once you’ve ruled out a physical issue, however, it should be pretty easy to resolve the issue and restore your pet’s mental health by ensuring that there are adequate litter boxes for all of the cats in the home and that each cat has at least one secure, comfortable location to call their own.

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