Why Cats Choose to Reside in the Litterbox

A cat may sleep or rest in its litterbox to send its owner a message: I'm sick!

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: July 23, 2012, 8 a.m. EST

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Cat in Litterbox -- Cat Sleeps in Litterbox

Q. I'm wondering why my cat might take up residence in the litterbox for short periods of time.

If your cat is spending extra time in the litterbox this could be a sign of either urinary tract problems (infections, stones, inflammatory disorders, kidney disease) or lower gastrointestinal problems (colitis, megacolon). Please see you veterinarian as soon as possible to have a thorough physical examination, blood work and a urinalysis performed. Often this is the only way cats can tell us that something is wrong with them. Please listen!

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Reader Comments

krystine    littleton, NH

9/22/2014 4:59:50 PM

I have noticed just today that my cat is behaving strange he's in and out of the cat box a lot and I just a few min ago walked into my bathroom and found him sleeping in his cat box! How long is to long to wait to get him to a vet I want to get him help but we don't have the money to yet this week and I'm not sure what to do!

Nadira    ozone park, NY

8/21/2014 9:07:32 PM

my cat is resting in the litter box. is it possible he is running a fever.

Lisa    Ludlow, MA

8/13/2013 11:02:58 AM

My cat Rocky used to take naps in the litter box all the time when he was a baby. I would take him out of the litter box, when I caught him napping in there. He would just jump right back in and curl up for another nap. My vet examined him, and said he was fine. He said my cat probably liked to nap in the litter box because he felt safe there with the 4 walls of the box. It took Rocky a couple of years to realize the litter box wasn't the best place to take a nap.

Noel    Sydney, NS

9/18/2012 5:06:12 PM

mine like them as beds, gives them their own bed choice, so I just give them an extra box so they can have a clean bed. I use wood chips, which makes them warm to sleep in, just like small animals do .

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