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Why Is My Cat Laying in the Litter Box?

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One day I was at my home all day. While doing my laundry, I noticed my cat was constantly nearby her litter box area for no reason. I was wondering why is my cat laying in the litter box for so long.

Well, cats have bizarre behavior. Most cat owners fail to understand such behavior. And cats laying in the litter box unnecessarily is one of the topmost unusual behavior.

No need to worry this post has a list of reasons why do cats lay in litter boxes. So, pay attention and determine your kitty reason here.

why is my cat laying in the litter box

Why Is My Cat Laying in the Litter Box?

If your cat lies or sleeps in the litter box, she may be feeling anxious, stress, or nervous. She might choose to sleep in the litter box because of a health issue, feeling stressed, or feeling territorial. Many a time, If your cat lies in the litter box, she might be wanting a bit of privacy or comfort.

If you want to know the exact reasons why do cats lay in the litter box, you have to go through this article.

We have researched and collected all possible reasons why do cats lay in their litter box.

1. Is She Sick?

If your cat sitting in the litter box a lot in her litter box, it could be a sign that she is ill. She is trying to convey something to you that she is suffering from a health problem.

sick cat laying in litter box

The cat sits in the litter box for a long if she is affected by diarrhea or urine infection, or any other painful ailment.

When affected by urinary tract infection, female cats have crystals in urine. Which extremely painful and fatal.

So, if you notice any strange changes in your cat’s behavior, we recommend that you take veterinary help. Various health issues and medical conditions, such as arthritis and urinary tract pain, can cause your cat to stay in the litter box for an extended period of time.

2. Have You Changed Her Litter

Your cat laying in the litter box more than usual could be because of the different litter you have got this time for her.

If you have got a clay type of litter this time, you find that your cat is lying more often there. It is because she likes the extra softness and coolness of the clay litter. Especially in hot summers, clay litter is the best for cats.

If you have switched to recycled newspaper litter or corn or wheat litter, they might like the scent and neatness of the box. And, this will make her sleep in their litter box for a long.

To deal with this, try mixing 1/4 new litter with the old litter at first, then gradually increasing the quantity. This will help her get used to the new litter. And she’ll identify it exclusively with her toilet business, not with a sleeping spot.

You should get the best self-cleaning litter box for cats, so your furball would not sleep inside the litter box.

3. Stress and Anxiety Can Be the Reason

If something unusual has happened in your home, it may trigger your cat. Due to this, she may feel stressed.

Your cat hides in the litter box as a result of the stress. If you have recently adopted a new pet, for example, your cat will sit in the litter to establish her territory and assert her dominance. If there is a lot of rain and thunderstorms in your area, this can also set her off.

stressed cat

To overcome such conditions, you can talk to your veterinarian to control her anxiety and stress issues. Remember to keep many litter boxes in your house. You can provide your time to your cat and make her feel happy.

You can also take her for a walk and make her do plenty of exercises.

Know what does it mean when cat scratches the side of litter box.

4. She Doesn’t Like Sharing

It is a fact that cats don’t like to share their things. Especially their food, toys, and litter boxes. They show their dominance.

The cat lays in the litter box and will do nothing. It is because they want to show their dominance. They will simply keep bullying other cats if they come to their area. And will keep them away so that your cats sleep inside the litter box alone. This will convey the message to other cats that it is her territory, and they shouldn’t mess with her.

Do you own multiple cats? Want to know which litter is best for multiple cats, check it out.

5. Cat Wants Private Space

As you know, cats are less friendly; they enjoy their privacy while doing any activity.

So, cats assume and make their litter box a private space. And, she takes a nap inside that. Especially if you have a covered litter box, it is similar to a closet for her, and as you know, cats love enclosed space.

They spend more time in their enclosed litter box as there is no one there to disturb them. And, hence they can enjoy their private time.

If you find your cat sleeping inside the box, that clearly indicates that she is fond of sleeping in an enclosed space.

If you want to know more about enclosed litter boxes then you can check out the Rubbermaid Litter box.

6. She Feels Secure and Comfortable

Just like all animals, look for safety; your cats also do.

cat laying in litter box

Have you noticed even if you put your cat in the cleanest blanket, your cat will still choose to sleep in her litter box? This is because she likes enclosed space, and she is fond of small spaces because it gives her a sense of security.

The litter box is her commonplace, and she knows that space very well. This makes her feel quite safe from the threats and can live there harmoniously.

It’s not over yet. There are more reasons you need to find out to answer your question, why is my cat laying in the litter box.

7. Is She Pregnant?

Cat sleeping in the litter box can be a signal that she is pregnant. Therefore, she will not stay in an uncomfortable space. And look for security safety.

If your cat is bearing a baby kitten, that means she is going through severe pain, and to make her feel better and comfortable, she will need a private space with zero loud noise.

By laying inside the litter box, she can keep her kitten safe.

And when kittens grow young, they learn a lot of stuff from their mother. Likewise, the feline also adapts to lay inside the litter box from her mother. And this will eventually become their habit.

8. New Environment

If you have recently shifted to a new house or any household change can also affect your cat’s mental health. Cats don’t accept the change quickly. They are sensitive to the new environment, and it can give her a feeling of stress.

As you know, the new house echoes a lot, and the cat will also get in contact with the new smells and sights. This will be enormous for her to accept all things all of a sudden.

So, if you think, why is my cat laying in the litter box, then it is because that she finds that place safe. It is because she is familiar with the smell. It makes her feel comfortable, and she can hide there easily.

Most of the time, when you give your cat her own time, she will come on her own and explore the house with you on her own. Once she explores on her own, she will get used to the new surrounding.

In case if your feline friend is a bit sensitive, then you may have to seek professional help. Or else you can keep a cardboard box next to her litter box as an alternative to check whether she uses that box to hide or not. You can also keep her food at perches so that they move out and stay outside.

Summing It All Up!

If you have recently observed your cat hiding in the litter box more often, it could be a sign that she is sick or looking for a comfortable space that she can’t find at your home. Or she is trying to show her dominance to other cats by laying inside the litter box.

There are several reasons why is my cat laying in the litter box. Don’t panic; it is a normal problem. You can know more reasons by reading this post.

If you know of any other reason not mentioned above, do let us know in the comment section below.


  1. Why is My Cat Sleeping in the Litter Box? Your vet may have the answer – Purina
  2. Litter box training – RSPCA
  3. Litter Box Problems – ASPCA

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