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Cat Sleeping in The Litter Box

Cat sleeping in litter box.

Cats are unique animals that like other pets have their own personalities and sometimes they have odd behavior. Behavior can also indicate a physical problem, which is why it is important to take note of any change in how your cat acts. One very strange behavior is if your cat starts sleeping in the litter box. Read on to learn more about why cats might suddenly start to sleep in their litter box.

Why Do Cats Sleep in their Litter Box?

There are many reasons that cats may choose a litter box as a place to nap. Sometimes this behavior can indicate an actual physical problem but this is not always the case. We will discuss the main reasons why some cats might sleep in their litter box.

Cat sleeping in beautiful litter box.


Cats are territorial creatures that routinely mark their territories through urinating. A cat can smell many scents including the scent of other animals and other cats that are in a household. By sleeping in a litter box; the cat is stopping other cats from entering the box and marking territory.

If you have several cats and only one litter box, then you may notice a cat sleeping in a litter box. One solution is to supply as many litter boxes as you have cats, so five cats would mean five litter boxes. This way each cat can have its own territory to mark.


Another reason a cat might decide a cat litter box is the perfect bed is if they are feeling insecure or stressed for some reason.

  • Any change to the household such as getting another pet may also trigger this behavior.
  • Moving home and introducing your cat to a new place is also a stressful event that may cause the cat to start to sleep in their litter box.
  • A pregnant cat may also choose a litter box to give birth; this is more likely if the litter box is an enclosed type.

A good way to solve this problem is to buy a second cat litter box and add soft material to it so the cat has a better choice but can use a box of the same shape.

Generally, a cat won’t sleep in a dirty litter box so the behavior is most common in automatic self-cleaning cat litter boxes or boxes that are kept clean all the time.

Cat sleeping in blue litter box.

Hot weather

On hot days, a cat will seek a cool place. For them, a nice cool place to nap maybe a clean cat litter box with cool sand. Providing a different cool place for your cat to lie down is one way to get them to stop sleeping in their litter box on hot days.


A sick cat may decide to bed down in a litter box. Certain diseases can trigger this type of behavior, especially in conditions where the cat tends to urinate a lot. For instance:

  • Blood sugar issues like diabetes.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Kidney infections.
  • Bladder infections.

Some of these illnesses, like diabetes, are more likely in older cats, so you are more likely to see your elderly cat sleeping in the litter box.

Cat sleeping in black litter box.

How to Stop a Cat from Sleeping in a Litter Box

It can be difficult to stop your cat from choosing to sleep in their litter box. The first step is to find out why your cat is behaving the way it is. If you have more than one cat in the home then you can buy more litter boxes to stop the territoriality that is going on. It is a good idea if the behavior begins suddenly to take the cat for a checkup. A vet can examine your cat to see if there is not possibly an illness or infection that is bothering your cat. This is more likely in an older cat. If it is an illness then proper medical treatment can help your cat and stop it from sleeping in the litter box.


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