Aged cat sleeping in kitty litter box

by Kat
(Dublin)

My cat is 13 years old now and when I moved into a new apartment over a year ago she insisted on sleeping with me every night. She'd previously always been an aloof cat so I figured it was because she was moving into a new place without her sister who had died several years before.

As time passed she moved on to other places, the window and also the space under the sink but still insisted on my attention as much as possible, meowing at me from where she was perched even if my lap was free for her to sit on.

She eventually sat on me less and less, returning to her old aloof nature, preferring to remain where she was until three days ago.

I just put this down to her old age until she is all of a sudden insisting in sleeping in her kitty litter box. She has never done this before, and is quite content for me to go up to her to pet her and all, but I'm worried about this new behaviour.

She has been acting more skittish recently, but with no new addition to the household or anything I can think of that could stress her, I am at my wits end to know what to do. Please help.






My Thoughts:

I'm sorry to hear that your kitty is having troubles, Kat. Whenever I hear about a cat sleeping in the litter box my concern is always that it's something more than behavioral.

If it were my cat, I would contact my veterinarian as soon as possible and make sure it's not a medical problem.

I've done some research on this behavior and most of the information I've found from experts is for specific situations where a cat is heavily stressed or ill. Some cats will run and hide somewhere if they're stressed or ill, sleep all day in one spot, and so on.

Sleeping in the box may be a way to help your cat feel safe. It has also been speculated that it may be a way to help regulate body temperature.

Here is an answer from a veterinary technician on a similar question...

Cat sleeping in the litter box

There have been a couple of readers who have said their cats have done the same thing. Here are two examples:

Neutered male cat sleeps in litter box

Sleeping in the litter box

I hope that helps a little. Please let us know how she makes out.

-Kurt

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