My cat has begun to sleep in the kitty box

by Theresa
(St Augustine, FL)

I bought a new litter and since then she has begun sleeping in the box.

My Thoughts:

Cats often rebel against change, and may become stressed by it. The litter box is one of the most important items in a cat's life, so it's not hard to imagine that there is some sensitivity there.

When you make major changes in your cat's life (such as new litter brand or type, or a new litter box), you should give your cat the right to choose and make the change slowly.

When changing litter:

You should normally not change litter and boxes/box types at the same time. When you do change the litter brand or type, do it slowly, mixing the two together. You do about 80 percent old, and 20 percent new to start. Then, increase the amount of new litter over several days/weeks until you have 100 percent new litter in there. If problems occur, go back to the old litter.

When changing boxes:

Leave the old box in place, and put the new box up. Use the exact same litter type and brand in the new box as the old. See if the cat accepts the new box. Once she begins to use it regularly, you can move the old box. If not, try a different new box, and so on.

Before I continue, I will say that I've never seen or heard of this behavior in a cat that was not deeply distressed or ill. Cats in shelters will sleep in the litter tray because they're stressed, fearful, or ill. So, my first reaction would be to call the vet and get an opinion.

My second reaction would be to put everything back the way it was and try to make the transition slowly. Let your cat decide what's right for her. If she immediately stops sleeping in the box, then you know what the problem was.

My third reaction would be to see if, coincidentally, something else is happening (or happened) to create additional stress on your cat. Then, work on both making your cat feel more comfortable, and removing the source of the stress.

I hope that helps. Good luck with her and please update us on her progress.


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Mar 18, 2009
Stressed kitten
by: chyle

A kit kat settling into its litter is very stressed and attempting to control the smallest corner of its world, which is all it feels capable of. Spend some extra time socializing the babe. Playtime is recommended.

What has changed in your home to make your kitten guard a small territory with such voracity? New pet? Move? All of which can throw an existing kit cat (especially a young one) into distress.

Be glad that you're not dealing with an older cat who tend to exhibit their displeasure with "MARKING behavior" that can compromise bedding (yours), shoes, keyboards and anything the babe sees as important to you.

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