Why Is My Cat Sleeping in Their Litter Box?

Is your cat sleeping in their litter box? It’s not the most pleasant idea, but sometimes it can be harmless. However, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly, as it may be the sign of something more serious.

A cat sleeping in their litter box could be because of a urinary tract infection or a problem with their kidneys. It can also just be because they are intimidated and want to go somewhere they feel is secure, or it may be a sign of dominance in a home with lots of cats.

If your cat’s behavior changes then you should monitor it and seek an expert opinion, especially as some of the reasons a cat might sleep in a litter tray are because of a medical issue.


Ultimately, cats sleeping in their litter box is going to be a behavioral change or because of an illness. And so, for most house cats that are relatively settled, where there hasn’t been a change to their day-to-day structure, it’s likely to be a medical issue if they suddenly start sleeping in their toilet. 

Territorial issues

Once you’ve made sure that your cat isn’t unwell, then you can start considering some of the other reasons that they might be sleeping in the litter tray. One option is if they are being territorial. 

A reaction to stress or fear

Cats like to feel secure and safe, and when they are stressed out, anxious or afraid they will look to remove themselves from the situation and find a spot where they feel more comfortable. 

Pregnancy and labor

If you’ve got a pregnant cat then that’s all the more reason they may start deciding to sleep in the litter tray – if they’re about to give birth, they want to do it somewhere quiet and where they know their babies will be secure. 

Kittens being…kittens

If your cat is still a young kitten, there’s a good chance they’ve just not figured out that they aren’t supposed to sleep in the litter tray yet. They might think it’s somewhere fun, or just get tired and decide it’s a place for a nap. 

So what should you do?

The first thing should always be to rule out an illness, especially if your cat has shown no reason for any of the behavioral issues to be the cause.  

You’ll likely know if your cat is pregnant or stressed, or having territorial issues, so if your cat sleeping in the litter tray comes as a surprise then book an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. 

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