Playing in the litter box, such as scratching or digging, is a common activity for most cats. Because of their innate need to utilize their waste products as territorial markings, you may have noticed that your feline buddy often hides or buries their waste. Some cats like playing in the litter box, but if you observe yours doing it often or if you find it sleeping there, it may be the reason for worry.

One thing that can always be said about cats is that they are mysterious and difficult to anticipate. The only way to determine why your cat is playing in the litter box is to closely monitor its actions and hunt for clues about its mental state and motivations.

Is it normal for cats to play in the litterbox?

Cats relaxing or even sleeping in their litter boxes are more widespread than you may expect, but it is often an unpleasant habit. Cats will often use the litter box as a place to play to relieve some of their more primal needs. Litter box play is a popular activity for kittens. Jumping, scratching, and rolling around in the litter box are all appropriate types of play. Using the litter box excessively may be a symptom of a medical or psychological problem.

If your cat is playing in the litter box, he may be bored. Allowing your cat to spend too much time in the litter box might make them sick or uncomfortable, and it also means more litter will be tracked about the house and cleaned up. A lot of odd cat behavior may be attributed to boredom: It’s definitely boredom if your cat goes across the counter, knocking everything off with their paw.

If they start attacking your feet as you pass them, it might be from boredom. If they’ve moved on to the litter box, the catnip-stuffed mouse you brought home an hour ago probably wasn’t that exciting. Provide them with a new toy or a new kitten post to be thrilled about.

Speak to them and get to know them. When they have something better to do, they are likely to forsake their urine-stained playpen. Cats may become withdrawn and hide if they are anxious. Cats prefer to hide inside their litterboxes and happily play within them. If you’ve just moved into a new house or acquired a new cat, puppy, or kid, this can create worry, which appears as anxious behavior. Storms and fireworks are more probable causes.

To help your cat acclimate to the new environment, think about using natural anti-anxiety therapies or see your vet about getting anti-anxiety medication. Bringing a new dog or cat into the home might cause tension, but territorial fights can also break out. Your cat may begin sleeping or lounging in the litter box if it becomes worried that the new family member may attempt to claim it for their own use.

One litter box per cat, plus one more, is the ideal situation. This ensures that your cats will always have access to a litter box. In order to prevent fights over territory, it may be a good idea to set up additional litter boxes. Relocating may be stressful for anybody, but cat owners must consider the emotional toll it may have on their feline friends.

After you move, your cat may only perceive the litter tray as a source of stability in an ever-changing environment, rather than just a location to urinate and defecate. The vast majority of cats will eventually get up from the litter box on their own. The heavy lifting and noisy sounds are likely to continue for many days. Keep a bed and blanket out from your old place even if you’re replacing everything else. You may be certain that your cat will feel safe and secure in its new surroundings, thanks to this.

Should I let my kitten play in the litterbox?

Cats have their own designated sleeping spots due to their picky nature and their propensity for fastidious grooming. Don’t be surprised, therefore, if you come home to find your cat napping in the litter box. It is unclear if a cat’s preoccupation with its litter box and other bathroom fixtures is normal behavior or an indicator of an underlying health issue. Your cat may be trying to establish ownership of the litter box by playing in it. Your cat may become possessive of his or her space at home and actively discourage visitors.

Providing many litter boxes might help your cat feel more at ease, which in turn reduces the need for him or her to spray for territory. If you’ve just brought a new pet into the home, it may be best to keep it apart from your cat until you’re ready to introduce them. Particularly if you’ve just moved to a new kind of litter, your cat may find the litter box to be a soothing place. It’s possible that your cat is confused by the plethora of aromas and textures in his litter box and that a softer litter, such as recycled paper might be more relaxing and conducive to napping.

Making changes to the litter box too quickly might exacerbate this issue, so do your best to ease through any adjustments. You should start by putting in about a quarter of your fresh litter and work your way up to the whole bag before removing the old litter. Your cat needs time to become used to the new litter box and associate it with doing business there instead of simply playing.

Why does my cat spend time in litter box?

The feline species has a penchant for unusual hangouts. It’s not unusual to discover your cat in an unusual posture, such as curled up on top of a cupboard or hiding beneath your furniture. However, it may be reason for worry if your cat seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in the litter box.

For those of you who have wondered, “Why is my cat sitting in the litter box?” In this post, we’ll look at the six most often cited explanations, which might range from playful to harmful. We’ll analyze why your cat is acting strangely and discuss some strategies for helping him or her return to regular behavior.

1. They may feel secure there

Do you happen to have a new feline family member? But although you can’t wait to show off their new digs, they could have other plans. Adopted cats often experience stress, which may appear in a variety of ways.

  • Imperatives of Personal Hygiene
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Restlessness or nervousness
  • Disguised in unusual locations
  • As an example, they may choose to conceal themselves in the litter box.

If your cat was adopted from a shelter, the litter box might be a familiar comfort in a foreign area. Enclosed litter boxes have the added benefit of providing a safe hiding place for cats. The following are some suggestions for coping with a new cat that spends too much time in its litter box:

Allow some time for the new pet to acclimate; it may be the only way to prevent the cat from using the litter box as a bathroom. Although the time it takes for your cat to come out of the litter box and into your arms may vary, we are certain that they will do so if you provide them with a safe, secure, and loving environment. 

Maintain a high standard of cleanliness. If you want your new cat to stop using the litter box, you may need to clean it more often. The odors that attract them will be gone after you remove their feces. You also don’t want your cat lounging about in a filthy litter box.

Keep in mind that stress is a typical cause for a cat to prefer the comfort of the litter box. The bathroom is a safe haven for everybody in the house, not just newcomers. Always be on the lookout for signs of nervousness in your cat and do all you can to calm them down before they become a serious issue.

2. They’re looking to play

Using the restroom is more exciting than playing in the litter box, right? If you ask some cats, a lot. Small kittens who have never used a litter box before often take their time getting used to it. However, this doesn’t imply that adult cats can’t carry their antics into the toilet.

There are a few common triggers for when cats first start playing in their litter box. Disinterested because there isn’t enough to do – If you’ve been too busy with work or life, in general, to play with your cats, they may be seeking alternatives.

If a cat doesn’t receive enough attention and playtime, it may start playing in the litter box. Irrational behavior based on primal urges – In the wild, cats use dust as a kind of a wash. This method permits them to shed the irritating undercoat of hair that harbors germs. If your cat does not like going outdoors, the litter box may serve as a suitable alternative.

Though you can’t change your cat’s nature, you may prevent it from boreding itself in the litter box by providing it with other activities. It’s time to teach your cat that there’s more to life than just playing with the same old thing by treating him or her to some new toys and setting aside some special playtime just for them.

3. The litter issue must be addressed

When it comes to their own preferences, cats are quite picky. If you’ve ever dealt with a really demanding cat, you may find that to be an understatement. Toys, food, and litter box placement are all major factors in their lives. Your cat may be unhappy and trying to tell you about it by refusing to use the litter box.

Dissatisfied felines often have issues with the litter box, and this may be due to a variety of factors. A change in the cat litter – Your cat may have an adverse reaction to any change in litter, whether you went from a soft to a clay-based litter or just changed brands. It usually only takes a few days for a cat to adjust to a new litter, but if they’re still unhappy after two weeks, you may want to consider going back to the old one.

It is not clean enough – However contradictory it may seem, if your litter box is unclean, your cat may spend more time in there. It’s possible that this is the most straightforward method for your cat to catch your attention, given that it can’t instruct you to clean the litter.

Your cat will have to spend more time hunting for a clean location to defecate if the litter box isn’t kept clean, so do them a favor and pick them some new cat litter. Maybe your cat might even benefit from having additional ways to spend their alone time. You could want to install some more litter boxes throughout the house. If you want to make sure your cat always has a clean location to do its business, you may also get a self-cleaning litter box.

4. Labor pains have set in

Even though most cat owners elect to have their pets altered, some may want to breed their cats or adopt pregnant cats. You may soon be a proud owner of a new litter of kittens if your cat is spending so much time in the litter box. Seeing your cat curled up in the litter box might make the wonder of birth seem less miraculous. However, there are measures you may do to ease her way through the transition, such as:

Give your cat the comfort she needs by giving birth in a warm, quiet place. You should provide her with fresh towels and somewhere clean (apart from the litter box) to keep the kittens if she chooses to have any. Feline kittens need enough food and water after giving birth since having kittens is a very taxing procedure. Deliver some nourishment and fluids to help her recover after giving delivery. To satisfy her hungry kittens, she’ll need it.

5. Y’all got a clog

A blockage is the most likely medical cause of your cat’s odd behavior. This may take the shape of:

  • Constipation
  • Infection of the urinary tract
  • The ailment known as kidney stones
  • Interstitial cystitis in cats

All of these illnesses may be remedied by a vet doctor. It’s always a good idea to obtain a second opinion from a vet if you’re worried that your cat could be experiencing a health problem. To alleviate your cat’s discomfort, take her to the vet as soon as possible.

6. They are claiming their territory

When there are numerous cats in a household, there is certain to be some conflict. While felines are known to get along with one another, a power struggle is possible when adding a new cat into the household. It is normal for a cat to show its dominance at these times by refusing to leave the litter box. When your cat uses the litter box, it is sending a message to other cats in the neighborhood via its smell glands. You can get your territorial cat to stop being so aggressive by doing things like:

Separation – Your cat may require time alone if he or she is very possessive or aggressive toward other felines. They may relax and regain their composure if given some personal space. After that, you may gradually reintroduce them to the rest of your animals in a safe setting. Building up good times – By feeding and playing with your cats together, you may foster affection and companionship between them. The other pets in the home may be more easily tolerated if they develop a positive association with them.

7. Troubles with health

The ability of a cat to defecate may be affected by urinary problems or illnesses. Imagine that your cat is trying to urinate but is unsuccessful. Potential causes include Feline Interstitial Cystitis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.

This neurological condition may impair a cat’s elimination abilities. If your cat is rolling about, it might be because of an itch. It’s possible that this is a sign of dermatitis, or it might be something more severe. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you see any of these behaviors, particularly if unusual mood swings or vocalizations accompany them.

How to stop your cat from lying in the litterbox?

Each cat should have at least one litter box, and two are ideal. If you have cats, however, that may change. While some feline residents prefer a stationary litter box, others like the freedom of several options. However, your cat will experience a greater sense of security if you provide many different boxes for them to choose from. Having various litter box locations is helpful for households with many cats since it reduces the likelihood of fights breaking out.

A covered litter box may provide some welcome anonymity. To use a litter box that cleans itself will be less pleasant. They won’t feel as secure in a smaller, shallower pan. If your cat is throwing litter about the litter box, burrowing too deeply, or scratching at the edges of the box, it’s time to clean it out and put in fresh litter. Using clumping litter or an automatic litter box is the best approach to guarantee a fast and painless cleaning and scooping of the pan. Rolling about and rummaging in a pan with less rubbish would be less fun. However, it will need to be cleaned more often.

However, a cat will feel more at home and secure if there are many boxes for them to choose from. Having more than one litter box location is recommended for households with many cats to reduce the likelihood of fights. A covered litter box may provide some welcome anonymity. To use a litter box that cleans itself will be less pleasant. In addition, they won’t feel as secure in a deeper, smaller pan.

Your cat needs fresh litter if it is throwing litter about the litter box, digging excessively, or scratching at the edges of the box. Using clumping litter or an automatic litter box is the best approach to guarantee a fast and painless cleaning and scooping of the pan. Rolling about and rummaging in a pan with less rubbish would be less fun. Cleansing will have to be done more often, however. When a cat stops using the litter box, it might be an indication of emotional or physical suffering. Keeping a careful eye on how your cat uses the litter box might help you uncover secrets you never knew were there. If you have to hold your breath to do it, concentrate as much as possible!

How to stop your cat from playing in litterbox?

When cats refuse to use the litter box or abuse it in some other way, it may be the source of endless frustration for their owners. These are the most typical problems I see in my office and at home with my own cats when it comes to the litter box.

1. Avoidance

A bewildered or bemused-looking kitten stands in its litter box.

Problems that cause cats to avoid using litter boxes often have simple answers. Most cat owners have trouble with their cats using the litter box, and this is the leading cause of cats being given up to shelters. There are a variety of easy-to-fix reasons why some cats avoid the litter box (see below).

2. The act of guarding or bullying a litter box

Most of the time, the alpha cat will block the other cats’ access to the litter box, whether they are trying to get in or get out. BooBoo is the dominant male of our cat family, and I’ve caught him on several occasions entrapping Hope in the litter box. If your cat is being harassed in the litter box, you might consider placing other boxes in easily accessible locations around the house.

3. Playing outside

I have seen kitten littermates following each other into the litter box and turning toilet time into fun on several occasions. This may last far into adulthood and often occurs with siblings. Some adult cats, however, join in on the kitten fun as well.

A cat belonging to one of my customers always brings her plush animal with her, even into the bathroom or the litter box. Abby, my own cat, loves to roll about in the new litter after I’ve cleaned out the litter box. That’s a concept that I can’t even begin to grasp!

4. Being at the edge

When using the litter box, my cat Sunny stands on his hind legs on the rim while resting against the nearby wall with his upper body. This is the most unusual method I have ever seen a cat use for using a litter box. From time to time, this strategy works. When he misses the box and falls on the floor, or when he loses his footing and flips the box over, he usually leaves a large mess. While Sunny’s attempts to “get into position” often leave me with a mess to clean up, I can’t help but giggle every time I see it.

5. Non-burial refusal

Even while cats often bury their waste, there are situations when they choose not to. Declawed cats are more likely to have this problem since they are sensitive to the feel of specific litters on their paws. When marking his territory, a cat may choose not to bury his scent marker every time. When my BooBoo does anything like this, Tinkerbelle immediately covers it up.

Why does my cat scratch the sides of the litterbox?

Like true ninjas, some cats never want anybody to see them doing their business in the bathroom. If your cats are anything like mine, though, going to the litter box is more of an occasion. They have to make it clear what they’re up to, so they scratch up the whole litter box and cover their feces with a thick layer of fur.

To what end, therefore, do felines scuff at the litter box’s sides? Some cats may scratch at the litter box walls in an effort to hide their waste if there isn’t enough litter. If your cat has dirt on its paws, it may scratch at the litter box walls to get it off. If this noise is driving you crazy, too, it would be helpful to understand what’s causing it and whether or not it’s anything you can alter.

When it comes to the hygiene of our fluffy rulers, that’s just one more reason to appreciate them. What occurs when a cat’s digging and scratching extends beyond the litterbox itself, such as the edges of the litterbox, is not the most pleasant sound, but it is indicative of the cat’s neat and tidy nature.

If you’re a novice cat owner, you may be surprised to learn that your cat’s natural inclinations require them to rummage around in the litter box before and after each bowel movement. It’s a built-in defense system that evolved to keep them safe from predators. If your cat uses your yard as a litterbox, it will be doing something quite similar to what it would do in the wild. However, in the natural, they won’t be limited by the sides of the litterbox and will be able to dig as far as they need to.

An indoor cat will inevitably scratch the plastic litter box, whether it’s the sides or the bottom. It depends on your cat’s digging habits, but more litter may keep them from scratching up the litter box itself.

Some cats scratch the litterbox walls for no apparent reason, while others do it to remove clumps of litter that has become lodged between their toes. Scratching the sides is a common behavior for some cats, whereas, for others, it may only occur in extreme circumstances, such as when they have diarrhea.

It might be shocking to hear your cat wreak havoc in the litterbox after you’ve just cleaned it or replaced the litter. Kittens of mine used to joyously roll about in the new litter, which was both adorable and revolting. Territorial marking is another potential explanation for your cat’s litterbox scratching behavior.

This is common in households with several cats or in households where cats have not been spayed or neutered. Cats, as we all know by now, have an inherent need for cleanliness. They spend hours ironing their jackets, like to sleep on spotless bedding and are always the first to grab the clean towels.

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People also ask related to cat playing in litterbox

My cat seems to be behaving strangely in the litter box, why is that?

Medical issues, an aversion to the litter box, or a predilection for peeing or defecating in locations outside the box are just some of the possible causes of your cat’s litter box troubles. When a cat has trouble using the litter box, it might be because of a number of different medical issues.

How can I prevent my kitten from using the litter box as a play area?

You may also purchase a mat to place beneath the covered litter box to collect any stray litter that may fall through the cracks. If you can’t stand it any longer, grab your kitten’s favorite toy and try to coax him away. He’ll wear himself out from some good, old-fashioned playtime with you. If the problem persists, you might also try using a different kind of litter.

To what end does my cat return to the litter box to play after I’ve cleaned it?

Some cats, for reasons that will always remain a mystery to us, really take great pleasure in rummaging about in their litter boxes and even playing there. This is quite a typical occurrence. However, there are instances when there is too much scratching in the litter box. Don’t automatically go for the earplugs before you’ve considered the possibility that she’s experiencing some level of irritation.

The kittens’ play in the litter box begs the question, “why?”

Your cat may be bored if it spends time playing in the litter box. Regardless, keeping your cat cooped up in the litter box may make them sick or uncomfortable, and it nearly guarantees that more litter will be dragged about the home, necessitating further cleaning.

What causes cats to do the Zoomies immediately after a bowel movement?

Your cat can be experiencing the zoomies because of the nerve in their body that is stimulated during feces. According to Shojai, the nerve being activated is the vagus nerve, which extends from the brain to the rest of the body and regulates the digestive system.


One litter box per cat, plus one more, is a rule of thumb. However, that is cat dependent. While some feline companions prefer a single, fixed litter box, others thrive on the freedom that many boxes provide. However, your cat will experience a greater sense of security if you provide many different boxes for them to choose from.

If you have more than one cat, you should provide them with separate litter boxes to reduce the likelihood of fights. Scrape out the old litter and replace it with new if your cat is flinging it about, digging excessively, or clawing the edges of the box. To do cleaning and scoop the pan as easily as possible, clumping litter or an automatic litter box should be used.

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