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Old 09-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hanging out in the litterbox?!

I recently adopted two kittens (some of you may recognize me from another post about kitten-kitten introductions. Thanks for the assistance on that question!).

One of the kittens (the male, Finnegan) came from a cat rescue/adoption organization that operates similarly to the Humane Society. They regularly take their cats/kittens on alternate weekends to either Petco or Petsmart to try and get them adopted. That is where we got Finnegan.

The problem I have is that Finnegan likes just lying in the litterbox - even when the litterbox has been used (I have already had to wash him once to get cat poo out of his fur)!! I am very grateful that he uses the litter box, but I would rather that he didn't lie down in it and hang out!!

I think he may do this as a result of the time he spent in a too-small cage with too many other kitties when he was in Petsmart & Petco (when I saw him there were 2 other kittens with him and there wasn't enough room for them plus a small litter box plus food and water bowls - so, there was generally one kitten lying in the litterbox).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to stop lying down (and hanging out) in the litterbox? I don't want to deter him from using the litterbox - I just want him to stop lying in it!

I put down a crinkly tunnel toy in the hopes that he would like to lie in that - it hasn't worked. I guess I could try a larger crinkle mat. Any other ideas or tips? I would greatly appreciate it (as would Finnegan as he doesn't like being bathed!).

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

My 4 month old does this too. Apparently it is very common with kittens. They view the litter box as a safe place (remember their ancestors only pooped in places they deemed safe) so it's natural that they'd want to sleep there too. They're supposed to grow out of it as they see that your entire house is safe for them. However, some cats never outgrow it if they're scared of something in your house such as a rivaling cat, dog, child, etc.

Oh and I switched from a regular litter to a scented one. This way, my little Charlie can sleep in it when he wants and still comes out smelling like flowers (even when there's poop in there too). I recommend Fresh Step Scented if you're gonna do that too.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

I thought I was going to have this problem with my cats also, one of them started sleeping in there but lucky for me
he stoped after the one time. hopefully your cat will quickly out grow that habit....good luck

now he tips over trash cans, empties them all over the floor and goes to sleep in the trash can
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rothhar
now he tips over trash cans, empties them all over the floor and goes to sleep in the trash can
You know you're a cat person when instead of freaking out and yelling, you find this cute.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

Cali started hanging out on the lovely beaches of San Diego -- er, okay, in the litter box -- a few times. I didn't want to tell her to get out or make her think in ANY way it was a bad place, so I just started playing with one of her toys and she jumped out. She stopped doing it after a couple days. Of course, who knows where she lounges when I'm not home. I found a little tiny umbrella the other day, so she's probably having Charlee serve her drinks while she's in there.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

It is very common with shelter/rescue kitties. As you suspect, it's their safe haven in their little cage. Most do grow out of it, but I would make sure you provide another safe place for him. Even a cardboard box with a towel in it. If you find him sleeping in his litter box, take him to his new bed or box and put him in there. You could even put a little catnip in it for him.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

When I brought Cleo home, she was a year old and was coming from another home, but her litter box was the only thing I was given of hers, and she slept there the first day or so. As soon as she had access to the rest of the house, she slept with me on my pillow and has been there ever since.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hanging out in the litterbox?!

If you have ever been to a shelter or attended a cat adoption event you'll see that for the most part the cats sit in an open empty cage. The only place where they cat sort of hide is in the litter box. I suspect your cat was in a similiar situation and is associating the litter box with a sense of comfort.

Maybe provide a cardboard box nearby for the cat to use. I'll bet the cat will grow out of it.
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