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Unread 09-09-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Question Hanging out in the litter box

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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Unread 09-09-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hello! I've had a cat with this problem before also. A lot of the time this comes from cats who spent time in cages with metal, or wire bottoms, it's more comfortable than the cage base and can become a habit. You are probably right about the confined quarters contributing as well.

Your cat may also be looking for an area to lay that is not around people, especially if you have a covered litter box and your cat doesn't have a hidey-hole of some sort. Either way, I would recommend getting a basket or a cat condo for him and placing it in an area away from the general traffic...some cats really appreciate their privacy! (mine does not, she would love it if I could fit inside her litter box and tell her what a good job she does...every time she goes in there...)

If he has a hard time switching to the basket or condo, try putting some catnip in it to make it more appealing to him!
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Unread 09-09-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Hello, I'm glad Finnegan has found such a caring home with you. I think lareinerouge is right about the cause & possibe solution. A basket or a box where Finnegan can get away from it all may stop him lying in his litter tray. Most cats love boxes, you could put a blanket or a towel in their to make it more comfortable.
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Unread 09-09-2009   #4 (permalink)
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If you have a kitty crate, you can make it nice and comfy with a small towel or a blanket (something with your scent on it may help) and cover it with another towel or blanket. Then put it in a room you don't use, or a closet (leave the door open a bit so your cat can get in and out!)
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