Help! My Misty is SLEEPING and LOUNGING in her litterbox.

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  1. #1 Jan 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
    I have a beautiful 3 year old cat named Misty, who we rescued from the Humane Society when she was a kitten. She was only a few months old when we got her, so I'm confident that she hasn't been abused or neglected.

    We recently found out that she's been sleeping and hanging out in her litterbox. She literally lies down in it, even if it's dirty. She is long-haired, and is really bad about cleaning herself and giving herself baths. My other cat sometimes gets frustrated and tries to clean her, but Misty herself is pretty dirty overall. I brush her, but her coat is still long, and probably picks up TONS of nasty germs from the litter and poop (oh yeah... she doesn't cover her poop either!).

    I'm pregnant, and DS is only 18 months old, so this has freaked us out considerably since we don't know how long exactly it's been happening. On an possibly related note, I've been sick since December.

    We caught her doing this a few months ago, and we thought we "trained" her to stop, but we saw her doing it again last night. She might have been doing it all along, while we weren't around! How can I possibly clean my house enough to keep us from getting sick from her??

    How can we possibly keep her from doing this? Has anyone experienced this before? She has expensive cat beds, towers, a sister (Mia) to play with, and the litter gets scooped out frequently and changed once a week.

    We're keeping her in the master bedroom and master bath for now, because we don't want her spreading germs and bacteria everywhere, but now DS and I can't even go in there.

    My husband, bless his heart, still wants to keep her in the family, but I'm so frustrated and scared for my family's health that I'm looking into no-kill shelters in our area.

    Sorry this is so long. I'm so upset since I love Misty and I'm torn with what I may have to do.
     
  2. I don't know how to change that habit, but why do you think your cat could make you sick? I don't see how this could happen if your cats are healthy, frequently de-wormed and up to date with their shots.

    Your other cats probably spreads the same germs by licking the private parts and licking her fur afterwards. ;)

    I would try to set up more litterboxes so there's always a clean one for her to go in for a nap. Some cats just seem to like litterboxes. How many litterboxes do you have right now?
     
  3. Oh no..

    I'm sorry your kitty is napping in her cat box. I used to see kitties do this when I would go look for a cat at shelters or pet stores.

    None of my cats have ever done that before. Can you call your vet and get advice?

    I can see how you are concerned and especially being pregnant. DH was the one who cleaned the kitty box the times I was pregnant because I did read that women who are pregnant shouldn't clean litter boxes.

    I'm not pregnant now but I certainly wouldn't want my cat laying in her littler box where she has poo,pee and germs then running around the house. She is a short haired cat and that would still bother me a lot.

    If you continue to feel sick ask your OB/GYN on your next visit or maybe call and just explain what is going on.

    I hope everything works out soon and Misty finds her kitty beds more appealing.
     
  4. We have three litterboxes now, and if we set up a new one, they'll probably just pee/poop in it like the others, so there's no way we can keep them clean.

    She sleeps directly on her exposed poop and pee right after she does her business. She doesn't cover it like our other cat does, and today I saw bits of poop on her underbelly that she hasn't bothered to clean. I'm sure I don't need to explain how sick you can get from that. The bateria levels alone must be sky high.

    Unfortunately, I can't even protect myself by sniffing to see if she's smeared poop in the room somewhere. I lost my sense of smell from this crazy illness I have right now, and the Dr. says it might be permanent. I've been coughing non-stop since Dec. I was so sick that I was hospitalized for 2 days, my unborn baby girl was running a fever of 106 (I was at 103).

    I have an extremely high risk pregnancy (I've had weekly Dr. vists since the 17th week) and gave birth at 29 weeks last time. With my 1st child, the Dr.'s wanted me to get rid of the cats completely, but we adjusted and worked through it until DS can be near them now. I guess I'm a little crabby since I love her and I'm so frustrated that she's been doing this.

    Oh yeah... when we caught her doing this months ago, we took her to the vet and she was cleared medically. I don't know what's changed to make her do this, or if anything changed at all. She may have been doing it all along, without us knowing. :confused1:
     
  5. I made an appt. for tomorrow to see my OB since I need to get tested for toxoplamosis now, and because we now possibly have an explanation for my constant coughing. I just hope my baby's ok. :crybaby:
     
  6. I hope that you find the answers to your health concerns. While having a cat is germy in the first place (I have 3 so I can say that). They walk in their litter then jump on the countertops etc...... Having one that isn't obsessively cleaning like most kitties makes it worse. Plus having a child who is constantly touching everything then putting their fingers in their mouths makes it so much scarier.

    Alot of kitty litterbox use is in them like "DNA" but alot is learned from it's Mother. Maybe your kitty was taken away from it's Momma to early. I have been doing internet searches and can't find anything about your problem.

    So here were my thoughts. How about getting them tiny litter boxes that she can't lay down in? Maybe using something that is for storing magazines or something? Or putting some bricks or something in the litter box to where she can't lay down. Also if she becomes an indoor outdoor kitty she will most likely begin going outside. I know it is dangerous for kitties to be outdoors though. Also having her groomed (shaved).

    But most importantly you have to make sure you are well.
     
  7. Ah, okay, I didn't understand that she was lounging in the litter box right after she used it. I wouldn't want a cat with poop stuck to any parts of her body either. ;)

    I can also unterstand that you have to be extra careful when you have a high risk pregnancy. I wish you and the baby all the best.

    Maybe one of those self cleaning litterboxes could work. As far as I know the litterbox will be cleaned right after the cat used it and maybe it will irritate Misty and she will find a new place to lounge. Or at least there will be no more uncovered poop in the box. ;)
     
  8. That's good to hear you already made an appt. I'm sorry to hear you have been sick lately.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon for yourself and your baby. I also hope that Misty gets her littler box situation worked out also.

    I will send good vibes to you and your baby..
     
  9. OMG, that's such a great idea! There are some that have a machine that comes down and rakes through the litter, right? Maybe it will shoo her out.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback... I've been googling and I haven't found a definitive answer. I'll try the automatic litterbox this weekend.

    When we first found out, we tried to train her by monitoring her for 3 days and shooing her out once she did her business, until she started leaving on her own, but I guess it didn't take like we thought it would.
     
  10. One of my kitties doesn't cover his or her poop in the litter box. I think that is just a personal preference thing.
    I have heard of kitties sometimes lounging in their litter boxes; however, it is strange that she would get in there when it is dirty. Definitely take her in to your vet.
    I have quite a bit of animal experience and this is something I really haven't heard of before.
    If she is long-haired, she probably does need to be groomed if she isn't able to clean herself. That is also something that you should bring up with your vet.
    Oh, and my kitties couldn't care less about their cat beds. They sleep on pillows or purses.

    Good luck and I hope you and your baby are healthy.
     
  11. Sorry that you're going through this stress. I had a high-risk pregnancy too (much less so than yours), and I still made DH change the litterbox all the time.

    I had one of the automatic litter boxes a while back. It raked the litter maybe a minute or two after the cat left; there was some sort of motion detector to make sure kitty was not in it at the time. But I think you could also set it to go at timed intervals, so that might help. I think most of them work this way.

    There's another one called the CatGenie that you might want to look at if you have a water and drainage hookup available, like in a laundry room. We got it for a friend as kind of a joke, but it's turned out to work well. It uses permanent litter pellets and actually washes and dries them after the cat uses it. It also looks from the picture like the litter bowl is smaller, so it might also discourage lounging. I think you'll have the same issue with it not triggering while your kitty is in there, though.

    Good luck with a solution and with your pregnancy!!