Help for kitten with phantom bugs who is also suddenly sleeping in her litter box

by Julie
(Daytona Beach, FL)

I have a 5 month old, female cat named Elli who is acting completely out of the norm. I adpoted her from a shelter in February and she's been spayed. She's a wonderful kitten, has never given me any trouble, and I absolutely adore her! Elli and I moved about two weeks ago (from Oklahoma City to Florida) and are staying with family temporarily. There are other cats living here, which may be part of the problem, but she stays in our room most of the time (other cats are not allowed in our room) and has been out to play with the other cats a few times as well. Most of the other cats are happy to play with her, but a few will hiss at her and just walk away. She was fine the first few days we were here, but starting about 3 days ago, she's been twitching and frantically licking herself, running, and licking herself some more like something is crawling on her. I combed her and searched her for fleas or bugs and found nothing. The other cats have all been treated for fleas, so I'm sure they don't have them either. She also started laying and sleeping in her litter box, which I read may be a sign that she feels threatened or that she's protecting her space from the other cats. Since the other cats have never been in our room, I'm not entirely sure why she would feel the need to protect her litter box. She used to sleep with me or curl up in bed with me while I was reading, and she still occasionally does, but she's spending more time just sitting in the litter box now. She also does the twitching/licking thing and immediately runs and jumps into her litter box and continues licking. She seems perfecty happy and healthy otherwise - still eating, drinking, grooming, playing, and using her litter box as normal. I'm just concerned about the twitching/licking and her constantly sitting and sleeping in her litter box. My guess is stress from the move and other cats, but why would that cause the twitches? Any ideas about what issues could be causing this behavior and how I can her help her would be greatly appreciated. Also if there are any safe, natural products out there I can use to clean her up. I clean her litter box several times a day now, but she's not smelling so fresh these days.. Aside from giving her a bath and/or giving her more love and attention, I'm not sure what to do. Thanks in advance for your help!!


Reply
Hi
Well it sounds to me more like an allergy issue. My cat was the same. She was flea and parasite free but if a flea jumped on her outside and bit her it would set off twitches and running and erratic behavior. We had to take her to the vets for an injection of antihistamines.

It could be that the new garden may have fleas living in it even if they are not actually on the cats because they are treated.

I have a page about cat allergies which you may find of further help here

http://www.our-happy-cat.com/cat-allergy.html

It is true that she is also probably feeling a little anxious about all the changes recently. cats don't like change and it can take them awhile to settle down into a new routine. However i don't think this would cause this twitching.

She may be laying in her litter tray because this is her territory and this is where she feels safe. if she is a little anxious and also possibly distressed from the twitching etc then it is not surprising that she wants to be in her safe place.

My advice would be to take her to a vet to have her skin looked at and for a some possible medication. I know how distressing it was for my cat.

best wishes kate

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