How Long Can Cats Hold Their Pee and How To Detect If She’s Sick

Upright seated cat

How long can a cat go without peeing has been a never-ending debate by experts for years. Some experts say that it’s only 10 minutes; others claim that a cat can hold their pee for between 24 to 48 hours.

Put the cat in your shoes, how long can you hold your pee? I bet it will depend on several factors like,

  • How much water you have taken
  • The food you have eaten
  • Age
  • Prevailing weather conditions
  • Underlying medical conditions

These factors also apply to the cat. If a cat is consuming more water, she will pee more often. As a cat owner, if you feed your cat with dry cat foods without providing her with water, she will pee less.

 If your female cats have some stress or underlying medical conditions, they will pee more or less depending on the disease.

In this blog post, we’ll cover some tips on how to prevent accidents from happening in the first place so you don’t have to worry about how long your cat can hold their pee.

Why Would a Cat Stop Urinating?

A cat will stop urinating for many different reasons. The most common cause of a cat not peeing is an underlying health condition caused by their diet, stress, or age.

Veterinarians recommend that pet owners maintain the best possible quality of life for cats suffering from urinary tract problems and consider treatment as soon as they show signs of inability to pee.

What Makes a Cat Not to Pee? These are the main reasons why your cat won’t pee.

  • Insufficient drinking water.
  • Urinary tract infection or bladder stones.
  • Kidney disease (excessive thirst, urinating often, and a decrease in appetite).
  • Hyperthyroidism (frequent trips to the litter box that don’t produce anything).

Consult your vet immediately so that they can correctly diagnose the reason your male cats won’t pee

How Do You Know If Your Cat Has to Go to The Bathroom?

If your male cats are producing urine, they will be able to go to the bathroom effortlessly.

However, if there are any other changes in the consistency of their stool or if you notice them straining while going to the bathroom, then it’s worth taking a look at what may be causing the issue.

How to know if your cat has been peeing? Check:

  • The litter box–if it’s wet then there was likely urine in the past day or the current day and that’s a good sign.
  • The area around the litter box–if there’s urine on the floor that means your cat is not peeing in the bathroom.
  • How many times they’ve been to the litter box–cats will usually go at least once a day or more often if their water intake has decreased significantly. If their litter box has been emptied within the past day and they are still not urinating, then there is a problem.

What are the Symptoms of a Cat with Kidney Failure?

Cats are very good at hiding their illness and will often go days without exhibiting any symptoms of kidney failure.

 Cat owners should look out for:

  • Increased thirst:

The first sign is typically an increased thirst, which may be followed by urinating frequently.

  • Frequent urination:

Increased thirst is followed by urinating frequently, even as much as every hour or two in some cases. Urination becomes painful due to the buildup of bladder stones and waste products that can irritate the cats’ urinary tract.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea:

The cat may also have vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss:

Cats with kidney disease often lose weight and appetite for cat food, which are signs that the kidneys can no longer process nutrients and liquids efficiently.

What Are the Signs of a Sick Cat?

A cat should pass urine that is clear and pale yellow. Either way, if the urine is straw-colored, that’s also a sign of good health. When a cat passes urine with the following color code, this should send an amber alert to seek medical attention:

1.     Cloudy:

A cloudy pee means that there is some pus in the cat’s urine. This is not a sign of a disease or illness. It means that there is an infection in the lower or upper urinary tract of the cat. Use a home wellness test kit to detect the issue before taking your feline to the vet.

2.     Red/Pink:

A pinkish or reddish tint in your feline’s urine means that the urine has some blood in it. Feline lower urinary tract disorder and cystitis are the leading causes of blood present in a cat’s urine. The other reasons are polycythemia, which is the overproduction of red blood cells and kidney stones. Though they are not life-threatening, always take your pet cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Your cat’s pee should have a strong and acidic odor that should be bearable for you and your cat under normal conditions. If you find your cat’s urine to be quite offensive, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from a bladder infection.

Some high-end litter can detect any abnormality in the cat’s urine as soon as it happens. If you can afford it, good for you as it will make the diagnosis an easy affair for you.

How Long Can a Cat Hold Their Urine?

A cat can hold their pee for a maximum of 6 hours under normal conditions.

If your cat exceeds the 24-hour mark before passing any urine, you should seek immediate medical attention. A healthy cat will pee 4 to 6 times a day.

Be sure to know that your cat is not fooling you if you do not find any urine in the litter box. Perhaps it is doing its thing outside the litter box behind your back.

There is no timeline of how long can a cat go without peeing. A cat should use the bathroom as frequently as the prevailing conditions allow. Anything from 4 – 6 hours is permitted in between taking the leak.

How Often Should a Cat Urinate in 24 Hours?

In 24 hours, a cat can urinate between 2 to 4 times on average. In rare cases, some cats will not pass any urine for between 24 to 48 hours. However, anything that goes beyond 48 hours is a severe medical condition. How random a cat will pass urine is determined by the following conditions:

  • Diet consumed: some cat food withhold water levels in the body
  • Water intake: High water consumption means more urine frequency
  • Humidity: A cast will pass more urine when the humidity is high
  • Heat: The higher the temperature, the more the water consumption hence increases the amount of urine to be passed

It is also good to note that lack of pee or too much of it is a sign of an underlying medical condition and should not be overlooked at any time. Let your vet know of your findings, and he will offer you the best solutions.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Peeing Before It Is Dangerous?

Just like humans, a cat’s bladder and kidney function 24 hours a day. On a typical day of eating and drinking, can your cat go without urinating for 24 to 48 hours?

 It is a known fact that a cat’s bladder can hold urine for more than 24 to 36 hours. Should these hours extend beyond 48 hours, there is a severe problem with your feline.

After 48 hours, there is a significant buildup of toxins in the body that are very lethal to your cat and can result in death. Seek medical attention from your local vet with immediate effect since your cat’s life is in danger.

Can A Cat Hold Its Pee For 24 Hours?

A cat can hold his pee for 24 hours, though it is not recommended. If a cat holds his pee longer than that, toxins will begin to build in his body. We pee to flush out toxins, and in a small animal like a cat, these can build quickly, causing bladder inflammation and illness such as bacterial infection.

 If you’re traveling with your pet cat in a carrier, for instance, your cat can be in the carrier for almost a full day. Of course, it isn’t recommended, but if you can allow your cat to relieve himself more often than 24 hours you should allow her to do so.

You should use the bathroom more often than that if you’re traveling in a car with a cat.

What to Do If Your Cat Is Not Urinating

Once you realize that your cat has not been urinating, this is what you should do immediately to help relieve their bladder:

  • Consult with a vet for medications that will help to increase your cat’s urination.
  • Increase water and cat food intake–most cats need at least one liter or more of water per day, plus high protein foods like canned tuna fish or chicken broth.
  • If you have a diabetic cat that can’t pee, consult with your veterinarian and do not give them any medications without consulting first.

These tips will help you to make sure that your cat’s health is good!

Cat seated on table

Creative Ways to Encourage Your Cat to Take In More Water

  • To encourage your cat to drink more water, fill a shallow dish with filtered or bottled water and place it next to their food bowl.
  • You can also purchase an automatic pet water dispenser that attaches directly onto the wall near where they eat to provide them with fresh drinking water on demand.
  • Other ways of getting your cat interested include using stainless steel bowls as these tend not to corrode as ceramic ones do.
  • Add ice cubes into their drinking bowl. This will make it much cooler for them and stops boredom from setting in.

Can I Prevent Urinary Obstructions On My Cat?

Here are some tips you can use to prevent urinary obstruction in your feline friend.

  • Take your cat to the vet for a routine checkup twice per year. Any signs and symptoms of bladder inflammation or kidney disease will be smoked out in time.
  • Provide your cat with clean and fresh drinking water at all times of the day
  • Maintain a clean litter tray that is free from waste and odors. Make sure it is also easily accessible for your cats.
  • Provide your cats with balanced diets. Preferably canned cat food that has high moisture content and minimizes diets that are rich in mineral contents.
  • If your cat foretells any sign of a urinary system problem, consult your vet immediately.

How to treat urinary problems the right way in cats

  • To treat urinary system problems in your cat, you should start by cleaning their litter tray. How often you should clean it depends on the type of cat litter that you use and how many cats share it with your pet.
  • Secondly, it’s important to pay attention to what you feed your cat. How often a pet eats can also vary depending on the size and age of their stomach, but it is recommended that they have at least two meals per day of cat food for them not only to stay healthy but maintain proper bowel movements as well.
  • Lastly, if you want your cat to be healthy and happy, make sure that they are getting plenty of exercise by playing with them or giving them toys!
  • Medical treatment for urinary blockage in your cat should only be done with consultation with your veterinarian.

Tips On How to Help My Cat Pee

You can help your kitty pee by using the Ragdoll Technique, which expresses urine from a cat’s bladder. Here is how to go about it:

  • Hold your blocked cat by his armpits with the legs suspended over the litter box.
  • Gently try and locate the cat’s bladder by rubbing the bottom of its rib cage. The bladder should be swollen hence easy to identify.
  • Once you have located the bladder, use two fingers to squeeze the bladder gently, press it inwards, and your blocked cat should take a leak.
  • If this does not work out the first time, repeat the process repeatedly till your cat takes a leak. It will take a lot of patience and practice.

How Do I Know That My Cat Is Requires Medical Attention?

At times a cat will avoid using the litter box due to the following reasons:

  • When it develops dislike in the type of litter in the litter box
  • When sharing a single litter box with multiple cats
  • A dirty and smelly litter box
  • When the litter box is placed in hard to reach places
  • Lack of privacy for the cat
  • Stress and anxiety by the introduction of a new cat or pet

If all the above conditions tick right for your litter box, you should not be worried because you have a healthy kitty. What is going on is just a protest because of the prevailing conditions. However, if you find that you have fulfilled all the requirements above and your cat stops peeing, you should be concerned.

What Can I Do for My Cat to Pee and Poop Normally?

Just like you need a balanced diet, so does your lovely cat. You can take some measures to ensure that your feline does its thing, usually without any pressure. Here are some changes you can introduce to your cat:

1.     Water:

Provide your cat with ample and clean water. Ensure that the water points are located in different locations in the house for easy access. The watering points should be placed away from the food bowls, litter boxes, and high-traffic areas. A water fountain or a dripping tap works best.

2.     Diet:

Change your cat’s diet. Introduce foods that are rich in fiber content to aid in digestion to prevent constipation. Some dry foods will help your cat to increase her water intake levels.

An obese cat is more prone to a blocked urethra and kidney stones. Introduce a diet that will help your cat to shed some weight. Exercise very vital when shedding off a few pounds.

3.     Treatment:

Take your cat to the vet for treatment. Your vet will advise you on how best to take care of your cat to avoid further cases from arising.

4.     Litter Boxes:

If you are keeping more than two felines in your home, provide three litter boxes for your cat. Avoid having a dirty litter tray as it can be a source of bacterial infections. Keep them clean at all times by cleaning out the litter once per week.

5.     Stress-free:

Keep your felines stress-free. Any changes you want to make in the litter box let them be gradual and spread over time. Sudden changes will trigger stress on your indoor cat.

Why Does My Cat Pee for So Long?

A cat will pee for extended periods because it is experiencing some urethral blockage by mucus, sediments, or tissue inflammation. If you notice that your cat is straining while trying to pee, please consult your local vet for medical attention. This may be associated with bladder issues, stones in the kidney, or an obstruction of your cat’s urinary tract caused by a urinary tract infection.

Your cat may be experiencing pain while passing urine, making the process slow. It will spend more time in the litter box while trying to pee. This makes it a long process, for it will be passing urine in small amounts.

Monitor your cat’s urine routine to help you detect any change in the cat’s behavior while peeing.

Is One Litter Box Enough for One Cat?

The rule of thumb is that for every one cat, there should be an additional litter box. That is two litter boxes for one cat.

My Cat Is Eating and Drinking but Not Peeing

If your lovely pet is eating and drinking, generally by there is no pee in the litter box, there is a reason to worry. The cat urinary tract may be blocked by the following:

  • Thick mucus or mineral-like crystals
  • Feline lower urinary tract disease, also known as (FLUTD)
  • Cystitis
  • Urethritis
  • Other bacterial infections

However, if you notice that your cat is passing urine while in pain, it is a sign that it suffers from feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The cat’s urine will also contain blood, and they will also tend to lick their genital areas to relieve the pain and pressure build-up in the bladder.

How do you handle yourself when undergoing stress? Do you avoid wet food, or do you overeat? Well, then a cat will not pass urine while experiencing stressful moments.

You can expose your cat to stress by introducing a new pet in the household, changing the litter box’s type of litter box, changing the litter box’s position, and introducing a new diet. If you have to make changes, let them be gradual for your pet to adapt.

If you do not seek immediate medical attention for a quick physical exam, it might turn fatal for your feline friend.


If you have a cat and it just won’t pee, then don’t worry. There are many potential reasons why your furry friend isn’t going to the bathroom.

The first thing that you should do is take them to the vet for an exam.

They may need more drinking water or they might be suffering from a feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), infection or bladder stones, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.

 To detect symptoms of kidney failure in cats, look out for increased thirst followed by frequent urination over time.

Work with your veterinarian officer to diagnose what the real issue is and work upwards. Cheers!

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