How long can cats hold their poop Before S**t Hits The Fan Literally!

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 10/22/22 •  9 min read

Have you ever initiated routine travels with your cat? You must have questioned the length of time your cat can keep her poop held in the digestive system so that no accident takes place while enjoying your ride.

Well, this article gives you detailed answers to this quagmire.

Poop-holding is one of the most blush-inducing topics one can discuss. However, the science behind poop holding is quite clear. When you hold your stool in, it’ll travel back to the colon via the rectum.

This allows the water contained in the poop to be reabsorbed back into the body.

Nonetheless, you must be aware that poop staying in the colon is one of those highly unwelcome toxic elements. Your cat needs to get rid of this poop immediately from her system as soon as she has an opportunity.

Do cats hold in their poop?

It’s unlikely that they do, but how long can cats hold in their poop depends on how active they are.

If you’re worried your pet will make a mess, get yourself an automatic cat litter box and enjoy life without worrying when it’s time for cleanup.

The most important thing for pet owners is to be aware of their animal’s habits and know when they need to go outside, especially if you have a cat that goes anywhere randomly in your home.

One way some cat owners will notice this is by checking at least once or twice a day if their cat has pooped. Not only will this help them understand how often their pets need to use the litter box, but it can also keep track of weight changes too!

The more they watch, the better chance there could be for early detection of health problems such as diabetes or other medical conditions.

How long can a cat go without pooping?

Based on a recent study by The American Journal of Veterinary Research (AJR), cats can hold their poop for an average of 12 hours before needing to do their business!

Ideally, there’s no definite length of time prescribed for how long can cats hold their poop. The act is greatly dependent on a range of factors.

Nonetheless, the rule of thumb only accords your kitty the chance to pass out its poop about one to two times daily. If your cat operates normally, then she needs to be comfortable when passing out poop.

 Normal cat poop should be well-formed, brownish, and with a sausage-like shape (cat poop size) if your cat is healthy and on a proper diet.

Cats are most likely to hold poop and pee for long if they’re stressed up. In most cases, cats will develop this trait when they’re traveling. They will only wait until you give them a comfortable environment to expel their waste. 

How often should a kitten poop? Your cats shouldn’t take more than 48 hours without pooping or experiencing bowel movements. Anything more than 48 hours, whether you’re traveling or not should be considered a great abnormality.

If your cat hasn’t pooped for more than 2 days, then this is a clear sign that you need to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Your cat could be experiencing adverse medical issues if she doesn’t poop for days. Ideally, a cat’s stool will move back to the intestines if retained for long. This may cause blockages which may eventually lead to infections.

Apart from traveling, there’s a tendency that the time your cat will hold her poop can be determined by other factors which include:

All these issues may play a crucial role in determining your cat’s bowel movement behaviors.

When to Get Worried:

You need to get worried when:

How Often Should Cats Poop?

Have you ever wondered how long can cats hold their poop? Well, cats don’t have a specific fixed timetable or frequency to poop and pee.

The timeframe greatly varies from one cat to the other.

It may also change for each cat particularly if they are faced with issues like medical challenges, environmental stress, or dietary alterations that could be affecting their digestive mechanisms.

Nonetheless, the general rule of thumb on how often should a cat poop is once or twice daily in their litter box.

It won’t be a bad idea to consult with your vet if your cat is pooping a lot more than that or has decided to miss the act for a couple of days in a row. Even though this could be a normal routine for your kitty, it could be a clear indication that something is wrong with your cat.

 Prompt medical attention would do him great service.

Can cats hold their poop overnight?

Yes, cats can hold their poop overnight. 

Some research says that they can go up to 12 hours without having a bowel movement.

However, if you are worried that they might make a mess, have a litter box on standby.

Take away drinking water and food at night and bring it back first thing in the morning.

stinking litter box with cat standing on the side

How Do You Know if Your Cat has to Go to the Bathroom?

It’s easy to know when your cat wants to use the bathroom. However, you’ll only know it if you have observed your cat’s litter box routine.

Your cat might be telling you that the time to use the bathroom has come if she is unusually engaging in any of these practices:

You must be extra keen to keep an eye on your cat just to ensure that she doesn’t misbehave around.

In this case, you’ll only need to divert your cat or place her in the litter box in a gentle manner. Also, be sure to accord your cats privacy as they pee and defecate.

 Since cats don’t like being watched, you must try to ensure that you don’t stare too obviously.

Natural remedies to help your cat that has constipation to poop.

These are simple natural remedies you can apply to help clear constipation in your cat without involving your veterinarian officer:

1.     Administer to your cat a hairball remedy such as Petromalt or Laxatone. This type of product is designed to relieve gastrointestinal problems, including constipation in cats by helping the animal pass stool easier.

2.     Feed your cat a more fiber-rich diet and also make sure they get plenty of exercises to ease bowel movement and relieve constipation.

3.     Ensure they are hydrated at all times.  Provide your cats with some form of water since it’s important for them to have a source of hydration. This will also keep her urinary tract active and healthy.

When a Cat Doesn’t Cover its Poop?

Does your cat leave her poop uncovered in the litter box? It can be frustrating when a healthy cat doesn’t cover its feces after a bout of serious bowel movements.

However, just put in mind the fact that your cat isn’t mean whenever she chooses to leave her poop uncovered in the litter box.

There a tendency that your cat couldn’t be covering her poop because she has become nervous. You’ll need to check your cat’s environment to assess whether something is making her do the business hurriedly.

Nonetheless, you may also check if she’s facing competition from other cats, both at the litter box and the feeding bowl.

Similarly, there are tendencies that your cat might be facing a range of health issues if she’s not covering her poop. In this case, your will need to help your cat get proper litter box training and visit a vet.

 What if there is blood in cat poop?

This can be a very alarming issue when you notice it. It is important to rule out any other causes before assuming that the blood being seen in normal cat poop is due to Internal Cat Intestinal Bleeding (ICIB) and not something else.

It’s helpful if you know how long cats have been holding their stool, but there are other signs that you can look for to determine how serious the issue is.

If your cat has been exhibiting a change in behavior, such as not eating or drinking enough water, and also shows any other signs of illness (e.g., vomiting) then it’s time to get them checked out by their veterinarian right away!

The type of poop may be different than normal and this could indicate blood being present too. It should appear more firm or chunky than usual with some red coloration mixed throughout it which will be visible due to how light-colored the feces are normally.

If your pet produces these characteristics then they need veterinary attention immediately.

Can cats hold their pee overnight?

Yes, they can. Cats are amazing pets and their urinary tract can do things humans may not dare.

That’s why you needn’t worry if your healthy cat hasn’t peed in 2 days (48 hours). They can do it even if they have routinely taken their fluids and meals.

However, you must ensure that your cat has access to the litter box all day long to avoid taxing the cat’s bladder.


 If you are a cat owner, it is important to know how long can cats hold their poop.

 It’s also very useful to be aware of other factors that may affect how long they will hold their poop before needing to do their business such as:

All these factors could all play an essential role in determining when your pet needs to relieve themselves.

Knowing these things can help you better predict when they need attention so that there isn’t a nasty surprise waiting for you later!

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.

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