How Often Should a Cat Pee? What You Need to Know
No doubt, cats are the cutest and one of the most amazing pets one can have. But you must keep in mind that there come many responsibilities when owning a cat. It just isn’t a given that pet cats are highly trained to survive and keep themselves healthy on their own.
You are obviously the responsible one for your cat’s health and safety, and how long and comfortable their domestic life is.
When it comes to a cat’s basic urinating behaviors, including the good and bad ones, it’s important to have a little knowledge so you’re successful with the above responsibilities. How much or how often should a cat pee is just one important aspect here.
Why is that?
Because the volume of urine a cat produces and expels is big indicator of it’s health one way or the other. Let’s dig in so you know what to expect and what to do should anything but the norm take place with your furry loved one.
Let us begin!
Cat Urinating Frequency: What Should You Expect?
Well, you might be a cat lover but getting a cat doesn’t mean that you’ve become a good owner. Before bringing your cat home, you must keep in mind that cats are territorial animals and besieging them into a new home can make them feel uneasy and disturbing.
Having said this, you must have got an idea in your mind that a litter box is essential for a cat to pee and poop.
Of course, your cat also wants a modicum of privacy when pooping or peeing. You also need to make sure that the litter box is cleaned regularly as it would get filled in no time and your cat would then start peeing in other areas of the house.
Urinary System of Cat
A cat is a mammal of course, and most mammals have a similar urinary system as that of us humans (naturally, humans are mammals too!).
The urinary system of the cat includes the kidneys, ureters (tubes connecting kidneys with the bladder), the bladder (a pouch or sac that stores the urine coming from kidneys via ureters), and the urethra (the tube through which urine is excreted out of the body).
As a reference, a cat’s bladder is normally the size of a golf ball. Pretty small, right?
This means, their bladder is quite a bit smaller as compared to that of humans. Usually, a cat can maximally hold 20-25 mL (or up to about 1 fluid ounce), of urine whereas the human bladder has the capacity of 300-400 mL (or 10-13 oz. or so).
How Often Does a Cat Pee?
Now that’s a basic question every new cat owner thinks of after adopting a cat. Well, healthy cats typically pee almost 2 to 4 times a day on average.
But this frequency is totally dependent on how much your cat drinks and eats moist food. Heat and humid environments also play a great role in changing the frequency of peeing.
In general, cats drink more water or milk in the summer months that results in more frequent urination. It is also advised to keep your cat’s peeing habit in check as peeing frequency and abnormal peeing behavior can sometimes mean a medical disease.
How long can cats hold their pee?
According to the experts, a cat can typically hold its pee for 24-48 hours, even if the daily meal was eaten.
Can you feel your cat’s bladder to tell if it is full or empty?
Of course, you can easily locate and palpate your cat’s bladder. Not only this, most of feline owners who have a cat with urination problems help their cat by manually expressing their cat’s bladder.
Here’s how you can express your cat’s bladder:
I’ll assume your cat is of average size. First, slip your hand under your cat’s belly and a little bit closer to the rear part just below the ribs.
Feel the abdomen which will be slightly higher than the leg sockets. Beneath the abdominal part of the spine is the colon and beneath that is the bladder. The bladder will feel smooth much like a water balloon.
After locating the bladder, gently apply pressure to that area and feel if there is any rebound. The presence of rebound means that the bladder is almost full, and the cat needs to urinate.
Excessive Urination: Underlying Causes and Solutions
To know whether your cat is peeing too much, you need to measure her daily consumption of water and the daily urine output. Keep in mind the following levels:
- Normal urine production: less than 50 ml/kg/day
- Polyuria (increased urination): greater than 50 ml/kg/day 5
If your cat is peeing too much, this means that there is surely an underlying problem or ailment. Excessive urination is mostly the result of increased fluid drinking.
Actually, both increased drinking or increased peeing go side by side. Drinking causes more peeing and more peeing leads to increased thirst and thus increased drinking.
Several diseases can make your cat thirstier, including:
Kidney problems such as chronic kidney disease, post-obstructive diuresis or renal medullary washout, etc. cause the inability of the cat to concentrate urine.
Thus, increased urine volumes are produced.
Primary diabetes insipidus is a congenital disorder in which deficiency of a hormone called ADH causes increased urine production.
In secondary diabetes insipidus, the cat acquires a deficiency of ADH due to several reasons. This condition can occur due to many reasons such as:
- Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
- Liver diseases
Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of a hormone called thyroid hormone. This can also result in polyuria.
It is important to schedule a veterinary visit to diagnose the problem causing increased urination. He may recommend performing several blood tests, urinalysis, or other related tests to determine the exact of the problem.
Infrequent Urination: Underlying Causes and Solutions
Don’t just be relaxed if you see your cat urinating infrequently. Infrequent urination is the surest sign of an underlying urinary tract problem. Your cat may either urinate more often or urinate a little. So, a trip to the vet will completely determine the exact cause of such urination behavior.
Some factors associated with infrequent urination are:
Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs result because of the bacterial overgrowth in the cat’s urinary tract. Such infections can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable for the cat.
In such case, visit your veterinarian. He would prescribe certain antibiotics to kill the bacteria and help the cat get relief from the infection.
Problems with insulin levels in the blood can cause diabetes in your cat which will urge it to urinate more frequently.
As kidneys play a role in the production of urine, any problem that causes increased urine production can ultimately result in infrequent urination.
If you notice any unusual peeing behavior in your cat, you must consult a vet and overlook the underlying cause.
As a veterinary practitioner, I would like to share some useful information about the ways to prevent such undesirable conditions:
- Dietary Modifications: Always choose the best food for your cat. A healthy diet can only help in surpassing any disease. You can find the cat feed from any retail store and there are also plenty of other healthy options available.
- Regular medical checkups: These are essential to diagnose any pathology occurring within your cat. The earlier a disease is picked up, the better it is because the treatment starts as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
It totally depends on you to pinpoint any abnormal peeing behavior of your cat. If you do observe any such change, schedule an appointment with the vet as soon as possible in order to rule out the disease and start the treatment.
Also, we are thankful that you put your precious time into reading our article. You are always welcome to provide feedback in the comment section below.
- The Urinary System of Cats – Cat Owners – Veterinary Manual. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/cat-owners/kidney-and-urinary-tract-disorders-of-cats/the-urinary-system-of-cats.
- Chew, D. J., DiBartola, S. P. & Schenck, P. A. Obstructive Uropathy and Nephropathy. in Canine and Feline Nephrology and Urology 341–390 (Elsevier, 2011). doi:10.1016/b978-0-7216-8178-8.10011-9.
- Lukacz, E. S. et al. A healthy bladder: A consensus statement. Int. J. Clin. Pract. 65, 1026–1036 (2011).
- How to Express a Cat’s Bladder. https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/how-express-cats-bladder.
- Increased drinking and urination in cats — Elwood vet. https://www.elwoodvet.net/increased-drinking-and-urination-cats.
An astute veterinarian determined to serve humanity through Animal Health, Dr. Hafeez is dedicated to helping pet families provide the utmost care for their pets through nutrition, exercise, preventative checkups and problem solving when health issues arise.