Excited Cats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Peeing?

Research suggests that a healthy cat’s bladder is always functioning and active. However, these felines can hold their pee up to 24–48 hours even after drinking plenty of fluids.

While it’s typical for kitties to go without peeing for two days, a cat holding its urine for more than 48 hours should be worrisome. Unfortunately, this action might suggest that your feline friend might be at serious risk of injury or death due.

cat face divider 2

What to Do If Your Cat Is Not Urinating?

Cat owners need to provide their kitties with litter boxes at all times for them to relieve themselves. And if you plan on taking your cat with you on a long trip, it would be best to take it out of the vehicle for at least every six hours for their calls.

Since cats have a relatively short window period for severe health concerns to escalate from not urinating, you need to bring in your feline friend to a vet immediately if you notice this problem.

However, as a cat parent, you need to have a basic understanding of how your cat’s urinary tract works for you to know whether something is wrong with your cat.

Essentially, a cat’s urinary system consists of the kidney that filters the waste material and sends them to the ureter, a tube that connects to the bladder, and finally to the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the bladder).

It’s after something is amiss with your kitty’s urinary system that it fails to pee as regularly as it should because, usually, there are no obstructions in this process.

ginger cat litter close-up_Yuliya Alekseeva_shutterstock
Image Credit By: Yuliya Alekseeva, shutterstock

What Makes a Cat Not to Pee?

Your kitty’s failure to pee boils down to several factors, with stress, illnesses, dehydration, and injuries being the most common. However, since cats can mask their weaknesses and try to appear healthy most of the time, you can overlook peeing difficulties in your cat.

Check out some factors that trigger this problem.

1. High Stress and Anxiety Levels

Frustration, anxiety, and stress can prompt a healthy kitty to stop peeing for quite some time. Factors that contribute to stress include sudden routine changes, diet changes, medication, moving homes, or strangers’ presence in the house. It may start as reluctance to use the litter box, urine marking to stop peeing at all.


2. Illnesses

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD) is a term for a cluster of diseases and disorders that affect its urinary system. These conditions include bladder inflammation due to infections and bladder blockage.

A cat with such conditions usually has a hard time peeing due to pain. They may whimper due to pain and miss the litter box as a way of communicating.


3. Injury

Sick cat medicines
Image Credit: one photo, Shutterstock

Your cat will stop urinating if its injured pelvic nervous system damages the bladder and the urethra.

Simple injuries like falls can hurt your cat’s pelvic nerves, which are in charge of the urinary tract’s functional control. For this reason, your feline friend may develop urination difficulties and stop urinating altogether.

cat paw divider

What are the Symptoms of a Cat with Kidney Failure?

While stress and dehydration may affect a cat’s urinating pattern, medical reasons are the most common reason for cats’ peeing problems. This means that your cat’s body may display initial signs that can alert you and help combat the situation.  Be alarmed if:

  • The kitty whines, howls, or whimpers when peeing.
  • Your cat stays by or in the litter box without peeing.
  • The feline keeps licking or pawing under the tail.
  • Squatting to pee, but nothing comes out.
  • The cat has a hard bladder that appears swollen just below the rib cage.
  • There are little amounts of urine with bloody spots.
  • The kitty keeps hiding.
  • You notice lethargy, vomiting, and nausea.
  • The cat is intentionally missing the litter box.

Can Cats Hold Their Pee Overnight?

Since cats can hold their pee for up to 48 hours, it’s no problem for them to hold it overnight. This shouldn’t be a free pass not to have a litter box in your home, though! Indoor cats should always have access to their litter box.

Is It Okay to Lock A Cat in A Room at Night?

Kitties can comfortably hold their bowels for a long time. Therefore, there’s no problem to have it sleep in a separate room at night.

classic tabby manx cat
Image Credit: TheMetalDroid, Shutterstock

The good thing is that cats are smart and will wake you up with a soft ‘meow’ if she wants to be let out or asks you to empty the litter box. However, this arrangement only works if you are willing to wake up in the middle of the night to open the door.

Is One Litter Box Enough for One Cat?

A general rule of thumb for cat care is one litter box per cat and one extra just in case. Since cats hate sharing toilets, you always need to get each cat its litter box and an extra one if you have more than one cat.

It would also be best to scoop out the litter box at least twice a day.

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

Cats are easy to potty-train, especially if you catch them in time. Some signs that can help you determine if your cat’s potty time includes sniffing the ground and vocalization, such as meowing or dashing behind the furniture.

Gently divert your kitty to the litter tray, place it in and give it some privacy. Avoid staring, as it’ll find it hard to litter if it’s being watched.

Is It Bad to Keep a Litter Box in Your Bedroom?

It’s best to avoid keeping the litter box with you in the bedroom unless it’s a vast room. However, you’ll still need to place the tray as far away from the bed as possible.

Keeping a cat’s litter tray in your bedroom could expose you to toxic fumes from the urine and feces, especially if you don’t empty and clean it twice a day. Over-exposure to these ammonia fumes that build up the litter box can cause headaches and nausea in humans.

Plus, keeping a feline’s litter box in the bedroom with you infringes on your kitty’s privacy when using the bathroom, as cats also need privacy just like humans.

Instead, place it along the corridor and set a cat flap into the door to allow it free entry and exit while the door remains closed.

Cat Sand Litter
Image Credit By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

cat + line divider

Summary

Sometimes, a cat can stop peeing just because its litter tray is dirty and with a pungent smell. Cats are smart and neat creatures that can’t hop in a dirty, stinky litter box, and it would best if you keep it clean and odorless at all times.

It’s also vital to ensure that your feline friend gets enough hydration every day through food or drinking water. The more fluids your cat takes in, the more the bladder flashes out the toxic urine, preventing kidney-related issues.

As a loving cat parent, ensure that you monitor your kitty’s potty manners and check with your veterinary officer in case of behavioral changes.


Featured Image: nanniezwawa, Shutterstock