How long can a cat go without using the bathroom? (How to help my cat pee)


If your cat has not peed for a while or you are planning to take your cat on a trip, you may wonder how long a cat can go without using the bathroom? How long can cats hold their pee?

How long can a cat go without using the bathroom?

A cat can hold their pee between 24 hours to 48 hours, even when they have drunk plenty of fluids. A healthy cat pees 2 to 4 times a day, sometimes even more based on its diet and water intake.

A cat’s bladder is always functioning, but if your cat hasn’t peed for more than 48 to 72 hours, then there may be a serious issue with your cat like a urethral obstruction which can become life-threatening if not treated on time.

Can stress cause a cat not to pee?

While not quite common, but sometimes stress can cause your cat to not pee like it normally does. A change in location, introducing a new pet or family member, or changing diet can all make your cat stressed out. While most cats adjust with time, some stay stressed for a prolonged period leading to urinary problems.

To help your cat, try to identify what is the stress-inducing factor and try to reduce or eliminate it.

What health conditions can cause a cat not to pee?

While the reason for your cat not peeing altogether or peeing less frequently can be as simple as reduced water intake, sometimes other medical conditions may be the underlying reasons.

Like humans, cats can also suffer from urinary tract infections and other ailments that can impact their ability to pass urine normally. Some of the most common medical conditions that can cause your cat to not pee are listed below.

Urethral Obstruction

A urethral blockage is the blocking of the urethral tract due to several reasons. Sometimes crystalline-like minerals or thick mucus may get lodged in the urinary tract and over a period of time can cause a blockage. If a blockage occurs, the cat may have only 48 to 72 hours to live. Immediate medical attention needs to be provided to the cat to help ease its discomfort.

Kidney diseases and urinary tract infections in cats

Certain kidney ailments can also manifest into a urinary tract infection and cause discomfort to the cat while passing urine.

Cats with kidney disease develop bladder infections frequently and this may lead to not passing urine or passing it with difficulty.

Some sure signs of a urinary tract infection in cats are,

  • The cat’s urine is tinged with a hint of blood
  • The cat makes a lot of noise expressing pain and discomfort while urinating
  • Urine dribbles instead of flowing freely
  • The cat may not be urinating in its litter box
  • Frequent urination with little quantity

Consult your veterinarian so that your cat can be examined and treated appropriately.

Low intake of water

Sometimes, cats suddenly stop drinking water for various reasons. Due to the reduced intake of water, their urination frequency may be reduced.

In such cases, asses as to what has caused your cat to stop drinking water? Some of the causes can be,

  • Change in the quality of water. Cats prefer fresh and clean water. Cats can detect the slightest of change in the taste of water
  • Drinking water is not accessible easily to your cat. Make sure that your cat has easy access to its drinking bowl
  • Change in the cat’s drinking bowl. Cats do not like changes in their day to day activities. If you have recently changed your cat’s bowl, it must have stressed it out.

What can you do to make your cat pee normally?

If your cat isn’t peeing like it normally does, you need to find out if there is a medical condition that is causing it to not pee.

Take him to a vet to find out if your cat is suffering from some health issues. Before you go to the vet, have some information handy that will help diagnose the issue better.

  • How frequent is your cat urinating?
  • How long has it been since your cat urinated last? If he has not urinated in the last 48 hours or more, he could have a serious health issue.
  • Is your cat in visible pain and straining to urinate?
  • Is there blood spots in his urine?

Fortunately, if a medical issue is ruled out, then your cat may be either simply stressed out or not liking or getting access to drinking water.

Here are some steps to help your cat pee normally.

  • Give your cat plenty of fresh water to drink.
  • Make your cat’s drinking bowl easily accessible and place in a place your cat can find it easily.
  • If the temperature is warm, cool the water a little by adding a couple of ice cubes.
  • Feed your cat wet cat food to regulate fluids and minimize mineral concentration.
  • If possible add extra fluid or tuna juice to your cat’s food.
  • Keep your cat’s litter box clean so that they can use it when needed.
  • Let your cat get some exercise and not get obese. Obesity cats are more prone to get frequent bladder infection.

Can Holding in Urine for a Long Time Cause Dizziness?

Holding in urine for an extended period can lead to discomfort and even health issues like urinary tract infections. However, there is no direct link between holding urine and experiencing dizziness. So, while neglecting bathroom breaks can cause various problems, cat pee and dizziness are not interconnected.

How to manage your cat’s pee while travelling?

If you plan to take your cat along with you on a trip, here are some tips to manage your cat’s peeing routine while traveling.

Carry a portable litter box or litter tray along with you. Have some litter with you in small zip-lock bags that you can use when needed. Make sure that you use the same litter which your cat is used to.

Minimize your cat’s water intake 4-5 hours before your planned travel.

Do not feed dry food to your cat which can make it more thirsty.

Do not feed food high in sodium content like Goldfish crackers, cheese crackers, or Cheez-It. Food having excess salt can increase your cat’s water consumption.


Cats can go on without peeing for 24 to 48 hours. If your cat has not peed in more than 48 hours, it may have some serious issue. Consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid any unpleasant circumstances.

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