How Long Can A Cat Go Without Peeing?

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Peeing

Many cats suffer from urinary issues. A pet parent should know how long your feline can normally go. This will help you to know when there may be an issue with the cat.

How long can a cat go without peeing?

According to cat experts, cats can go on without peeing for up to 24 hours after which there is a real concern that the cat may be sick. If your cat hasn’t urinated for this period, issues can develop and escalate quickly and the cat should be brought to the vet immediately.

Also, if you are having a long ride with your cat, it is encouraged that you take it out to pee at least every six hours. 

How often should a cat urinate in 24 hours?

There is really no specific count between the hours when your cat should pee. Most cats go to the toilet every 8-12 hours. If they don’t, they might be suffering from a health issue or infection. There could also be a blockage that’s stopping a cat from urinating frequently. 

It is suggested that you keep track of your cat’s urine routine to determine if your cat has health problems. Also too little or too much urine can be an indication. 

What causes a cat to stop peeing

Cats tend to hide their symptoms of injury and illness probably due to their survival instinct. They mask their weakness and try to look normally fine. This makes it harder for pet owners to know if their feline has a hard time peeing. Below are factors that may cause your cat to stop peeing:


Frustration, stress, or anxiety can cause changes in a cat’s urinating habits. Changes in their routine, the presence of a new family member, moving home and other factors may cause your cat to become scared and begin to mark territories with their urine, peeing in inappropriate places or stop peeing. 

Aside from those situations, their urinating patterns can also change if they have issues with their litter tray. The type of litter tray, the litter material, or where the tray is located can be a factor to cats when they pee. Litter trays placed in unappealing areas will discourage a cat from using it. Cats can also be reluctant to pee in trays that are dirty or if the litter smells bad.


cat injury
Image: / Sena Yiğiter

An injury affecting the cat’s pelvic nerves can damage its bladder and urethra. The pelvic, hypogastric, and pudendal nerves are associated with the functional control of those body parts. When the nerves are damaged, your cat will have urination problems. Once you see your cat limping after a fall, bring it to the vet to also have other concerns checked. 


Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a term used to describe any group of disorders or diseases that affects the lower urinary tract in cats. FLUTD is associated with the formation of crystals or stones in the urinary tract that can cause painful ailments for your cat. The most common disorder is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC). 

Cystitis, also known as inflammation of the bladder, is usually due to a bacterial infection, a mineral imbalance, and/or an abnormality in the cat’s pH levels. These causes contribute to the formation of microscopic mineral crystals in the urine, which may grow in size to form stones or the grit that causes the urethral plug.

A cat with FLUTD or other illness will attempt to urinate but may have a hard time doing it, sometimes whimpering out in pain. They may urinate outside their litter tray to communicate they have a problem. Urine may be cloudy or have blood present. When this happens, seek help from your vet.

What happens if your cat stops peeing

If a cat cannot urinate, the kidneys cannot perform their essential function of filtering toxins out of the blood and excreting them in the urine. An increase in the toxin levels in the body will make the cat very sick. These toxin levels can lead to damage to other vital organs, and worse, brain damage. Without medication, a blocked cat will eventually die. But if treated earlier, the cat’s condition can be curable. 

How to help cat relieve their bladder

If you observe your cat having a hard time peeing because of stress, find first the cause of its anxiety. Cats easily get stressed when they undergo changes so if you do some adjustments for your pet, it may be happy and well again.

If your cat loves the outdoors, it is possible that they have peed elsewhere aside from its litter tray. If they stay indoors, you may check areas in your home where your cat may have possibly peed. 

If it is deemed that your feline is still not urinating, you should bring it to a vet within 24 hours of not peeing.