Cat owners should monitor their cats’ litter box habits because some cats can be prone to urinary tract issues and other health problems that have symptoms that involve changes in urination.
Do you think your cat is peeing too much or too little? How many times do cats typically pee in a day? The answer can depend on your cat’s age, water intake, and overall health. While kittens can make frequent trips to the litter box to pee, a healthy adult cat will urinate 2 or maybe 3 times a day.
When a cat reaches its senior years, you might notice increased trips to the litter box due to age-related health issues. Of course, you won’t always see your cat pee, so you’ll want to look for evidence like wetness or clumps, depending on the type of litter you use.
What are some factors that influence the number of times that your cat pees in a day? Let’s look at a few of the most common issues that affect your cat’s urination.
Cat Daily Water Intake
Does your cat drink enough water?
Veterinary experts say that your cat should drink around 4 ounces of water per every 5 pounds of body weight.
Many cats don’t get enough water, especially if the bulk of their diet is dry cat food. Feeding your cat wet food is a good way to supplement water intake. You can also heat a little water to add to cold wet food from an opened can that’s been stored in the refrigerator. This increases water intake and helps warm up the food to make it more appealing to your cat.
Of course, you should always provide your cat with plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. If you don’t think your cat is drinking enough from its water bowl, you can get a pet drinking fountain, as running water is often irresistible to cats.
If your cat is drinking normally but not peeing, your cat may be suffering from a urinary tract blockage. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary treatment. We’ll talk about that next.
You might notice that your cat is drinking more water than usual. Excessive thirst can be a sign of a health problem like kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism. We’ll also cover these issues.
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Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUD) is a term that covers several common urinary-related health problems in cats. They can all result in changes in litter box behavior.
Symptoms of urinary tract disease include frequent trips to the litter box with small amounts of pee, straining and crying while in the box, excessive licking, and signs of blood in the urine.
FLUD is a common cause of a higher-than-normal number of daily visits to the litterbox. If your cat is making many trips to the box and producing only a small amount of pee, it’s best to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Little to no pee can be a sign of FLUD, but what about too much pee?
What Does it Mean if Your Cat is Peeing a Lot?
Larger than normal amounts of urine (often combined with excessive thirst) can be a sign of other health problems like diabetes and kidney disease. Kidney disease is different than the urinary tract problems seen in FLUD.
One of the more common causes of excessive urination in cats is diabetes.
Just like humans, cats can get type I and type II diabetes (type II is more common). Diabetes occurs when your cat has high blood glucose levels because the body cannot produce or respond to insulin.
Obesity is one of the primary causes of feline diabetes, along with advanced age and lack of physical activity. A cat with diabetes will have increased thirst and urination. Your cat will urinate more in quantity and frequency.
Diabetes can be treated with dietary changes if your cat is overweight, or insulin injections if necessary.
Cats can also suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD can eventually lead to kidney failure.
Cats with CKD will produce large amounts of dilute urine. They will also drink more to compensate for this fluid loss. Cats with kidney failure will not be able to eliminate toxins from the body.
There are special prescription veterinary diets to help manage the health of cats with kidney disease. These kidney diets are formulated differently than urinary diets and they should not be confused with each other.
This is another condition that can cause increased urination (and thirst) in cats. Hyperthyroidism most commonly occurs in older cats when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and produces too much thyroid hormone.
Your cat will want to eat, drink, and urinate more frequently, but weight loss is also a symptom. Treatment options include medication, surgery, diet, and radioactive iodine therapy.
Diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism can all cause your cat to urinate more frequently and in greater quantities. Increased thirst is also common.
Too much or too little peeing can be signs of health problems in cats. Keeping an eye on your cat’s litter box behavior is a good way to monitor your cat’s overall health.
A normal cat will pee 2—3 times per day. A cat with urinary tract problems will commonly visit the box many times per day but produce little urine. You might also notice signs of pain and distress.
Cats with different health issues, like diabetes or kidney disease, will visit the box more frequently than normal and produce more urine than the average cat.
A change in how often and how much your cat pees can be a sign of a potentially serious health problem. Be sure to see your vet if you notice any of these changes.
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