How Long Can Cats Hold Their Pee (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 – 48 Hours 

Cats are experts at holding their pee and typically hold it for up to 24 to 48 hours. This means that if one’s cat “holds” his urine for a long time, he may need medical attention because this could mean there is a bladder stone or other urinary tract issue. 

If one notices an increased frequency of urination or changes in the amount of urination (e.g., straining), consult with the veterinarian as soon as possible because these signs can indicate a serious health problem. The cat may die if it cannot pee for more than 72 hours.

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How Long Can Cats Hold Their Pee?

Type Duration
Cats 24 to 48 hours
Dogs10-12 hours

The answer to this question is highly dependent on several factors. However, a cat can go without urinating for up to 48 hours. 

It is dangerous depending on the age and health of the cat. Some cats need to drink more water than others due to their natural makeup, so it is important not to overwater the cat or drink less and use the litter box more.

If one’s pet holds their pee for longer than 24 hours, they need to see their veterinarian, which could be a sign of an infection or other health problem. 

It also depends on how much one’s cat eats and the amount of activity involved in their day-to-day routine. During times of excitement or stress, some cats may forget. Still, all but one breed should be able to find time within 24 hours to relieve themselves outside before returning inside for 4 hours (unless they go “naturally” while outside). 

Since cats cannot release urine when they are in an upright position, they end up with a large amount of accumulated fluid when they do not drink for long periods.

A cat could go without urinating for 48 hours before it causes serious cat dysfunction. However, this length varies depending on age, size, and individual condition.

If the animal’s environment is too hot or humid or some other internal disease present, drinks more frequently than normal to compensate – this measure may vary among animals.

One would need a professional opinion to assess one’s pet specifically in the home environment to determine whether the answer changes from “weeks” for an animal that has been accustomed to living indoors.

Why Would Cats Hold Their Pee For So Long?

There are several reasons why cats might hold their pee for long periods. One reason is that they want to mark their territory. 

By not going to the bathroom, they can show other cats their territory. Another reason is that cats like to bury their waste, and if they go to the bathroom in a litter box, they may not feel the need to bury it. Finally, some cats don’t like going outside in bad weather or at night.

Sometimes, cats are very particular about where they go to the bathroom and often choose one spot in the house and stick to it. If there’s no litter box available, or if the litter box is dirty, they may decide not to go at all.

Cats can go longer than people think before needing to drink water. Under normal living conditions, the average cat only needs to urinate three or four times a day but can easily go seven days without drinking any fluids. They usually only need to drink if their mouth becomes too dry.

Cats only produce about a liter of liquid per day. A cat can go 10 days or more without water, but not urinating is potentially life-threatening since the liquid from their food isn’t being used as it should be, so they will start to waste away even with adequate food intake. 

A cat needs to urinate about every 12-24 hours; otherwise, it could become seriously ill and die. If one’s pet is experiencing any symptoms like weakness, lethargy, vomiting, etc., please see the vet immediately.

Conclusion

Cats are known for their independence, but they can’t hold it in forever. If the cat has urinated outside the litter box or is abnormally lethargic, contact a veterinarian right away to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing these symptoms. The sooner one is able to get them treatment, the better off the cat will be.

A cat’s bladder is always active. However, if a cat retains urine for more than 48 to 72 hours, the toxins can become hazardous. It is advised that you take the cat out of its carrier every six hours while traveling to allow them to empty their bladder.

References

  1. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/226/4/javma.2005.226.548.xml 
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1258/0023677041958945 
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