How Long Can Cats Hold Their Pee? What You Didn’t Know

Cats are known for being fastidious and elegant creatures, but they can also be awfully stubborn. One of the most common reasons a cat will urinate outside of its litter box is because it’s angry that you’re not giving it enough attention! The other reason cats may pee outside their litter box is due to an underlying medical condition.

If you have a cat, then how long can cats hold their pee is probably something that has crossed your mind. Cats are known for being great at holding their bladder, but how long can a cat really hold its urine?

As it turns out, the answer is about 12 hours! But this doesn’t mean you should try to push your luck by leaving them alone for longer than necessary because there are other factors involved in how long a cat can hold its pee.

How long can cats hold their Pee?

Water intake is important when considering how long a cat can hold its pee.

If they drink more water, then there’s an increase in the time between urinating outside to as much as 18 hours! This means if you’re planning on leaving them alone for longer than 12 hours and your kitty drinks lots of fluids, it might be best not to leave them home alone for any period of time without access to their litter box.

There are many factors associated with this which determines how long can a cat hold their pee. They are as follows:

  • If they drink less water, then how long can a cat hold their pee is reduced.
  • Cats are more likely to urinate outside when the litter box isn’t available or if it’s dirty and overflowing with feces.
  • They also might do this because they’re older cats who have developed certain urinary tract diseases which cause  them to urinate more frequently than the average cat.
  • If how long can a cat hold their pee is reduced, then it might be best not to leave them home alone for any period of time without access to their litter box.

There are also other factors that can influence how long a cat is able to hold its pee, such as how much they drink and how fast their kidneys work. Cats normally urinate about every 12 hours or so. However, this number can vary depending on the individual needs of your kitty!

Cats typically need to go after eating because food causes them to produce more urine than normal. In addition, if you feed your cat wet food vs dry food then there’s also an increased chance for accidents in the house since it requires less water intake for digestion.

Also be aware that cats who don’t drink enough may have trouble holding their pee all day until they’re finally given access to a litter box again.

So how long cats can hold their pee is mostly based on how much they drink.

  • If your cat drinks a lot of water, it may be able to go as many as 18 hours.
  • Given the average daily fluid intake for an adult cat is 160ml/day and up to 240 ml in hot weather, you could give them access once every 24 hours without any accidents. This means if they are given free roam of the house all day then they might not need a litter box until after 12pm!
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If you have a senior or pregnant kitty who doesn’t drink very often then there will obviously be more trips outside throughout the day. With young kittens, it also depends on how often you’re eating them- how long can a cat hold its pee depends on how much they eat.

The more often you feed them, the more frequently they will need access to their litter box and there’s an increased chance for accidents outside.

How often should Cats Urinate?

Cats should urinate at least once every 24 hours. If your cat is not urinating at least once every 24 hours, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out any diagnosable medical problems.

  • For healthy cats who drink lots of water: 12 hours or longer.
  • For healthy cats who drink less water: 12 hours or fewer.

The Dangers of Holding your Cat’s Urine For too Long

If you’re a cat owner, then you know how important it is to always be on the lookout for any signs of illness. One of these signs is inappropriate urination in which your kitty may start peeing outside their litter box or try to sneak away to go elsewhere.

For example, if they don’t have an infection and are just marking territory, this behavior can change as they get older so make sure that at least once or twice a month you do a thorough check up on them!

There’s one other thing that can lead to this type of behavior and it’s called urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence happens when your feline loses bladder control due to old age, injury or disease like diabetes.

Urinary incontinence is a serious problem that can, in some cases, lead to the cat soiling their bed or even themselves! This isn’t just an issue where they won’t use the litter box and pee outside of it. They may also have trouble controlling when they go to the bathroom as well.

This could be due to one of many reasons like cognitive dysfunction (cognitive impairment) which means your older kitty doesn’t fully understand what’s going on around them anymore and this often leads to urinary issues. What might seem simple for you- getting up from wherever they are and making a mad dash down the hallway- seems impossible for them because their brain signals don’t send out those messages anymore.

What Happens if you don’t Let Your Cat Urinate?

If you don’t give your cat a chance to go outside, they will probably have accidents in the house.

This can lead to urinary incontinence where your kitty loses bladder control and may even soil themselves or their bed!

Cats need at least one opportunity per day (usually more) for outdoor access. If no opportunities are available, cats often pee inside- leading to urine marking indoors as well as increased likelihood of urine spills on carpets and floors. These problems are exacerbated by giving indoor-only cats food with high levels of protein which stimulates greater production of fluids than dry food containing less water content such as kibble.

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When this happens it is important that you consult with a veterinarian immediately for medication treatment because cats cannot heal on their own like humans do. Vernalization (a process of healing) won’t happen unless properly treated by antibiotics or something else prescribed by the vet.

Tips on How Much Water Should You Give Your Cat Everyday

What should clean out your cat’s bladder? Some people say that it is necessary to make sure that everyone drinks enough fluids each day, but this advice doesn’t apply only to humans- animals also need plenty of liquids in order not to get sick. Cats are no exception to this rule so if your kitty does not have a habit of drinking much (or at all) then you should force him/her  to drink more water.

Cats require up to one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. This means that an average 10-pound cat needs at least a cup and a half, or closer to two cups, of fresh clean water every 24 hours. 

But this number might vary based on age and activity level. Cats with diabetes or kidney disease may need more fluids than others in order to avoid dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to offer your pet at least one cup (8 ounces) of fresh, clean water every day. If you feed dry food, give them a bowl of fresh water as well!

If your kitty is not getting enough fluids from their food or indoor environment they may end up with dehydration problems which can lead to kidney failure if left untreated! Don’t let this happen! Make sure you are giving your furry friend the proper amount of hydration!

Why is it important to clean the Litter Box on a regular basis?

Cats are finicky creatures that don’t like their environment to change. They prefer a clean litter box and fresh food, water, and catnip! A dirty litter box is one of the most common reasons for cats to stop using it. If you would like your kitty to be happy in their own home then make sure the litter box stays spotless by scooping at least once a day! 

The average cat will use its litter box 5-6 times per day so cleaning up after them should not be too difficult or time consuming. The scoopable kind of litter is easier to clean up with than some other types but it’s worth noting that no matter what type of litter you use, they all require cleaning on a regular basis.

Cleaning the litter box is one of the most important things you can do for your cat, and it’s something that should be done on a regular basis. There are many reasons why this is so important, but a few key points may include: 

  • Improves odor control in the house  
  • Reduces risk of bacterial infection and illness  
  • Helps prevent spread of parasites like toxoplasmosis or roundworms to humans or other animals in households who come into contact with contaminated feces from cats.  
  • Removes urine crystals that form when cats urinate which could lead to urinary tract infections if left unchecked. These crystals irritate the urethra as they pass through and cause pain during urination. They also contribute to other disorders as well.
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The Best Ways to Keep your Kitty from Peeing Outside the Litter Box

As we have earlier mentioned that cats are known for being finicky. So, keeping them happy can be a challenge.

One of the best ways to keep your kitty from peeing outside the litter box is by providing an environment where they feel safe and loved. 

The first step in this process is to provide a litter box that has enough space for your cat to move around comfortably, but not so large as to make it harder for you to clean. It should also have enough room at the entrance so that your cat can easily get in and out without any trouble. If you’re having issues with odor or clumping, try using different types of litter until you find one that works better than what you were using before!

As any cat owner knows, there is nothing worse than coming home to a litter box that smells like ammonia. Some cats are so territorial they won’t use the same litter box as another kitty in the house.

We suggest cat owners to clean out all the boxes daily with soap and water or enzymatic cleaner. Wash lids too. This may sound like common sense but people often forget about cleaning out their boxes until later when it starts stinking up everything around it!

Do Cats pee when stressed?

Cats are known for being independent creatures.

Many people don’t know that stress can cause a cat not to pee. Cats are very sensitive creatures and they will respond to anything from an argument, to being startled by the vacuum cleaner or even just being in a new environment.

Cats’ urinary systems are also quite delicate and small changes can have big effects on them. Sometimes cats will stop urinating all together if they are stressed out for long enough!

If you notice your cat isn’t using her litter box regularly, make sure there isn’t any other reason like illness before assuming it has something to do with stress.


If you want to keep your cat happy while you are away from home, it is necessary for them to have an established routine. We discussed the importance of feeding and watering your pet on a regular schedule, as well as how long they can hold their pee. 

We’ve got one last piece of advice. Don’t forget about them!

Spend time with them and give them a good scratch behind the ears every now and then (they might even rub their head against your leg). Cats are social animals who crave attention just like us humans do. They also deserve some love and affection too.

More cat FAQs

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Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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