Is Your Cat Peeing Too Much Or Too Little?

How many times should your cat pee during the course of a day?

To state the obvious, it does depend a lot on how much your cat drinks.

A healthy cat normally takes in about a quarter of a cup of water for each pound of body weight per day. So a 15 pound cat will take in roughly 3 cups a day. This amount includes water from eating wet (canned) food.

A cat on a dry food only diet would need to drink more to take in the same amount of water.

As a rough guide a healthy adult cat should urinate from three to five times daily.

It is not an absolute range, it is the number of times that your cat normally pees that is the important thing.

If your cat is healthy and has peed six times a day all her life, then hey ho that's just normal for her.

But if your feline buddy usually only tinkles three times and suddenly starts going six times a day, then something is quite probably wrong.

Keep A Check On The Litter Box.

It pays to know your cat's normal urination habits, because producing less or more urine is often an indication of something amiss.

If your cat is an indoor only cat, keep your eye on her litter tray and note how many times a day are you scooping out wet clumps.

Before long you will have a good idea of what her average is.

But what if your cat is an Indoor/Outdoor Cat? She may use her tray if she is inside, but she surely takes a pee or two when she is out.

How can you know if there is a change in her urination habits if she goes outside the home?

There probably isn't a perfect answer here. If she almost always uses her litter tray at least once a day, then that is something you can monitor. 

If she is suddenly using it a lot more – and still going out, (not keeping herself inside because of continual bad weather, or because she is being bullied by another cat out there.) Or she is not using her litter pan  at all, then these are bad signs.

More Often Or Less Often?

If your cat has started urinating more often than is normal for her this could be a sign of  diabetes, or a bladder or urinary infection, renal failure, hyperthyroidism or urinary tract stones.

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An excessive thirst as well as peeing frequently could indicate kidney problems.

An increased thirst and/or increased urinating could be side effects of certain medications – check out the label.

Don't take chances. Contact your vet if your cat is peeing more frequently or in greater volume. Do this even if you suspect it may be the medication your cat is taking.

It is Best to Avoid Urinary Problems

by feeding your cat a good quality cat food--preferably canned.  A grain-free canned cat food has a high water content and will help keep your cat from being dehydrated. Yes, it will likely be more expensive than a regular grocery store brand but you will almost certainly save on vet bills later.

If your feline is passing water less often it could be a symptom of low blood pressure, liver or kidney problems or an injury to the urinary tract amongst other things.

Dehydration is another possibility, especially in the hotter months and especially if she eats only dry food. ( Fresh water should always be available for your pet.) If your cat is feverish she will using up fluids internally and be likely to pee less.

Encourage your kitty to drink more water by providing him with a water fountain.  Cats prefer moving water to water that has been sitting all day in a water dish. This is why cats who are outdoors like to drink what we consider to be dirty water.

As you know cats like clean litter boxes.

Many cats will pee elsewhere if their box is not clean enough for their liking.

Some cats though will not only refuse to use a dirty litter tray, but prevent themselves from going at all for as long as possible.

This is not only very painful but can cause many serious conditions, and even cost the cat's life.

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Okay, her litter box is kept clean, is there another reason she is stopping herself from urinating?

Have you recently changed the position of the box? Have you changed the type or brand of litter?

Has one of your other cats started preventing her from using the box?

Other possible causes for a cat not to be able to urinate at all include, bladder blockage, bladder rupture, urinary tract blockage or kidney failure.

Should your cat be straining to go, or is not able to urinate at all, then the situation is extremely serious, get her to the vet pronto.

Odor And Color

dThe smell of your cat's pee can be another indicator of her health. Urine always has the whiff of ammonia but a stronger than usual ammonia smell is a possible indicator of a bacterial infection.

Sweet smelling urine may signal diabetes, or the cat's body is burning up fat as an energy source instead of glucose or sugar, not good.

If your cat's urine changes from a normal amber/yellow there could be something wrong.

Green, dark-brown or yellow-brown urine may be a symptom of liver problems. Dark, deep red or cloudy urine could contain blood, urgent attention needed.

If you notice any change in your cat's urination habits then contact your veterinarian for urgent advice.

Treatment For Cat Peeing Too Much Or Too Little

Once your veterinarian has diagnosed the cause of your cat's urination problems, suitable treatment can be undertaken.

Treatment may need to include surgery and a stay at the clinic, followed by prolonged home aftercare.

Medications may be prescribed, not only to treat the condition, but also for pain relief and/or to reduce the effects of stress or anxiety.

Dietary modification may be necessary to help prevent further occurrences of the urinary problem.

Older Cat Peeing More Often

As cats reach advanced years it is not unusual for them to lose a degree of bladder control. Perhaps they may dribble a bit of urine without being aware of it.

However an older cat that is constantly thirsty and peeing a lot, could be suffering from Feline Hyperthyroidism.

This condition rarely strikes cats below the age of 10 years, but could strike as many as 1 in 50 above that age.

Hyperthyroidism can have a devastating effect on the cat's health including, heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, uncontrolled weight loss and liver damage.

If you suspect your older cat may be suffering from feline hyperthyroidism it is imperative that you have him or examined by a veterinarian right away.

Remember - If you notice any change in your cat's urination habits then contact your veterinarian for urgent advice.

A version of this article first appeared in The Feline Rules, the email magazine for all things cat.

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