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Do Cats Pee and Poop at the Same Time? What’s Normal?

Cat poop

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Vet, MVZ

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Being a cat parent is awesome, but it does sometimes mean having to contemplate some less than pleasant stuff. More often than not, this is related to whether or not your cat is peeing and pooping normally. As gross as it sounds, being aware of your cat’s bathroom habits is an important means of knowing what’s going on with them health-wise.

In this post, we’ll share what’s considered “normal” in terms of your cat’s bathroom time and take a look at some toilet-related health conditions to be aware of.

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Do Cats Pee and Poop at the Same Time?

Usually, no. Cats are pretty particular about their bathroom habits and often prefer to pee and poop separately instead of going all in one place. It’s quite uncommon to find that your cat has peed and pooped in the exact same spot at the same time. For that reason, it’s recommended to have a few litter boxes to cater to your cat’s exacting standards.

This is especially important if you have multiple cats in your household. Cats are territorial when it comes to using the bathroom and aren’t keen on sharing litterboxes. Even single cats will likely appreciate an extra litterbox—one for pee and one for poop.

Another reason cats like to pee and poop separately is that they are instinctively trying to head off predators. Cats bury their poop for this reason, and it would be harder and less hygienic to do this if they’d peed in the exact same spot. Even though your cat isn’t living in the wild, their instincts are still the same as if they were.

cat pooping outside
Image Credit: AjayTvm, Shutterstock

How Many Times a Day Do Cats Pee and Poop?

On average, a healthy cat poops at least once per day. A “healthy” poop should be dark brown, not too hard or too soft, and shouldn’t smell too terrible—obviously, it’s not going to smell good, but the smell shouldn’t be overpowering. On occasion, cats get bouts of diarrhea. If this is only occasional, it should be nothing to worry about, but if it persists, something could be going on health-wise.

In terms of peeing, cats pee approximately three to four times a day. That said, some cats pee twice a day or a little more frequently than four times a day but are perfectly healthy. If your cat is urinating way less or more than the average, though, it signals a problem.

What Time Do Cats Poop?

There’s no “normal” here—cats poop at different times. You may notice that your cat routinely goes to the bathroom in the morning, whereas others will go in the afternoon or evening. It simply varies from cat to cat.

cat sitting in litter box
Image Credit: Mila Naumova, Shutterstock

Why Is My Cat Peeing and/or Pooping Everywhere?

There could be any number of reasons or causes for your cat “eliminating” outside of the litter box. They include but are not limited to:

Some of the Reason for Inappropriate Elimination in Cats
  • Stress or behavioral issues: If you have one litter box for multiple cats, it can cause them stress. Cats are territorial and will sometimes prefer to poop on the floor rather than use the same litter box as another cat. Likewise, if you have another cat that’s a bit of a bully, another cat may stay away from the toilet area altogether. Provide multiple litter boxes in different areas to make your cats more comfortable.
  • Dirty litter box: Most cats would rather not use a litter box at all than use a dirty one. If your cat is peeing and pooping outside the box, make sure you’re cleaning the box out regularly enough.
  • Urinary tract infections: Symptoms of UTIs in cats include peeing frequently but passing only small amounts of urine. Urinating outside the litter box is another common symptom.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Food allergies and general stomach upsets can cause your cat to poop more frequently. Other gastrointestinal issues causing pooping problems could include tumors, intestinal parasites, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, or obstruction in the bowel.
  • Kidney problems: Kidney issues are sometimes the cause of improper urination. Cat parents should always be on the lookout for symptoms of kidney failure. These include frequent urination, weight loss, drinking water excessively, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes causes cats to drink more water and urinate more as their body is trying to excrete the excess glucose from their blood.
  • Incontinence: Cats can suffer from both bowel or urinary incontinence caused by mechanical or pathological diseases. In such cases, straining to excrete urine can cause defecation, and vice-versa.

If your cat’s bathroom habits seem somewhat abnormal, get them checked out by a vet to rule out potential health conditions.

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Final Thoughts

Just like humans, cats have pretty exacting standards for the condition of their toilet and where they pee and poop. A cat’s natural instincts also mean they often prefer to pee and poop in separate places.

It’s a good rule of thumb to have too many litter boxes rather than too few. For example, if you have two cats, providing three litter boxes would be a good idea to give plenty of options. If something doesn’t seem quite right with your cat’s bathroom routine or they appear to be experiencing pain or discomfort, arrange to have a vet check them over for health issues.


Featured Image Credit: topimages, Shutterstock

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