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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Drink & Pee So Much? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Why Does My Cat Drink & Pee So Much? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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On average, a cat urinates two to three times a day, but this frequency tends to increase when there is a problem. They typically drink around 50 ml per kg of body weight per day. Although it varies from day to day, if you see your cat going to the litter box more than three times a day and drinking more than usual, it should alert you that something is wrong. Let’s examine the potential causes of this unusual behavior.



A cat that urinates large volumes frequently may suffer from polyuria, not to be confused with pollakiuria, which is frequently passing very small volumes of urine. Therefore, be aware that polyuria is manifested by frequent urination of large volumes and that this can be caused by different diseases, which should be investigated at the first signs. Polyuria can result in polydipsia, which is drinking more than usual. For cats, this would be drinking 100 ml per kg in 24 hours, but any increase in thirst should be discussed with your vet.

The 4 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Drinking & Peeing So Much

1. Chronic Kidney Disease

If you notice that your cat urinates too often and drinks excessively, they may have chronic kidney disease. This is more common in older cats, results from damage to the kidneys, and can be accompanied by vomiting, fatigue, reduced appetite, and weight loss.

2. Diabetes Mellitus

If your cat seems to be constantly hungry, drinks excessively, and urinates too frequently, they may have diabetes mellitus. This disease is also quite similar to human diabetes. Often, affected cats are middle to older age, overweight, and male.

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3. Hyperthyroidism

A cat that urinates frequently may also have an overactive thyroid gland, a condition called hyperthyroidism. This thyroid gland problem tends to affect older cats and is usually caused by a benign tumor in the neck. Hyperthyroidism can affect all other organs, so your cat may have secondary health issues that need treatment. The signs can include the cat losing weight, having digestive problems yet having a large appetite, and being more restless than usual.

4. Liver Disease

The liver is an organ involved in a wide range of vital functions, such as protein and hormone production, detoxification, and digestion support. There are many disease processes that can affect the liver, but generally, signs include polyuria, polydipsia, changes in appetite, and sometimes, yellowing of the gums, or jaundice.

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What to Do About These Signs

If any of these sound like what your cat may be suffering from, make an appointment without delay with your veterinarian.

Your pet’s vet will start by carrying out a specific examination, asking you to detail the signs, and possibly deciding to carry out blood and urine tests and other more in-depth investigations.

Dietary Changes

Is your cat young and in perfect health? If they are urinating frequently, it can be caused by a recent change in diet. Saltier and drier kibble can, for example, lead a cat to drink a great deal of water or if you change from kibble to wet food. If they drink more water, they will naturally urinate more often.

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Just like humans, cats can suffer from UTIs, though bacterial urinary infections are not common in cats. More often, it is feline lower urinary tract disease, which is primarily an inflammatory condition often associated with stress. Your cat may have pain when peeing and blood in the urine and excessively lick their genital area. In any case, the veterinarian will be able to diagnose the problem and discuss the treatments.

Bladder Stones

Bladder or urinary stones can cause irritation and even obstruct your cat’s bladder. This can lead to your cat straining but being unable to urinate and is a medical emergency.

Urinary stones are like small pebbles that form in the urine from crystals. These stones can obstruct the urethra, causing pain and difficulty for the cat to pee.

If you spot the following signs, it is best to consult your veterinarian quickly:

  • Your cat is straining to pass urine but nothing is coming out.
  • Your cat stops eating and becomes sluggish and apathetic and cries in pain.
  • You can see blood in your cat’s urine.

As urine outflow is blocked but continues to be produced by your cat’s urinary system, the bladder will become overfilled, resulting in back pressure on the kidneys. Your vet will be able to confirm the presence of bladder stones with ultrasound and or X-rays. A blocked bladder is more common in neutered male cats and is not always due to a bladder stone but is still a medical emergency.

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The Role of Nutrition in Urinary Health

In some cases, your vet may recommend a special diet to improve your kitty’s health. Certain specialized diets can help slow the progression of kidney disease and stop excessive urination problems. Other foods can help reduce or eliminate the need for hyperthyroidism medication and even prevent urinary blockages from recurring in the future by reducing crystal formation.


As a cat parent, you are responsible for monitoring your feline’s comings and goings to the litter box. If you notice abnormal urination combined with increased thirst, the first step is to visit your veterinarian. Indeed, the reason for frequent urination of large volumes is rarely related to a behavioral problem, but rather to a medical problem.

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