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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 50mls 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. Thus, be aware that polyuria is manifested by frequent urination of large volumes and that this symptom 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 100mls 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, he may have chronic kidney disease. This disease, 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, he 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- hyperthyroidism. This thyroid gland problem is a common condition affecting older age 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 symptoms can include the cat losing weight, having digestive problems but having a large appetite and may be 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 supporting digestion. 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-jaundice.

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What To Do About These Symptoms

If you’ve read something above that sounds 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, ask you to detail the symptoms, and possibly decide to carry out blood and urine tests and other more in-depth investigations.

Dietary Changes

Is your cat young and in perfect health? Then if he urinates a lot, it can also be caused by a recent change in diet. Saltier and drier kibble can, for example, lead him to drink a lot of water, or a change from biscuits to tinned food. If he drinks water more, he will naturally urinate more often.

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Just like humans, cats can suffer from urinary tract infections although 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, blood in the urine and excessively licking its 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 (that is why we are talking about it in this article, even if the subject is rather frequent urination).

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

If you spot the following symptoms, it is best to consult your veterinarian very 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.

divider-cat Conclusion

As a cat parent, it is your responsibility to monitor your feline’s comings and goings to his 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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