How Often do Cats Use the Litter Box?

How Often do Cats Use the Litter Box

If you are a new cat owner, you may be wondering how often a cat typically uses a litter box. The truth is, just like with people, there is a pretty broad range of bathroom behaviors that can all be normal for individual cats, and it may be difficult to predict exactly how often a specific cat will use their litter box.

There are a number of different factors to consider, but there are some general rules for how often cats use a litter box, and what influences their litter box behavior. Let’s take a closer look.

How Often do Cats Poop?

Cats use the litter box to poop as well as to pee, but they don’t do both things at the same time. Generally speaking, healthy adult cats poop 1-2 times a day. How often a cat poops depends on several factors, including:

Their age

Kittens poop more often than adult cats

Their diet

If a cat eats more food overall, or eats cat food with more grains or vegetables in it, they will poop more often.

The amount of exercise they get

Exercise often stimulates a cat’s digestive system and prompts them to poop.

Their overall health, as well as any medications

Just like with people, many health conditions or medications will affect how often a cat poops.

How Often do Cats Pee?

Cats evolved in the desert, so their bodies are very efficient with water. This means they drink less, and usually pee less, than dogs. However, individual cats have a wide variation in how often they pee. A healthy adult cat should probably pee at least twice a day, but healthy cats may pee five or more times a day. Factors that influence how often cats pee include:

How much water they are drinking

Of course, if they drink more water, they pee more often.

The weather

Heat and humidity can both cause cats to drink more, and therefore pee more often.

Their diet

If a cat is eating food that contains a lot of moisture, like canned food, it will affect how often or how much they pee. 

Their overall health, as well as any medications

As mentioned above, a cat’s health, as well as any medication they may be taking, may influence how often or how much a cat pees. 

What Does Your Cat’s Litter Box Say About their Health?

No matter how little your cat uses the litter box, it should still be cleaned every day. Cleaning the litter box keeps the litter box healthy and comfortable for the cat, but it’s also an opportunity for you to pay attention to your cat’s litter box habits. When cleaning your cat’s litter box, here are some things to pay attention to:

Your cat’s poop

Your cat should be pooping every day. The poop should not be too hard or too loose, and should be a normal brown in color. If your cat poops much more or less than normal, or if there are changes to the color or texture, it may be a sign of a medical condition, and it’s worth taking them in for a checkup.

Your cat’s pee

Because cats bodies process water so efficiently, their pee is usually extremely strong in scent, which is never nice. Cat pee ranges in color from clear or pale yellow to a more golden color. It should never be cloudy. While cleaning the litter box, be observant for any changes in the amount, the frequency, or the odor of your cat’s pee. As with changes in their poop, this can signal a change in their health.

Warning Signs

If you ever see blood in the litter box, or notice your cat straining to pee, or straining too hard to poop,  if they are suddenly peeing much more than usual, or if they go into and out of the litter box over and over without actually using it, they should be taken to the vet right away.

Mild constipation can be uncomfortable, but urinary obstruction or other kidney issues can be fatal. Be aware that your vet may want you to bring a sample from the litter box for testing.

Conclusion

A healthy adult cat will probably use the litter box 3-7 times a day, but all cats are different, and it’s best to observe your cat’s habits and find out what is normal and comfortable for them. Being familiar with your cat’s habits will be helpful so that you can keep an eye out for unusual changes that may indicate a health problem.

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