When you bring home your new kitten, you’re likely to have tons of questions. And one of them may be “how often do kittens pee?”
Because kittens generally use their litter box, kitten owners are at a distinct disadvantage when compared to puppy owners. If you have a dog you’ll generally have a good idea of how often they pee, because you’ll often be along for the ride!
Kittens tend to urinate in private and won’t alert you to their toilet habits. So, how do you know if your kitten is normal and healthy?
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
A healthy kitten will urinate in their litter box multiple times a day. On average, kittens will urinate between two to five times a day.
As you’ve probably already imagined, how much liquid they drink, their activity level, and their personal habits will all have an impact on how many little puddles you’ll find in the litter box.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your kitten for the first few days while they are at home. Keeping a close eye on their bathroom habits is the best defense against health problems in the future. If you know how much your kitten generally pees, you’ll be able to tell when something is amiss!
Kittens urinate in the same way that most mammals do. When they feel the urge to “go,” they pop a squat (generally in their litterbox, as most kittens are taught how to use it from an early age by their mothers), and let loose!
Kittens, as well as their adult counterparts, are susceptible to a variety of urinary tract issues, including infections.
These issues can occur in both male and female kittens and are caused by a host of different problems, including urethral obstruction, bladder infections, inflammation, and bladder crystals or stones as well as abnormalities in the urinary tract.
Some signs that your kitten may have a problem with their urinary tract are:
If you notice your kitten displaying any of these signs, take them to the vet right away! These kinds of problems are usually treatable, but you will need the expertise of a veterinarian.
In fact, urinary tract issues are so common in cats that the pet industry even offers special foods to combat the issue in adult cats, such as Royal Canin Urinary Tract food.
These foods work by decreasing the mineral levels in your cat’s urine, thus decreasing the likelihood that bladder crystals will form. They even have treats available that are tasty and support urinary tract health, such as Get Naked Urinary Health treats.
If your kitten already has urinary tract issues, you should definitely talk to your vet about putting them on a special diet, both when they are young and when they grow up.
This tiny kitten is learning to use the box. Adorable, right?
Newborn kittens are pretty helpless. They are born with their eyes closed and ear canals shut, rendering them essentially blind and deaf for the first few weeks of life.
In fact, very young kittens are dependent on their mothers for pretty much everything, and going to the bathroom is no exception. When a kitten is very young, the mother cat will lick them to stimulate urination and defecation.
Kittens are only able to relieve themselves on their own at about 3 weeks of age.
Kittens learn to use the litter box pretty much when they begin urinating and defecating on their own, at about 3 or 4 weeks of age. This process is actually pretty extraordinary, as it relies both on instinct and observation.
Kittens have a natural instinct to eliminate on soil or sand. This instinct is very primal and harks back to our kitten’s wild ancestors, who only peed in places where they could actively cover their scent afterwards.
Our domesticated kittens still retain this instinct, and by providing them with a litter box we are giving them the perfect place to pee!
Kittens watch their mothers carefully, as well, and learn to use the litter box simply by observing. Most cat owners won’t ever need to formally “train” their kitten to use the litter box, because by the time they arrive in their new home they’ve likely been doing it for weeks.
One of the few times where kittens won’t use the litter box is if they’re disabled or have arthritis. This isn’t common, especially for kittens, but if you are faced with this situation we’ve created a great post to find the best litter box for arthritic cats that can be read by clicking here.
That’s one of the great aspects of cat ownership: no house training and no morning walks in the rain!
This mother cat is teaching her kitten how to use the box.
Once and a while, our cute cuddly kittens will leave us with a not-so-cute surprise on our beds.
Obviously, the first way to ensure that your kitten never pees on your bed is to prevent them from accessing the bed (though this is easier said than done).
Sometimes inappropriate urination can be a sign that something is wrong with your kitten’s health. If your kitten is peeing on your bed, there are a few things you should check out before bringing them to the vet:
Kittens may occasionally urinate on the bed as a form of protest, though this is unusual. If you’ve cleaned the box, made sure your kitten has access to their litterbox, and ruled out any behavioral problems, it’s time to take your kitten to the vet. Urinating in strange locations is one of the first signs of a urinary tract problem!
Your kitten should urinate roughly 2 to 5 times a day. They may urinate more on days when they drink a lot of water and will urinate less on days when they have a little bit less to drink.
The key with kitty urination is consistency. If you notice a dramatic change in your kitten’s toilet habits, you should bring them to the vet to rule out a health problem.
If your kitten has urinary tract issues when they are young, it may be a good idea to get them started on a food that’s specially-formulated for urinary tract health once they reach adulthood.
Foods such as Royal Canin Urinary Tract food can be very helpful in curbing the formation of bladder crystals in adult cats, so check with your veterinarian to see if it may be a good idea.
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.