How Long Can Cats Hold Their Poop?

If you’re planning on taking your cat on a road trip, then it’s a good idea to prepare for emergencies.

This article answers the question, how long cats can hold their poop and how often they urinate.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Pooping?

A cat might hold it back and go without pooping for 1-2 days. If it’s more, you have to go the vet immediately, because your cat may be constipated.

Make sure to clean the litter tray frequently. If your cat is pooping everywhere, then he might have a behavioral problem.

Determining Factors Why Your Cat Hasn’t Pooped

The amount of time a cat can hold its poop depends on several factors such as:

  • Age
  • Activeness
  • Diet & Portion consumed
  • Medical condition
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Stress

Do cats stop pooping when stressed?

The most common reason cats stop using the litter box is because they are upset with something in their environment.

Cats do not like sudden, loud noises, and they can be easily stressed by changes in their environment.

Anytime your cat stops using the litter box, it’s important to take a look at what might be upsetting them and causing them to use the toilet elsewhere.

Is the box too dirty? If so, it might be time to clean it.

How often should a 10+ year old cat poop?

Cats are considered as self-cleaning animals and therefore, they don’t need help from us.

If your kitty has a healthy diet and regular exercise, then you don’t have to worry too much about the number of times it poops.

A healthy cat will poop a few times a day and the frequency of pooping and their consistency will vary from one cat to another. There are instances when a cat will poop more than the usual, this is to get rid of the hairballs or bits of fur.

You can help your kitty by using a cat grooming glove to remove the fur and give it a brush. Giving your kitty a treat will help it pass the hairball faster.

Old cats, just like younger cats should poop every day or every other day.

How long can a cat go without pooping after a surgery?

Constipation after a surgical procedure can happen. The reason for such a problem is because of little to no movement during a period of time.

It can take up to 4 days.

The cat’s body naturally takes time to recover properly during the post-surgical recovery period. That should be completed before exploring any way to treat the cat’s constipation.

The first thing to do is to make sure that your cat is eating and drinking water. After some time, slowly introduce some movement into your cat’s daily routine.

This could be in the form of a slow walk for your cat or just a simple play session with your cat. This will help to keep the constipation from continuing. As a last resort, your cat may need the help of medicine to move the bowels again.

This can be a simple over-the-counter treatment from your local pet store. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions correctly.

Why is my cat not pooping after neutering?

As said above, a surgery is quite painful for a cat and he need time to recover. It is normal for some cats not to be able to poop after neutering.

My cat hasn’t peed or pooped in 2 days

A possible reason why your cat hasn’t pooped might be because of constipation. If the cat hasn’t peed then he might have a urinary tract obstruction.

This is a blockage that doesn’t allow the urine to flow correctly. Your cat may hide or cry.

When should you be concerned?

According to Cornell University, if your cat seems to be “straining in its litter box, crying out in pain as it tries to defecate, or if there is blood in the bits of stool that it has managed to expel.”

You should consult with a Veterinarian If you see if these changes persist for more than 48 hours, if you notice changes in your cat’s standard defecation frequency and if their feces change the odor, color, and consistency.

What is cat constipation?

As defined by Cleveland Clinic, constipation occurs when bowel movements become less frequent, and stools become difficult to pass.

Constipation needs immediate attention. Otherwise, it can turn out to be deadlier. Untreated constipation can soon turn to megacolon or obstipation.

Bowel movement

Usually a cat has bowel movement once or even twice a day.

It happens most often due to changes in diet or routine, or due to inadequate intake of fiber.”

You can guess if a cat is suffering from constipation by the following observations:

  • The litter tray remains empty for an extended period
  • The stool is difficult to pass, and the bowel movement is painful.

If defecation appears hard, lumpy, or cracked, then it’s an indication of constipation. On the other hand, if the poop is watery, then chances are that the cat is suffering from diarrhea.

How can I stimulate my cat to have a bowel movement?

We do not recommend doing anything on your own besides feeding her lots of fluid.

Constipation can be a severe problem for cats, and it needs proper veterinary knowledge to be cured.

We suggest you visit a vet as early as possible.

Why is my cat not peeing?

Usually cats pee twice a day. You don’t want your cat to urinate in unusual places like litter boxes or your car, because cat pee has a really strong smell.

Cats unable to pee are often known as blocked cats. Your cat can’t pee due to Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), conditions that affect a cat’s bladder.

One of which is cystitis, inflammation of the bladder. If not treated, it can lead to a more severe health issue like kidney stones.

Possible causes

  • Stress level
  • Injury
  • Debris accumulation in the bladder
  • Weak bladder
  • Water consumption / Water intake
  • etc.

According to PetMD, you should take a male cat to a vet immediately. Female cats should be seen 24 hours or sooner.

For more information, We recommend you read these two articles by Vin and PetMD.

What can help cats with constipation?

As with other health problems in cats, there may be several causes for constipation.

Pain and restricted mobility may limit a cat’s ability to express his desire to eliminate.

Cats feel almost everything more intensely than humans, and pain can have a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being.

Cats also can have difficulty initiating elimination when they have been immersed in water for too long or when they get nervous.

Sedation or using a litter box that is too small can also cause constipation.

There are a few things that you can try, instead of over the counter laxatives (like Miralax – PEG 3350).

Castor Oil

This oil is produced as a byproduct of castor bean processing. Castor beans are used in the manufacture of vegetable-based oil and animal-based feeds, as well as in the manufacture of plastics and other chemical products.

Castor oil is a thick, sticky liquid and  a rich source of fatty acids.

You can mix this oil together with the food of your cat.

Olive Oil

This is the perfect home remedy with no side effects.

You can mix this with the food of your cat. Your cat won’t even notice the difference in taste.

How often do cats poop and pee?

In an article by, cats will urinate two to three times a day and poop once a day if everything is normal. Kittens usually poop and pee every day.

The amount of urine the cat produces mostly depends on the amount of liquid (even canned foods) it consumes.

Ultimately, cats that consume dry, canned foods will likely visit the litter box less often.

Cats behaving oddly when traveling

Cats do not like change because they can get very stressed. Instead, they like routine and familiar surroundings.

They want safety and security.

It is usual for them to not defecate for more than 48 hours when traveling. Even if you make frequent stops and give them their litter box, they might refuse to do their business. They don’t want to poop until they feel like they are in a safe and more comfortable environment.

See if, after reaching the destination, your cat poops or not. If she does, then there is no need to worry. However, if she doesn’t, you might need to give her a bit more time to adjust. Refusing to poop after reaching the destination is generally not a good sign.

Nonetheless, consult a vet if the problem persists.


Now that you know how long can cats hold their poop, plan your trips accordingly? Even if a cat can hold its poop for 48 hours, We’ll never recommend stretching the ‘not-pooping’ time for that long.

If your journey requires a long time on the road, then make frequent stops. I’ll recommend making stops after every 2-4 hours (depending on the age of your cat) so that the cat can finish its business.

Even if the cat refuses to poop/pee at the first couple of stops, you still need to give them the chance to pee/poop after every few hours. Also, stops are good for keeping your cat relaxed, calm as well as stress-free.

How long can cats hold their waste?

There is no definite way to say how long cats can hold their poop since many factors are at play.

Richard Goldstein of the Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine states, “Cats typically move their bowels one to three times a day…depending to some extent on the type of food they eat. You should seek veterinary consultation if your cat doesn’t defecate for more than a day or two.”

If everything is normal, the poop should come out comfortably. It should be brownish and well-formed (Sausage like shape).

Can a cat hold their poop overnight?

Yes, cats can hold their poop overnight.

After eating or drinking, the leftover food stays in the stomach for a while. The stomach sends a signal to the colon when it is ready. When the food is ready to come out, the colon sends a signal too.

The waste moves through the colon, and the cat poops it out. A cat’s colon can hold waste for at least 24 hours. Older cats may need to poop more often to avoid constipation.

How do I know if my cat wants to poop?

You can tell by the way they are signaling to you. Normally they will walk in circles when they need to poop.

You can also tell by the cat’s behavior.

If they are scratching their bottom in a fast speed, then it means that they are trying to poop but it’s hard to do so. You can also observe the cat’s eyes. If they are wide open, it means that they are in pain and they have difficulties.

Why do cats do Zoomies after pooping?

Cats have a sense of relief after pooping and Zoomies is the best way to show it. That is the reason why cats do Zoomies after pooping.

For example, after my cat poops, she loves to roll around the bathroom and then take up a spot on my lap. Zoomies after they poop may be a sign of happiness and it also shows that they are extremely satisfied.

How long after eating something does a cat take to defecate?

It should take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours for your cat’s body to digest the food and expel it. Digestion normally takes up to 6 hours.

The bowel movement should occur several hours after that.