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5 Reasons For Male Cat Not Peeing But Acting Normal

5 Reasons For Male Cat Not Peeing But Acting Normal

Just like all other living beings, cats drink water and probably eat wet food, at least sometimes, which means that it is normal and expected that they will pee several times a day.

There’s no general rule on how often a cat should pee; Some will pee twice a day, while some will have to go up to 4 times daily.

This also depends on the cat’s health, age, water drinking habits, etc. If you noticed your male cat not peeing but acting normal, you probably got worried immediately.

Well, it’s good that you’re observing your cat and reacting to the changes he’s showing. In some cases, this will not be so serious, but, it’s also possible that a male cat not peeing could have an underlying health issue.

Let’s take a look at the 5 most common reasons for this occurrence in felines.

1. A Dirty Litter Box

a woman cleans a cat litter box

You know how clean cats are; I bet your cat’s favorite activity is grooming himself!

Well, cats like everything around them to be clean. Actually, one reason why your male cat isn’t peeing and is acting completely normal could be a dirty litter box.

This can go so far that some cats might even scratch the sides of their litter boxes to let you know that they’re dirty!

Yes, this is a cute way of our cats telling us that we need to take care that their environment is always clean.

How To Solve?

You should clean your cat’s litter box every day, and replace the litter at least once a week. 

J.J. Ellis and his associates [1] explain how frequent removal of waste is a key step for encouraging proper litter box use in your kitten.

So, if you’re wondering why your male cat hasn’t peed in a while, the first thing you should check is his litter box.

2. Simply Not Hydrated Enough

A healthy, adult cat can go around 24 to 48 hours without peeing. Of course, this isn’t healthy nor recommended.

If you notice that your cat often has these periods of not peeing, there’s a possibility he’s simply not hydrated enough.

Many cats aren’t crazy about water, and prefer dry over wet food. This means that they aren’t drinking enough water, and, therefore, aren’t peeing.

Urination is crucial for a cat’s body to expel waste and for him to stay healthy. This is why you shouldn’t ignore the fact your cat isn’t having enough water, causing him not to pee. 

He might still act normal, but you should do your best to change this.

How To Solve?

You should try to get your kitten to drink more water. Always keep his water bowl clean and filled with fresh water.

Since many cats are crazy about moving water, getting a water fountain is also a good idea to keep your cat hydrated.

Another thing you can do is to introduce wet food into your cat’s diet. If he doesn’t seem interested in the beginning, you can try to trick him with adding a biscuit to his meal. 

Combining dry with wet food is a good option for keeping your cat hydrated and peeing regularly.

3. Cystitis

cat on the table at the veterinarian's examination

Cystitis or inflammation of the bladder is quite a common health problem in cats, which occurs due to bacterial infections or urinary stones.

As a rule, when it is recognized in time, cystitis is easily curable, and the cat will recover within a few days.

Some cats with cystitis will pee more often, while some will not pee at all and will behave completely normally. However, you should not ignore this symptom because it may indicate that your cat has a urinary tract obstruction.

How To Solve?

If cystitis is suspected, the most important thing is to immediately consult a veterinarian and tell him about the symptoms you noticed in your cat.

Cystitis is usually not an acute emergency in cats, but it is good for a cat to have a general clinical examination as soon as possible.

If the veterinarian detects cystitis in cats, he will prescribe treatment for the cause of the infection and recommend a way to alleviate the symptoms.

If he finds that the cat’s urinary tract is completely blocked, surgical treatment will be necessary.

4. Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection in cats is not a serious health problem in itself, but if left untreated, it can be very stressful for the cat.

These infections can be very painful for the cat and cause him not to pee, but he will still behave normally. Why is this happening?

Because cats are extremely good at hiding their pain. They will not easily let their owners know that something is bothering them, but every cat parent will probably notice very quickly that something is happening with their pet.

Urinary tract infection in cats can occur as a result of bacterial infections. In some cats, it is also possible for sand or stones to form in their bladder, which can make the cat’s urinary tract completely impassable.

It is even possible that stressful situations cause this type of infection in cats, since chronic stress has a negative effect on the cat’s immune system.

PDSA explains how many things can cause stress in cats, such as changes in their home, new animals or new people around them, or loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms.

How To Solve?

Of course, the first step is to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian.

If he determines that a bacterial infection caused a urinary tract infection in your cat, he will prescribe antibiotics.

If the cat has crystals in the urine that have caused the formation of stones, the veterinarian will prescribe a special diet that is used for diseases of the urinary tract.

A cat with this health problem must take in sufficient amounts of liquid.

5. Urinary Obstruction

Veterinary placing a catheter via a cat in the clinic

Male cats can develop urinary obstruction, which usually occurs due to crystals or small stones formed in their kidneys.

ACVS explains how the cause of the stone forming in male cats isn’t quite clear yet, but it might happen due to trauma, diet, or viral infections. Cats that are more likely to develop this condition are the ones that eat dry food exclusively.

Some cats have mild symptoms of urinary obstruction; They will not be able to pee, but will still act pretty normal.

This condition can even get to be fatal for cats, if a complete obstruction occurs, and if the cat isn’t able to produce any urine for a couple of days in a row. 

Some cats might also be lethargic, refuse to eat, and try to hide because of the discomfort they feel.

How To Solve?

If you suspect your cat might have a urinary obstruction, you need to take him to the vet clinic as soon as possible.

The vet will sedate your cat and put a catheter into his urethra to force the stone to move to the bladder. He will also drain your cat’s bladder to make sure there is no sediment remaining in it.

After the vet removes the catheter, he will observe whether the cat can urinate on his own. If everything seems to be fine, the cat will be ready to leave the hospital.

Some cats will need a change in their diet, and some might also use pain medications after this procedure.


A situation where a male cat isn’t peeing but is acting normal can seem harmless. However, remember that cats won’t show their pain easily.

Actually, they will hide to not let you know that they’re in discomfort.

So, in many cases, a cat acting normal doesn’t mean he is really feeling okay. As we could have seen, a cat that isn’t peeing might be struggling with various health problems.

The things you should do is to keep your cat hydrated and his litter box clean. If everything is in order with these two, but your cat still isn’t peeing, you should contact your veterinarian.

A cat that hasn’t peed for more than 48 hours could even be in a life-threatening situation. Make sure you always keep track of your cat’s litter box habits, and react as soon as you notice any changes.

[1] Ellis, JJ, et. al. Does previous use affect litter box appeal in multi-cat households? Behavioural Processes, Volume 141, Part 3, August 2017, Pages 284-290. DOI, Retrieved May 25, 2023.

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