Why Cat Meow While in the Litter Box? – Things You Need to Know

Have you noticed your cat recently crying when he tries to go to his litter tray? If yes, this could be a sign that your friend may be in pain while trying to use the toilet. There are different factors associated with medical condition why your cat is in pain. In some cases, a serious condition may arise and needed an immediate vet care.


Why Cat Meowing in Litter Box?

Here are the lists of the causes why your cat constantly meowing in the litter box. It could be due to the pain leading to inability to defecate or urinate. This condition can be a life-threatening which needs to be treated immediately with proper medication.

Obstruction in the Urinary Tract – A serious and deadly condition in which there is a blockage in the urinary tract that prevents your cat from urinating. It affects male cats most of the time because of the long and narrow size of the urethra. When the cat is no longer urinate, a toxic substance from the nitrogenous waste starts to form in the bloodstream causing damage to the kidney and eventually starts to die.

Infection on the Bladder – It is also known as cystitis or the inflammation in the bladder. This condition affects female cats because of the shorter urethra making it easy for the bacteria to goes up in the bladder from the perineum area. Cats with diabetes and those that are able to hold their urine for a longer period of time are also at risk for cystitis.

Stones in the Bladder - a crystal rock stone can build up n the bladder. The most common one is called the struvite.

UTI - Urinary tract infection may affect the bladder, ureters, kidney and urethra making it another factor why your cat meow in the litter box.

Constipation - It is the inability to defecate making your feline friend feel uncomfortable. If not treated, it can lead to megacolon in which the colon appears to be abnormal in size and loses the ability to contract.

Anal Sac Disease - It happens when the anal glands become infected or impacted. During defecation, a foul smelly substance is excreted. If infection or impaction is present, the defecation process is associated with pain.

What are the Symptoms to Watch for?

  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Cloudy appearance present in the urine
  • Too much genital licking
  • Visiting the litter tray frequently but urinating a small amount of urine
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Lethargy

How to Diagnose the Condition?

Your vet may conduct a complete physical examination and obtain necessary information about medical history and the onset of the symptoms. Palpation in the abdomen is needed to assess if the bladder or the colon area is full.

  • Urinalysis -- To see if there is a bacterium present or any crystals including the white and red blood cells.
  • CBC and Biochemical Profile -- It is used to count the number of red blood cells and white blood cell. It is also used to see if the kidneys and liver are properly functioning.
  • X-ray or Ultrasound -- To assess if there is a possible stone in the urinary tract, tumors in the area or any obstruction.
  • Bacterial Culture -- If there is are any bacteria present in the urine, culture may be needed to properly give your cat the right antibiotic treatment.
  • IVP -- or also known as the Intravenous Pyelogram. This is used to see the very small stones and able to give the vet a specific view of the structure in the urinary tract


  • For UTI, oral antibiotics may be given
  • For stones, there is a prescription plan that is needed to follow to dissolve the stones. Surgery may be required for those that have large stones.
  • Laxatives may be given to soften the stools for those that have constipation. Increase in fiber intake is also necessary.
  • Antibiotics are also given with anal sac disease. If the problem comes back in the future, the anal glands are needed to remove.
  • For obstruction in the urinary tract, give your cat a lot of fluids to correct the electrolyte imbalances. Then insert a catheter while your cat is in sedation. Maintain the amount of the fluids to wash out toxic substances.
  • For tumors, surgery may be required along with the chemotherapy treatment.

How to Take Good Care of Them at Home?

  • Always follow the treatment planned as prescribed.
  • Make sure that the litter tray is always clean.
  • Encourage regular urination or defecation.
  • Add fiber in the diet
  • Encourage increase water intake by placing water fountain at home where they can easily access. You can also change their diet into a wet diet. In this way, the urine may be able to dilute and remove any formation of stones in the bladder.

Things to Avoid

  • Do not try to force him to the litter box
  • Do not lock in your cat in a small room with the litter box for a longer period of time.
  • Do not use a cleaning solution with an ammonia in any part of your home. Urine already has an ammonia and cleaning your home with this chemical could only attract your cat to urinate to these spots.

About the Author Happer Wilson

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