Any time there is a change of behavior in your cat we recommend getting them examined. The most common causes of spending to much time in the litterbox usually involve either urinary or fecal conditions. Common causes include urinary tract infections, diabetes, constipation and diarrhea. . Spending a few minutes observing your cat in the litterbox can be very important and help us determine the problem.


Constipation which is difficult or infrequent bowel movements is one of the most common health problems associated with a pet’s digestive system. If your cat is passing dry, hard stools, straining when trying to defecate or making unsuccessful trips to the litter box, please call us today. There can be many underlying conditions that can cause constipation. Cats may also be straining to urinate and this could be a very serious emergency condition or they may actually have diarrhea and feel the urge to strain.

Diarrhea which is looser than normal stools may also cause the cat to appear to be straining. Diarrhea can have many causes, some of which could be transmitted to humans. Anytime your cat is having problems with abnormal stools call us for an examination. It may be helpful for us to examine the fecal material so carefully collect us a small sample and bring it to your appointment.

Urinary tract infections or urinary blockages are also a common cause of spending more time than normal in the litterbox. Changes in water intake and urination habits are our pet’s way of communicating to us there is a problem. Urinary tract infections can cause pain and inflammation and can lead to other health problems and should be diagnosed as early in the problem as possible.

Straining in the litterbox can also be an indication of a very serious, deadly urinary blockage. This is especially true in male cats. If the urethra becomes blocked it can cause the bladder to become overfilled and distended causing eventual rupture and is also very harmful to kidney function. Cats with urinary blockage will often spend a lot of time straining to urinate, become very lethargic and eventually become unresponsive. This is an emergency condition.