What It Means If Your Cat Is Meowing In The Litter Box

Cats are typically quiet animals while doing their business. It's a survival mechanism that helps them to avoid attracting predators while they're vulnerable. However, it doesn't always work this way. If your cat meows or cries frequently in the litter box, it may mean that there's a problem brewing. Read on to discover why your cat is doing this and what you need to do.

Potential Causes

Cats typically only cry or meow in the litter box for one reason: they're in pain. There are typically two potential triggers for this behavior.

One possibility is that your cat has developed a urinary blockage. Urinary blockages are quite painful, akin to bladder stones, but they can be lethal. If your cat can't urinate, their kidneys can't perform the function of filtering toxins from the blood, and your kitty can quickly become ill. This is a serious issue that can become lethal without treatment, so if you think this is your cat's problem, get help right away.

The other possibility is that your cat is constipated or otherwise unable to defecate. This could mean that they have hair caught in their intestines, an intestinal blockage, or they could just be backed up. While not as severe a medical condition as a urinary blockage, this is still something that should be tended to by a vet.


If you take your cat to the vet, explain what's been happening, for how long, and any other symptoms you may have noticed. Your vet will perform a physical exam. They will most likely be able to feel a bowel or gastrointestinal blockage, but they may use an additional scan like an x-ray or ultrasound to confirm their findings.

Urinary blockages can often be broken up with medication or ultrasound waves. However, your cat may need additional care to reverse their blood toxicity and to rehydrate the kidneys.


If you suspect that your cat could have either of these problems, you don't have time to delay. Your cat needs help now. Urinary blockages in cats can be lethal in a very short period of time, so if you're lucky enough to have noticed symptoms, you need to take this opportunity to care for your cat's health. Bowel obstructions are extremely painful for cats and discourage them from eating. Not eating too long can lead to feline fatty liver disease. In either case, waiting can be dangerous, so don't hesitate.

With medical care, your cat will make a full recovery. If you ever hear your cat meowing or crying in the litter box or you don't find evidence of them using the litter box for a full day, it's time to seek pet care help from a veterinarian.