Why Does My Cat Meow When Going to the Litter Box?

Does your cat meow when going to the litter box? If you notice your cat crying when going to the litter box, there could be a problem. Whether being, during, or after using the litter box your cat is trying to communicate with you. We’ve done our research and compiled all the information you need to know if your cat meows when going to the litter box.

Why Does My Cat Meow When Going To the Litter Box?When a cat meows when going to the litter box, this could signify they are in pain. A cat who suddenly cries when using the litter tray may be communicating they are in pain while urinating or in distress because they are unable to release when attempting to relieve themselves. This is indicative of a severe condition, and you should bring your cat in for veterinary care right away.

Cats meow, or cry, as a method of communication. When your cat meows, when using the litter box, the pitch of the meow, as well as other symptoms, are a good indication of what they’re trying to tell you. We’re going to delve into the causes behind meowing when going to the litter box, and what to watch for which will help you know when there is cause for concern.

What are the causes for meowing when going to the litter box?

When a cat meows when using the litter box, this could be a sign of pain or distress, or it could be behavioral issues. If you believe your cat is in pain, you should seek medical care for your pet immediately.

Medical reasons


If you notice your cat is crying when they enter and are using the litter box but when they exit, there is very little excrement in the litter tray this may be due to an obstruction. Or perhaps, despite checking beneath the surface, there’s nothing to find at all. It’s possible that your cat is meowing because they are unable to release their urine or feces. If this is the case, your cat is in danger of death and needs to go to the vet right away.

Bladder/ Urinary Tract Infection

More common in female cats, a urinary tract infection is the result of inflammation or infection in the bladder. This infection can be painful for your feline friend and will cry out in pain during urination. Your pet will require medical attention and treatment to heal.

Urinary Stones

Urinary stones can cause a blockage. Bladder stones can be caused by poor nutrition and they are more common in male cats. Urinary stones are extremely painful for your pet and need to be treated immediately.

Crystals in urine

Crystals can be caused due to lack of moisture in a cats diet. Commercial cat foods, particularly those that are plant-based, can create a nutritional deficiency for many kitties. Crystals in cat urine are common and often not a problem as long as they are regularly expelled while they are small. Ensuring your cat has access to plenty of water is essential.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is brought on by hardened crystals that have turned into stones. Aside from going to a vet and getting tested for FLUTD, some symptoms are crying during urination, distended abdomen, loss of appetite, changes in weight, and vomiting. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from FLUTD, it’s important to seek veterinary care for your pet right away to seek treatment.


If your pet is unable to pass their feces when going to the bathroom, wholly or partially, they may be in a lot of pain and cry out. Do not leave this untreated as it could get worse or stretch the colon or abdomen.

Anal sac disease

If your cat’s anal sacs become infected or impacted, this can be painful for your pet and very serious. Indications of anal sac disease are a foul-smelling secretion from the anus.

Behavioral issues

Surprisingly, when a cat meows at the litter box, it’s not always because of pain. Some cats meow for behavioral reasons. However, since some of the possible medical reasons are so serious, if your cat suddenly begins to meow at the litter box, call your vet and ask for their advice.

For now, let’s take a look at behavioral issues which may be behind this behavior.

Stress leading to excessive vocalization

If there are any changes to your cat’s litter box, or if you’ve brought a second cat into your home, your cat might be trying to express their displeasure to the situation.  Maybe your best kitty is trying to let you know they don’t like their litter box, cat litter, or perhaps its location.

Keep an eye on them and watch for any signs they may be upset. Reevaluate any changes you’ve made to their lives and remember, cats prefer gradual change and anything drastic or sudden can cause stress.


Your cat may be trying to get your attention by meowing when going to the bathroom. If you’ve ruled out all medical issues, your cat might be trying to tell you something else. You know your cat and their cries best, if it’s a higher pitch than usual, something might be wrong.

However, if it’s a low growl, they might be playful or telling you they are lonely. Or your cat might be looking for praise for a job well done. Hey, who doesn’t like a pat on the back every now and again. Your cat could be trying to get your attention the best way they know how – meowing!

Symptoms of health problems

Here are some signs to keep an eye on when it comes to possible litter box problems.

  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Straining to use the bathroom
  • Weight loss
  • Distended abdomen
  • Cloudy urine
  • Licking genital area excessively
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry litter box after attempting to use the bathroom

What to do if you suspect your cat has a medical issue

If you suspect your cat has a health issue, please contact your veterinarian immediately. It’s best to allow a professional to make a diagnosis and determine how to treat your cat. If your cat has an issue with expelling their waste, do not ignore this symptom.

Your veterinary technician may want to run a few tests to determine the cause of the issue. A few methods of testing you might expect from your pet’s doctor are:

  • Urinalysis to test urine for crystals, blood cells, or infection.
  • X-ray and ultrasound to test for any liver problems or look for blockages.
  • Blood tests to check the blood count and review any anomalies.

Treatment options

Your cat’s doctor may prescribe medication to administer which will treat any medical issues and help relieve your cat of any pain they may be experiencing. If you’re worried about how to give your pet medication, we recommend consulting with your vet. They can provide you with advice and reassurance on how to proceed.

Depending on the health issue, your vet may advise one or more of the following treatment options.

  • Cat antibiotics prescription for some ailments.
  • Prescription to help break up kidney stones.
  • Laxatives or stool softeners may be administered for symptoms of constipation.
  • Switching to wet foods or increased fiber to reduce constipation, and increase liquids.
  • Empty/drain your cat’s anal sacs.
  • Sedate your cat and insert a catheter to drain the bladder.

After treatment, your cat may be distraught or upset, so you’ll want to keep your them comfortable at home. Follow your vet’s instructions, give your cat a comfortable place to rest, keep their litter box clean, and don’t create any drastic changes in their environment.

If you notice your cat is meowing and you are unsure if it’s attention seeking behavior or a severe medical issue at hand, it’s best to do your due diligence and contact your veterinarian for professional medical advice. We know your cat’s health is paramount and ensuring your best feline friend isn’t in any pain is just as important to you as is their happiness.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. great article

  2. My kitten is 8wks ,I think she may be younger, she crys in the litterbox , she also plays in it so I think

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