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Could Less Urination and Shaking in Cats Indicate a UTI or Urethral Obstruction?


Dear VetBabble: Understanding The Signs When Cats Aren’t Urinating Normally

Worried Pet Owner’s Question Is:

My precious feline isn’t passing urine as much as he usually does, and I’ve noticed he shakes in his sleep. Could this be a symptom of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or urethral obstruction? And is his shaking while asleep just dreams or is it indicative of a serious condition?

The Vet’s Friendly and Informative Response:

It’s quite understandable to be concerned when your furry companion displays strange symptoms. For every dedicated pet owner out there who might notice changes in their cat’s urination patterns or unusual behavior during sleep, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide addressing these issues, breaking it down into three parts:

1. Understanding Why Your Cat Isn’t Urinating Normally

If your cat has been going to the litter box less frequently and very few urine clumps are seen, it may indicate a problem. A simple and common reason could be that they aren’t drinking enough water. However, a far more serious possibility includes urinary tract diseases such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). You might wonder “Why Can’t My Cat Pee?“. In fact, FLUTD is a common condition that obstructs the bladder, restricting the cat’s ability to urinate and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. A visit to your vet is necessary to rule out this condition.

2. Could It Be A Kidney Disease?

A less frequent visit to the litter tray might also signal a kidney disease. Kidney disease is sadly prevalent in cats, especially as they age. “Kidney Disease in Cats” provides a detailed insight into this. Knowing and recognizing the symptoms early can make a big difference for your feline friend. Again, if there’s any uncertainty, we always recommend getting your cat checked out by a professional.

3. Shaking While Sleeping – Dreaming or Distressing?

In your query, you mentioned your cat shaking while sleeping. This could just be a sign of dreaming. Cats, like humans, have different sleep stages, and the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, which is associated with dreaming, could cause twitching or shaking movements. However, apart from dreaming, shaking or trembling could also be an indication of discomfort or pain. It might be related to the urinary issue or entirely unrelated. Once again, having your veterinarian evaluate this is key to ensure it’s nothing serious.

In summary, changes in your cat’s urination habits and unexplained physical behaviors merits a checkup with the vet. Individual symptoms could indicate different conditions – from urinary tract infections, “Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs” explains this topic thoroughly, even though it discusses dogs, a lot of the information generalizes, to more severe problems like kidney disease. Regarding the more water intake query, “Why Does My Cat Drink More Water?” explains the possible reasons compellingly. Always keep an eye out for unusual behavior and seek professional help when in doubt. After all, our pets are part of our family, and their health is our top priority.


Remember, you are your pet’s best advocate and knowing when something is amiss is the first step in getting them the help they need. Any concerns, no matter how small they might seem to you, are worth discussing with your veterinarian. Their health is our mission. Happy pet parenting!

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