Are you terrified by the idea that you might have to collect a urine sample from your cat? The most common symptoms that require collecting a cat’s urine are problems with urination (including painful urination and urination outside of the litter box), changes in appetite and water consumption, as well as weight fluctuations and other disorders. In this article, you are going to learn about the most convenient ways of getting a urine sample from a cat.
- Empty and clean the litter box. After your cat urinates in the empty box, simply use a syringe to collect a sample from the puddle. It’s an easy, fast, and costless way to collect your cat’s urine. However, it is pretty useless if you have an outdoor cat that does not use litter box or a cat that says “no” to an empty litter box. That’s completely normal because cats need to bury their waste, and if they are not able to do so, the litter box may have no more appeal than any other location. If this describes your cat, read below for other options; luckily, however, most cats who have been trained to use a litter box will use it even if it is empty. NOTE: If you have more than one cat and you perform an in-home cat urine sample collection, you may need to isolate the suspected cat in a separate room until you get the urine.
- Use a non-absorbing cat litter. This is a cat litter made specifically for cat urine sample collection. It does not absorb moisture; therefore, after your cat has used the litter box, the urine will remain in a puddle on top of the litter (depending on the product, it may sink to the bottom instead). This will make it easily collectible with a syringe. This method is a great alternative if you have already tried emptying the litter box and your cat has said “no.” You can get non-absorbing cat litter at veterinary clinics and pet stores.
- Collect urine right from the puddle. If your cat is going outside of the litter box (which often is the reason why veterinarians ask for urine tests) and he does his business on a surface other than the carpet, you can simply collect your cat’s urine from the puddle using a syringe. Of course, if your vet says that the sample must be taken in a sterile environment, you will have only one option left. Which is…
- Let your veterinarian collect your cat’s urine. The only way to provide sterile conditions for urine collection is to take your cat to the veterinarian and let him or her do the job. This will also make things easier for you (but not for your cat). There are two main methods. The most common is the use of a urinary catheter, which is inserted into the cat’s urinary tract. Thus, the urine is collected “through its natural path.” The other option, which is often used when the first method is impossible, is the insertion of a needle into the abdomen of the cat in order to collect urine directly from its bladder. Usually, cat urine is collected at a veterinary clinic only when in-home attempts give no result or when a particular analysis requires urine that has been collected in sterile environment. Your vet will inform you when this is necessary.
Once you get the job done, remember that the fresher the sample is, the more reliable the testing results will be. It is in the best interests of you and your cat that you go to the clinic right after you manage to collect its urine sample, or if you can’t, that you put the sample in the fridge and deliver it as soon as possible (but still within the same day).