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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Obtain a urine sample from your cat using this stress-free and easy method

"We'll need a urine sample from your pet, so you'll need to collect one and have it ready..." is a common refrain that's heard when talking to a veterinarian's office.

Urine samples can yield a lot of helpful information from anything from a routine health check up, to sleuthing an unknown illness. They're easy to test and it's an inexpensive way to glean much-needed insight. 

I found that getting one from the dog is relatively easy; I'll quietly follow said pooch outside and reach down with a clean container in hand to snag a sample mid-stream without their knowledge. 

I'm imagining several quizzical-looking faces reading this and thinking, "How does one get a urine sample from a cat?"

Though I'm lucky that at this point, my cat, Silver is non-plussed by my sneaking into his litter box area to catch some urine mid-stream as he's tending to business, it's safe to say that most cats are not as cooperative. It is possible that other cats would be as easy going, but if they're not, there's another easy way to obtain a urine sample. You'll need a clean, empty litter box, a sterile needleless syringe – and some unpopped popcorn (or dried beans).

Simply swap your cat's usual litter box with the clean one and fill with the popcorn kernels instead of litter. Since the popcorn offers a cat the medium in which to do their business but lacks the ability to absorb the urine, it's an ideal way to get a sample for testing. The urine deposited into the litter box can be retrieved by pouring it into a clean catch cup or other container, or by drawing it up into a needleless syringe and then transferring it to a container that way. 

More considerations

In multiple-cat families or due to other circumstances, it may be necessary to confine said cat in a room with the popcorn-filled litter box. And, obviously if your vet needs a sterile sample, they'll need to obtain that manually. 

Lorrie Shaw is a freelance writer and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. Shoot her an email, contact her at 734-904-7279 or follow her adventures on Twitter.

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