Taking a Urine Specimen in Cats

Collecting a home urine sample is tricky.

Collecting a home urine sample is tricky.

If your vet asks for a home urine specimen from your cat, don't panic. Collecting a urine sample is tricky, but it is not impossible and it doesn't have to be stressful. With a bit of preparation, stealth and patience, you'll have a container full of pee in no time.

Watch your kitty closely to determine when she urinates. She may have an obvious pattern, such as urinating just before or after meals, or she may use the litter box randomly throughout the day. Knowing when she goes makes taking a specimen much easier.

Isolate the cat you need to collect a sample from if you have multiple cats in your home. It won't do anyone any good if you take a urine sample from the wrong cat.

Clean your cat's litter box, let it dry, and fill it with non-absorbable litter or with nothing at all. Some cats will use their box even if it is empty, but others object to any change in litter or location. You won't know until you try.

Collect the urine from the empty box with a syringe and store it in the plastic cup provided by your veterinarian. If you are using a non-absorbable litter, either remove the urine reservoir included with the tray (when using a kit) or tilt the box so that the urine pools in one corner of the litter pan.

Bring the sample to your vet's office right away or place it in your refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Follow your veterinarian's instructions if they differ from these.

Call your vet's office if your kitty refuses to use the empty box or holds her urine for more than 24 hours. Some cats are stubborn and will refuse to go if they suspect you are up to something. Your vet may want you to bring your cat in for an office collection.

Items you will need

  • Non-absorbable litter
  • Sterile syringe
  • Plastic specimen cup


  • If you're feeling brave, try collecting a sample directly from your cat's urine stream while she pees. Hold the collection cup under your cat and catch a clean sample while she squats.

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About the Author

Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."

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