Collecting a Pet’s urine sample

Dr Katie Friel-Russell

BVSc MAPDT PGDip CCAB MRCVS Veterinary Behaviourist

Collecting a pet’s urine sample

Sometimes a urine sample is extremely helpful to diagnose your pet. But often people panic when asked to collect one! There are many reasons you may be asked to collect one.

  • To check for evidence of urinary tract infection or bladder stones

  • To assess or monitor kidney function

  • To measure hydration status when compared to blood results

  • To record sugar levels in diabetic pets


If your cat uses a litter tray it is really easy to get a sample. You just clear out the litter tray entirely and then put in some special litter which is non absorbent. So after your cat has gone for a wee you can just pipette the liquid up ready for testing.

If your cat won’t use a tray it is much more difficult for you to collect a sample. But don’t worry your vet should be able to take a sample direct from your cats bladder with a fine needle. This is very safe and not very uncomfortable. Your cat just needs to have a full bladder to help. This technique will also be used ahead of the litter tray if you need to send the sample off for certain tests.


Larger breed male dogs are much easier, especially if they cock their legs. Use a large surface area tub for collection (Tupperware is great) and just pop it in the way once they are urinating.

For female dogs who squat very low or short legged boys the lid of the Tupperware is nice and narrow so you can usually slide it in to collect a sample. You can buy specific urine catching tubs on extra long handles to slide underneath without having to get too close to your dog which can put them off.

For most tests only a few millilitres are needed so don’t worry if you don’t catch it all. Once you’ve collected it ideally place it in the fridge until testing; this keeps the urine fresh and is vital for some of the tests.


If your rabbit uses a litter tray (or regularly toilets in the same place) you can follow similar steps to cats. Usually an empty litter tray works best for rabbits but some may like to use the non-absorbable litter  too. Let them toilet and then collect the sample once they’re done!

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Dr Katie Friel-Russell

BVSc MAPDT PGDip CCAB MRCVS Veterinary Behaviourist


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