Getting a urine sample from a cat is easier than I expected!
Elvis had a routine blood test a couple of weeks ago. The results showed that there might be something not quite right with his kidney function. As a follow-up to the blood test, and to further check his kidney function, the vet suggested we do a urine sample.
We were given two options – either we collect the sample at home, or we take him to the vet and they do it.
The sample needs to be clean, uncontaminated and free of litter. The suggestion was to put a tray under him when he is in the litter tray and catch the wee that way. Which is all well and good, but most cats (at least the ones I’ve owned) keep their bottoms down low when they pee, so it’s difficult to get underneath. And to complicate matters, Elvis is particularly skittish when in the litter tray and has a tendency to run away from it if anyone gets too close.
We talked it through and decided it would be preferable to take him to the vet. So we did that this morning. I was curious how the procedure would work. Something had been said about an ultrasound, but that was it. I was wondering if they would sedate him and then use a catheter, but that wasn’t the case.
When we entered the room with the vet, there was a cushion on the table. The cushion was a bit like a half pipe. We had to lay Elvis on his back in it, which he was rather confused by but willing enough to stay there whilst we held him. The vet shaved some of the fur from his stomach and used the ultrasound to check the exact position of his bladder, then simply used a needle, after applying a little topical anaesthesia, to take the sample. And that was that. It took perhaps 10 minutes from the moment we entered the room to when we left.
Elvis is fairly laid back anyway, which probably helps, but he did a very good job of staying still. I know he can’t have been happy with being laid on his back and prodded at, but he didn’t seem hugely concerned either. I do feel that the procedure was probably less distressing than us hounding him each time he visited the tray in our attempts to get the sample. I have a feeling that would have ended up with him avoiding the trays and finding somewhere else to do his business…
When we got home he got lots of cuddles, and is completely his normal self. Now we just have to wait a couple of days for the results!