Need a urine sample? Urine luck!


We've collected 9 of our favorite tips compiled from the pages of Veterinary Medicine to help you collect that free catch urine sample from your veterinary patients.

Here's a countdown of the fun (and funny) ways you can collect a urine sample:

9. You'll never look at ice cream the same again ... 

Repurpose banana split boats

I had several banana split containers, so I brought the extras to the hospital to be used for urine collection. These containers work better than a typical bowl does because their oblong shape and shallow depth fit better between the legs and under short dogs, and their extra length keeps your hands away from the urine stream.

Jennifer Bentley, veterinary technician

Raleigh, North Carolina


8. Orville Redenbacher probably never imagined this method of at-home urine sample collection. 

Catch urine samples with popcorn kernels

To make it easier for owners to catch feline urine samples at home, we suggest they replace their cats' litter boxes with a clean box filled with unpopped popcorn kernels. The popcorn is similar to kitty litter in texture but doesn't absorb urine. After a cat uses this litter box, the owners can easily pour the urine into a container and then bring it to the clinic for analysis. We have had great success with this method.

Laura Wiglusz, LVT

Melissa Campbell, assistant

Beth McCrea, receptionist

Grand Island, New York



7. MacGyver would be impressed!

Simplify the urine sample process with a urine catch kit

We send owners home with urine catch kits if we were unable to obtain urine at the patient appointment. The kits include a urine catch tray, a pipette and a urine tube marked with the owner's name, the patient's chart number and a paid label-all in a laboratory bag. When the owner collects a urine sample, he or she can drop the sample off at the front desk without having to wait for the chart to be pulled up. All we have to do is fill out the laboratory paperwork and put the sample in the fridge.

Dawn Elza, LVMT

Nashville, Tennessee


6. Bet you never thought of using an IV-line THIS way

Get urine in a pinch with IV-line litter

We were out of Nosorb (Catco), the nonabsorbent granule cat litter used to collect urine samples, and needed to collect a sample that day. We cleaned and dried a few used intravenous infusion lines, cut them into litter-size pellets, and then placed them in a clean litter box. They didn't take long to make and worked well in a pinch.

Dr. Maria D. Gonzales

San Antonio, Texas


5. And-surprise!-you can use syringe casings too!

A cheap and easy way to collect urine

We use the caps from syringe casings as a false litter for cats that we need to collect urine from. It makes collecting the urine easier and saves money.

Ashley G. Carter, CST

York, South Carolina


4. We see a disturbing trend with kitchen items here …

Backup method for urine collection

When collecting a urine sample from a cat by cystocentesis, we place the animal in lateral recumbency in a "cat stretch" position for bladder palpation on a wet table. We place a clean, dry, stainless steel bowl under the grate of the wet table and position it under the cat's hips. So if the cat is scared or voids from the pressure of the bladder palpation beforehand, at least we've caught our sample in a clean bowl. Sometimes, a voided sample is better than no sample. Also, when collecting blood and urine from the same feline patient, we collect the urine in this fashion first because the cat may urinate during restraint for venipuncture. Collecting urine first with this backup, free-catch method and obtaining the blood sample afterward works well for us.

Mary Weeks, RVT, practice manager

Keller, Texas


3. Seriously, do you guys cook with these utensils?

DIY free-catch urine sample catcher

To make it easier to obtain free-catch urine samples, especially from low-squatting female dogs, we screwed a stainless steel ladle to the end of a broomstick. Now our technicians don't have to bend down or get urine on their hands.

Dr. Suzanne Ellis

Xenia, Ohio


2. Imagine the Pinterest photos for this DIY idea in action!

A handy at-home urine collection kit

I frequently request that pet owners collect urine samples at home to help diagnose and monitor urinary tract problems. My technician, Jess, has implemented a collection-transport system that not only helps owners but recycles as well. She provides a plastic pipette with a small screw-cap vial in an empty vaccine carton. Clients use the vaccine carton to catch the urine (the top and bottom offer two chances to catch a sample), and the pipette cleanly transfers the sample to the screw-cap vial for transport. This has increased recheck urinalysis compliance greatly.

Dr. Michael Frenette

Bismarck, North Dakota


1. Hey! Someone's actually using a litter box to collect urine *faint*!

Getting a free-catch sample: two pans and a plan

To get a free-catch urine sample from a cat when you don't need a sterile sample, drill holes in a plastic litter pan, and nest that litter pan inside a normal litter box. When the cat eliminates, the urine will drain into the lower box, where the cat is less likely to spill or contaminate the sample. Afterward, the litter box and pan can be disinfected and reused.

Linda K. Watson, RVT

San Jose, California

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