New cat urine test kit screens for hematuria via noninvasive procedure


A cat urine test kit developed in Thailand uses litterbox samples to screen for risk of kidney disease, gallstones, or cystitis

(Photo courtesy of Chulalongkorn University)

The cat urine test kit. (Photo courtesy of Chulalongkorn University).

Researchers from Chulalongkorn University (Chula) in Bangkok, Thailand have developed a cat urine test kit for the detection of urinary tract diseases that cat owners can use. The kit screens for hematuria, which can indicate kidney disease, gallstones—or cholelithiasis—, cystitis, or other diseases related to the urinary tract.1

“We hope that the cat urine test kit will be one of the tools to enable the owners to monitor the health of their cat regularly. And if the risk of kidney disease, gallstones, or cystitis is detected, it can be treated by a veterinarian promptly,” Lunjakorn Amornkitbamrung, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at Chula Faculty of Science, and co-inventor of the cat urine test kit, said in a news release by Chula.1

Additionally, the project received a grant from the National Research Council of Thailand. Researchers Amornkitbamrung and Kanet Wongravee, PhD, associate professor at Chula Faculty of Science developed the kit under a pilot project named 'Thai Inventors, World Inventors.'1

The kit includes a test strip and a vial of liquid. To use, follow these directions1:

  1. Scoop cat litter soaked with urine and mix it with the solution
  2. Drip the solution onto the test strip
  3. Wait 5 to 10 minutes to read the results

Given its non-invasive nature, the urine test kit can be used by pet owners to routinely check their cat’s urine for the presence of blood, helping to maintain their pet’s health in check, according to the news release.1

According to Amornkitbamrung, current methods used by veterinarians to diagnose kidney disease or cystitis in cats include inserting a needle into the cat’s bladder or inserting a catheter to draw out urine, which can be painful for the cat. “These methods of diagnosis are accurate because the samples are taken directly from the bladder and the cat’s genitalia, but the procedures can be quite painful. Our research team wanted to solve this problem, so we invented a cat urine test kit to reduce the pain in the diagnostic procedure and from the kidney disease and cystitis symptoms,” explained Amornkitbamrung.1

Despite its ease of use and painless procedure, the urine test kit can only detect a level 3 risk of developing kidney disease, gallstones, or cystitis. “The test is performed on the urine in the cat litter causing the sample [of the blood] to be diluted…in the urine. Therefore, the test will detect the presence of blood when the cat is in stage 3, so if the result is positive, the cat owner must immediately take the cat to the veterinarian,” said Amornkitbamrung. According to Chula, there are plans to improve the test kit’s sensitivity, with the goal of allowing it to detect lower levels of hematuria.1

Prevalence of chronic kidney disease, feline idiopathic cystitis, and cholelithiasis

Chronic kidney disease is prevalent among older cats, affecting approximately 30% to 40% of cats over 10 years and 81% of cats aged 15 years or more. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, clinical signs are only seen once at least 67% to 70% of the kidneys have become dysfunctional.2

Meanwhile, feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC) affects 250,000 to 500,000 cats in North America each year, with symptoms including increased urination, hematuria, straining to urinate, painful urination, and house-soiling or urinating outside of the litter box.3

Limited literature on cholelithiasis in cats revealed that gallstones are uncommon in cats and may be asymptomatic. However, symptomatic cholelithiasis can indicate another hepatobiliary disease, biliary tract obstruction, or both.4


1. Easy and fast “cat urine test kit” for early detection of kidney disease, gallstones, and cystitis. News release. Chulalongkorn University. June 18, 2024. Accessed July 1, 2024.,of%20cats%20over%2015%20years.

2. Chronic feline idiopathic cystitis study. Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed July 1, 2024.,cats%20annually%20in%20North%20America.

3. Brunet A, Duperrier‐Simond C, Amoyal S, et al. Prevalence and clinical relevance of cholelithiasis in cats: A multicenter retrospective study of 98 cases. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2023;37(6):2157-2170. doi:10.1111/jvim.16868

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