"Cat Urine color, clarity, smell and testing can be a window into the health of your cat. A test of the urine or urinalysis could indicate diseases such as a urinary tract disease, liver failure and other systemic diseases, such as liver failure and blood problems such as hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells)."
Cat urine is something that is collected by most veterinarians as part of an examination. Feline urine health is examined based on three criteria:
- physical appearance
- chemical makeup
- sediment (particles in the urine
Urine needs to be analyzed within 2 hours of being collected. If collected at home refrigerate until you bring it to the veterinarian.
What a Feline Urine Test Can Tell You
Urinalysis or the testing of your cat's urine is an indicator of several feline diseases and infections including:
Urinary Tract Disease: your veterinarian will look for blood in the urine (called hematuria).
Puss in the Urine (pyuria): Used to distinguish feline urinary tract disease from other diseases.
Organisms: Many types can be round in urine including bacteria, yeast, fungus and parasites.
Glucose: This is usually not found in feline urine. If it is it could be a sign of diabetes mellitus.
Protein: Too much protein in the blood could indicate kidney disease.
Urine Electrolyte Levels: High levels could indicate kidney disease.
Tumor test: this test can be used to detect cancerous cells or tumors.
What is in Normal Cat Urine?
Normal feline urine is made of the following components:
.003% Uric Acid
Normal cat urine production within a 24 hour period is between 20-44 ml/kg. Each time your cat goes can vary in size, but the 24 hour period should be within the indicated range. The amount of urine produced can indicate certain medical conditions as indicated below:
Normal Amount of Cat Urine
Amount of Urine Produced in 24 Hour Period
More Urine than Normal
Physiological cause, caused by a medication your cat is taking, , pharmacological or caused by disease (pathological)
Less Urine than Normal (called oliguria)
Dehydration, kidney failure (renal failure), or urinary blockages.
No Urine Flow (anuria)
This is an emergency and may be caused by kidney failure, a blockage in the urinary tract, a blockage in the bladder or ruptured bladder.
Frequency of Feline Urine Tests
In general veterinarians recommend that a urinalysis is done during the normal annual health exam from age 7 on. It should also be done whenever your cat is being examined for an illness.
Feline Urine Appearance
Urine Amount: this depends on how much your cat is drinking and if the kidney if functioning properly (renal health).
Cat Urine color: cat urine is usually yellow or amber. If the urine is cloudy and red it indicates that there is blood in the urine.
- Dark red or brown urine: Indicates blood in the urine
- Yellow-brown, greenish: yellow, dark brown, foam: may indicate some type of liver problem
- Pink, blue, other colors: may be due to drugs your cat is taking
Disease may still exist in feline urine that has a normal appearance.
Feline Urine Transparency (turbidity): Normal urine is clear. If it isn't clear it could indicate some type of disease is present.
Cat Urine odor: Smell such as a strong ammonia like odor might indicate a bacterial infection (sepsis). A weak ammonia odor is normal. An odor that smells like a paint solvent (acetone odor) or sweet smell may indicate diabetes mellitus, acetonemia (when the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose or sugar, indicates an insulin problem).
Cat Urine Collection
There are several ways to test feline urine. These Include:
- Collection when your cat is urinating - this can be done by removing all the litter from the litter tray and lining it with plastic. If your cat will not go without litter, use a non absorbent litter designed for this purpose. You could also try a litter box that contains Aquarian pebbles or plastic beads.
Another idea is to place aluminum foil over the litter with the edges curled upward. After your cat urinates then spill the urine from the foil into a clean container. Use gloves.
- Placing pressure on your cat's bladder: You veterinarian will be able to apply direct pressure to the bladder that will result in your cat voluntarily urinating.
- Running a Catheter or Tube into the bladder: A thin pipe is moved up your cat's urethra into the bladder.
- Via Needle inserted into the bladder: Your veterinarian will insert a needle through the abdominal wall into the bladder.
Cat Urine Health
The cat urinary system is made up of several parts of the body including:
- Kidneys (2) - located in the middle of the back below ribs.
- Ureters (2) -moves waste from the kidney to the bladder, muscles in ureter push urine downward
- Bladder - muscle tissue in the lower abdomen that is balloon like and stores the urine. Nerves in the bladder send a signal when full.
- Sphincter muscles - These muscles look like circles and help with urine flow.
- Urethra - tube that carries urine to the outside of your cat's body
Problems with infection and other urinary problems start when one of the above becomes obstructed or blocked or if the urinary system is out of balance. Diet plays an important role in urinary health. You might also want to research a natural dietary supplement such as PetAlive UTI-Free Formula which contains ingredients specifically for the cat urinary tract.
Cleaning Cat Urine
Cleaning cat urine should be done as soon after an accident happens. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and will use the odor as a market for where to urinate next. To clean feline urine you can either try a home remedy if caught early or enzyme based urine removers such as Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover which was selected by Good Housekeeping as a best pick. Odor removal in outside areas requires an enzyme based cleaner made for that purpose or natural approaches such as orange peels or repellent plants. Urine removal from carpet involves soaking the area with an enzyme ased cleaner. It can take 2 weeks for a carpet to dry and for odor to go away after treatment.
FLUTD: Are you Missing the Correct diagnosis?
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.
Mary M. Christopher, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DECVCP
University of California Davis, Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology School of Veterinary Medicine
Davis, CA, USA
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