Interpreting Home Cat Urine Tests
For Diabetes Affected Felines

Monitoring Feline Diabetes Treatment

This is the 3rd article in my series on understanding your diabetic cat's urine tests.  On this page we examine what the feline diabetes results mean...

Make sure you are fully familiar with the process of collecting feline urine samples and the equipment you need before taking these next steps

Collecting the feline urine

There are many ways you can gather the information from the urine that you and the vet will want. Here are my favourites.  Whatever method you choose, always remember to keep all the utensils sterile and clean

  1. Using the syringe you used to draw up the urine out of the tray, and drop the urine directly on the dipstick.  (If you are using the Kit4Cat method it will be in the pipette)
  2. Draw the dipstick through the liquid on top of the clingwrap.
Option 1: Use the syringe

Testing for results using a syringe or pipette

  1. Put one drop on each of the pads.
  2. Make sure the urine doesn't run between the pads
  3. Then, hold the stick perpendicular to the tissue.  It is important to do it this way to remove the extra urine and not let any fluid mix between the pads on the stick. 
  4. Make sure there is no flow of urine between each pad.  If this happens you will need to repeat the process.
  5. Tap gently (just on the edge) on the tissue so excess goes on the tissue.
  6. Then lay the stick flat, near the indicator sheet and watch for the colour changes. 

Testing for results using cloth or paper

Press the stick into the urine in the paper, at the bottom of the tray.  

If the urine has already dried, drip a bit of water through the paper to release the glucose and ketones onto the dipstick.  

This method is not as accurate but gives you some idea.  If there is no glucose showing up, you can be pretty sure there is no glucose in the urine.

Managing feline health care by collecting urine from a cloth tray
Collecting urine from a diabetic feline
Feline urine collection from a cloth tray
Using ketones diptix to assess feline urine

Getting your home urine tests right

  1. Decide what it is reading AT 30 SECONDS (or as per indicator sheet). 
  2. Ketones (the pad turns pink) also needs to be read at 40 seconds.  
  3. Note well: leaving it longer gives false results (both high and low) so it is important you keep to the times on the indicator sheet!

The Full Monty: What the professionals are looking for

If you have the full 7 part indicator dipstick the professionals use, you can also look for blood.  Blood indications can start quite slowly, so give it the full 60 seconds before deciding there is none.

When to contact your vet immediately

This sick diabetic needs to see a vet immediately

This picture shows the urine of a ‘sick diabetic’ – there are ketones (pink square) as well as lots of glucose (dark brown square).

This cat needs to see the vet ASAP and go onto insulin.  

If the stick only shows positive glucose, then, depending on other factors like amount being drunk and weight changes, the program may be going OK.

Claw your way back to the top of the page

Home Urine Tests is a similar subject area you may find useful

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What's the difference?

If you are using a multi-parameter strip like your vet uses you will have more information about the  general kidney and metabolic environment, but the colour change is the same.  

This means that you could easily summarise the report over the phone or by email rather than take the dipstick in to show the results. 

Learn How To Spot Serious Illnesses

pH is a measure of your cat's metabolism, so do tell your vet if the readings are consistently less than 6.5 (acidic, usually in cats with renal insufficiency) or more than 7.5 (alkaline - associated with bladder stones and other problems, sometimes infection).  

The Urobilinogen pad is not very accurate in cats, but if you think you see any changes in the Bilirubin pad, then notify your vet - it often means liver problems