Four Points To Remember When Collecting Stool Samples For Cats

Posted on: 22 June 2015

Collecting stool samples for your pets might seem relatively simple. That is, of course, unless you have to do it for a cat. Unlike dogs, cats systematically bury their bowel movements inside of their litter boxes – making it difficult to pull away for a fresh sample. Here are four points to remember in order to collect the sample successfully without losing your mind.

Start with a Clean Slate

Clean out the litter box thoroughly. Doing so will provide you with a clean slate, making it easy to collect the freshest samples as soon as they are delivered by your feline. Otherwise, you will essentially have to guess in order to distinguish between fresh and old samples – a job that you likely do not want to accept.

Size Does Matter

The size of the sample collected is very important. This is not a job worth repeating, so collecting a large enough sample the first time around is imperative. A veterinarian (such as one from Bearss Animal Clinic) might want to use the same sample to run multiple tests. Check with him or her to get a solid recommendation of the proper amount to collect. Doing so could save a lot of time in the end.

Use a Plastic Baggy Wisely

If you play it smart, you can use a plastic baggy to get the job done quickly. Turning the bag inside out allows you to slip your hand inside to use it like a glove. Do not worry if some pieces from the litter box are stuck to the sample. Once you pick up the sample, hold it gently while using your other hand to turning the bag right side out. If you are collecting samples for multiple cats, do not forget to label each baggy with the name of the corresponding cat.

Timing is Essential

Remember, timing is everything. You do not want to collect a sample too soon – especially if your scheduled appointment is several days away. Even though it might be more convenient for you to collect a sample as soon as possible, you should wait until 24 hours before the scheduled appointment. Any sample that is older than 24 hours is useless to a veterinarian; he or she will ask you to complete the whole process again. If you are not taking the sample directly to the vet's office after collecting it, store it safely in a refrigerator until the time of your appointment.


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