Purr-fect innovation: Chulalongkorn’s urine luck with cat health kit

Photo courtesy of Asia One

Researchers from Chulalongkorn University unveiled the Cat Urine Test Kit designed to screen for kidney disease, gallstones, and cystitis in cats. This easy-to-use test kit promises quick and precise results, ensuring prompt treatment for our furry friends.

All cat lovers cherish their pets’ health, but cats, like humans, can suffer from various ailments. The most prevalent feline issues include kidney disease, gallstones, and bladder infections (cystitis). Early detection is crucial, but many owners struggle to monitor their cats closely due to busy schedules. This often results in late diagnosis, leading to more severe health problems and hefty vet bills.

The innovative Cat Urine Test Kit was developed to tackle this issue. Dr Lunjakorn Amornkitbamrung, a postdoctoral researcher at Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Chemistry, in collaboration with Associate Professor Dr Kanet Wongravee and funded by the National Research Council of Thailand, spearheaded this project.

“We hope this kit will help owners monitor their cats’ health regularly, allowing for timely veterinary intervention.”

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The test kit, which has won prestigious awards including the Gold Prize at the Seoul International Invention Fair 2022 and the Kaohsiung International Invention & Design Expo 2023, is now available for purchase. Dr Lunjakorn highlighted that domestic cats often develop kidney disease, gallstones, and cystitis due to low water intake and improper diets rich in protein and sodium.

Owners should watch for symptoms such as loss of appetite, listlessness, increased water intake, frequent or lack of urination, dark or bloody urine, and weight loss. Early detection can lead to less invasive treatments and lower costs, while late-stage illnesses might require expensive surgeries and dialysis.

The cat urine test kit operates in three simple steps:

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

Green C and T bands indicate a positive result (blood in urine), while green C and yellow T bands indicate a negative result. Yellow C and T lines, or only a green T line, mean the result is invalid.

Dr Lunjakorn emphasised the kit’s 100% accuracy, equivalent to laboratory tests, and its non-invasive nature. The kit is suitable for all cat breeds, ages, and genders and can be used monthly or more frequently if abnormal behaviour is observed.

While the current kit detects blood in stage 3 of the illness, further developments aim to enhance sensitivity for earlier detection. Plans are also underway to create a kit for diabetes risk screening, reported Asia One.

Cat owners interested in preventive testing can purchase the kit for around 130 baht at pet shops and on the Hide and Seek Cat Litter Facebook page.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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