Lab Tests for Cats

It is likely to be a straightforward diagnosis when your cat's medical condition requires a veterinarian visit due to an eye or ear infection. However, if the vet feels that appearances are deceiving, it may require further examination. If the situation arises, your veterinarian will recommend that specific blood work and other bodily fluids like urine be tested to further check for internal complications.

Comprehensive Lab Testing for Cats

Blood and other lab tests are often part of your veterinarian's periodic wellness exams for cats. When your mature, senior, or geriatric cat is not showing any outward signs of illness but acting abnormally, your vet will typically recommend some lab work to be completed. And they are generally performed with the vet's highly selected, the safest anesthesia.

These blood work baselines will check for any congenital abnormalities, potential concerns, illnesses, or diseases. They may also be used to determine the health of the liver and kidneys or help determine any surgical risk levels for the infirmed, elderly, or injured patients. Here's one to expect recommended blood work test for your cat:

Veterinary Blood test
  • First veterinary exam: Upon your cat's initial or first veterinary visit, they should recommend that blood work be tested to set up a healthy baseline. This will be to check for any congenital abnormalities or potential concerns.
  • Semi-annual wellness exam: At some point during a semi-annual wellness exam, the vet should recommend blood work tests again as part of a thorough physical examination. This will help identify internal medical conditions that a regular physical examination cannot detect.
  • Acting Abnormally exam: Another time would be when your cat may not be acting right. Blood tests would be suitable at this time because there may not be any displays of outward signs of illness, disease, or injury.
  • Presurgical exam: If your cat has to undergo surgery for any reason, the vet will ask for a presurgical test. This blood work will determine the general health of the liver and kidneys. This helps a veterinarian know if there will be any surgical risk level and infirmed, elderly, or injured patients.
  • Senior wellness exam:As your cat begins to mature in age into their senior or geriatric years, usually fifteen years and older, blood tests are usually recommended. The benefits of these tests help identify any issues that can be easily treated and help your senior cat return to a more youthful state.

At Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, we care about your cats. We will quickly and reliably determine a diagnosis of health concerns and implement successful medical interventions based on the lab work and blood test results.

Schedule an appointment today!

Types Of Lab Tests for Cats

Lab testing for cats can assess many features of the blood. In addition to your cat's blood work test, we may process and analyze urine, stool samples, and cytology. Here are the four types of lab tests for cats and what they are for:

  • Feline Leukemia-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus:These two viruses are interspecies contagious. They are life-threatening to your cat no matter their age, young or old. Therefore, your vet should recommend blood work for these viruses, especially if you adopt, find, or take in a stray new kitten or cat.
  • Blood Serum Chemistry:This test is vital in evaluating your cat's health care. Especially if you have a cat whose symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, toxin exposure, or cats receiving long-term medications. The blood test results are then analyzed to evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels, etc., before giving a cat anesthesia for surgical reasons.
  • Total Thyroid Level:This blood test for cats is performed to check for hypothyroidism or euthyroidism, which is the reverse condition, or a low thyroid function which can indicate disease in a cat's body.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): This blood test is typically done to assess the features of the blood, red and white cell count, immunity status, and the measure of hemoglobin, the actual substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen. It also examines hydration status, anemia, infection, blood clotting capacity, and immune system response. This is essential for cats with symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite. Detecting bleeding disorders or other ads saying abnormalities are part of a pre-surgery risk assessment.

What Do Lab Test Results for My Cat Mean?

Blood tests for your cats are essential in helping veterinarians to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Various chemicals in the bloodstream are analyzed through these tests to help treat the medical conditions in both the blood and organs such as the kidney and liver.

  • Albumin, which is produced in the liver, can be detected. If it indicates a deficiency of albumin levels, there could be a possible liver issue.
  • Your cat's blood tests can also detect abnormal hormonal-chemical responses to environmental and internal stimuli. These levels indicate a potential issue with the patient's endocrine system.
The doctor is testing the cat is blood for the virus

Once a correlation is established, any other subsequent blood work may be ordered for your cat. These are necessary procedures performed by Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. To treat your cat with the best care, these tests serve as valuable tools to detect, identify, diagnose, and ultimately treat illnesses or diseases.

The next step is to process and analyze your cat's blood work sample(s). As your cat's primary veterinarian, we aim to help you, as your cat's human caretaker, fully understand any abnormal blood test results. These blood tests allow us here in Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital to evaluate the following:

  • Albumin (ALB): A serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, intestinal, liver, and kidney disease. 
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALKP): Elevations in this test may indicate liver damage, Cushing's disease, or active bone growth in a young cat.
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): Determines active liver damage but does not indicate the cause. 
  • Amylase (AMYL): Elevations in this test indicate pancreatitis or kidney disease.
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): Increases may indicate liver, heart, or skeletal muscle damage.
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN): Determines kidney function. Increased levels are called azotemia and can be caused by kidney, liver, heart disease, urethral obstruction, shock, or dehydration.
  • Calcium (Ca): Changes in the average level can indicate various diseases such as tumors, hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease, and low albumin.
  • Cholesterol (CHOL): Used to supplement diagnosis of hypothyroidism, liver disease, Cushing's disease, and diabetes mellitus.
  • Chloride (Cl): An electrolyte typically lost with symptoms like vomiting or illnesses like Addison's disease. Elevations often indicate dehydration.
  • Cortisol (CORT): A hormone that is measured in tests for Cushing's disease (the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test) and Addison's disease (ACTH stimulation test).
  • Creatinine (CREA): Reveals kidney function and helps distinguish between kidney and non-kidney causes of elevated BUN.
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT): An enzyme that indicates liver disease or corticosteroid excess.
  • Globulin (GLOB): A blood protein that often increases with chronic inflammation and certain disease states.
  • Glucose (GLU): Elevated blood-sugar levels may indicate diabetes mellitus. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma.
Anesthetized cat in a veterinary room
  • Potassium (K): An electrolyte typically lost with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination. Increased levels may indicate kidney failure, Addison's disease, dehydration, or urethral obstruction. Even higher levels can lead to cardiac arrest. 
  • Lipase (LIP): An enzyme that may indicate pancreatitis.
  • Sodium (Na): An electrolyte that indicates hydration status. It's often lost with signs of vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, and Addison's disease.
  • Phosphorus (PHOS): Elevations are often associated with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and bleeding disorders.
  • Total bilirubin (TBIL): Elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease and helps identify bile duct problems and certain types of anemia.
  • Total protein: Indicates hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases.
  • Thyroxine (T4): A thyroid hormone. High levels indicate hyperthyroidism in cats.

An essential part of your cat's blood work is to diagnose any disease that it may have. If your cat exhibits abnormal behavior, please schedule a veterinary appointment today with Advance Care Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible to ensure a quick diagnosis!

Why Choose Advanced Care for Veterinary Lab Testing?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us and are why we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another member of our family every time they walk in our doors. We do not treat every patient equally because we understand that each requires individualized care and attention.

Veterinarian taking care of cat

Meet Our Doctors

Jennifer Patton


Dr. Patton’s decision to pursue veterinary medicine came after she realized that while education and teaching is her passion, it is not something she could do as a career. Veterinary medicine allowed her to combine her love of animals with her love of teaching.

After she graduated from Oklahoma State University with her Doctorate, she practiced in several high volume hospitals in the Tulsa area, developing medical skills with varied case loads and growing her leadership skills.


Allissa Huckabay


Dr. Huckabay’s love of science and animals naturally led her to a lifelong passion of veterinary medicine. She worked and volunteered at a local veterinary hospital before she furthered her education at Oklahoma State University, graduating in 2016 with her Doctorate.

Dr Huckabay immediately found her home at ACVH, where she is able to create a healthy bond with each of her patients as she experiences all stages of their care with their owners.


Phillip Adolph

Phillip Adolph, DVM is a graduate of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Health Sciences. He also attended OSU for his undergraduate studies where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Agriculture through the College of Animal Sciences. Dr. Adolph was on the President’s Honor Roll and was a member of the OSU jazz orchestra. He joined the Advanced Care team immediately upon his graduation in 2019 after doing 6 weeks of externships during his 4th year of veterinary school.