Diagnostic Imaging for Cats

What is going on inside your cat's body? Diagnostic imaging for cats is important for identifying diseases and abnormalities within the body before showing any signs. Diagnostic imaging consists of X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tools. When a definitive diagnosis is needed, your veterinarian will conduct at least one of these diagnostic imaging tests.

Roles of Diagnostic Imaging

The role of diagnostic imaging has become increasingly important with the prevalence of chronic diseases such as feline diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism. At Advance Care Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarians conduct diagnostic imaging in search of further information about internal organs that regular physical checkups and blood work can't detect. The type of imaging used will depend on the type and location as to what type of information your vet needs.

Vets examining a cat's x-ray

Types of Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic imaging for a cat is basically the same as for a human. Most veterinary hospitals are equipped to perform x-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans. Here is what each one does

  • X-rays look at bones
  • Ultrasounds look at soft tissue
  • CT scans look at soft tissue inside the bone, such as ligaments, joints, or tumors

X-rays (digital radiographs) visualize the bones and soft tissues inside the body. Although X-ray imaging diagnostics are very common, they have limitations when detecting abnormalities in the abdominal organs. They are used more to diagnose your cat's skeletal structure, large body cavities, and possibly the presence of any foreign objects.

Grey cat having ultrasound scan in veterinary clini

Ultrasounds (ultrasonography) are widely used to visualize the organs in the abdominal region, the urinary tract, and the reproductive system in cats. This helps to detect underlying diseases or abnormalities such as tumors, infections, liver diseases, and cancer that are not visible through physical examination.

CT scans (computed tomography) are similar to X-ray imaging diagnostics, but it provides a more detailed image of the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones. They are beneficial in detecting abnormalities in the abdominal organs, especially if the disease is in an advanced stage. It is also helpful in identifying small clots in the abdominal cavities and blood vessel diseases such as arterial thrombosis, tumors, deep abscesses or foreign body presence, and fractures.

Is Diagnostic Imaging Safe for my Cat?

Diagnostic imaging is a test that creates images of your cat's body with the help of a scanner or an intense beam of electromagnetic energy (invisible light) that penetrates through your cat's body, creating a detailed image of internal organs, bone structure, and blood vessels. X-rays and ultrasounds are non-evasive, meaning that no surgery is needed and there is no risk to your cat's health. Since these two types of imaging do not require your cat to be in an anesthetic state, the stress level is low, and the procedure can be quickly completed.

Doctor examining cat in x-ray room

CT scans, however, must be performed while your cat is sedated. The patient must remain completely still during the procedure. Other than that, it is also non-invasive. With the veterinarian monitoring your beloved cat's vital signs closely, this procedure is safe and painless.

Diagnostic images are a great way to detect diseases and abnormalities without invasive surgery. They help detect and monitor certain hidden diseases, so you can act quickly and get your cat the needed treatment.

Why Choose Advanced Care for Veterinary Services?

Advanced Care is more than just a primary care hospital. Our patients and clients are special to us, and we always treat everyone who comes to visit as another family member every time they walk through our doors. We do not treat every patient the same because we understand that each one 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.