Blood Tests for Cats
Nobody enjoys having their blood taken, but there are many benefits that outweigh the minor discomfort of blood testing. Cats have the disadvantage of not being able to tell us if something is wrong. Their instinct is to hide it from us instead. Blood testing in combination with regular check-ups is a great way to screen for any problems that may be arising.
Why are blood tests important for my cat’s health?
Blood tests are important for your cat’s health, as cats are very good at hiding their diseases. Routine blood testing can catch a disease early, which can help control or slow down a disease process. The most common diseases that we find in cats include kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes. When running routine blood tests, these diseases can be detected before symptoms are noticed. For example, once clinical signs are seen for kidney disease, there is at least 75% damage to the kidneys already.
How long does it take to get blood test results?
We have many options for blood testing. Often, we send our wellness blood tests to an external lab, where we receive results the following business day. For pre-anesthetic blood testing, emergencies, and some monitoring tests, we can run them in-clinic and have results within an hour.
How should I prepare my cat for their blood tests?
There isn’t any ‘prep work’ for cats. If it is a specialty test (something other than a wellness blood test), please call the clinic for instructions.
How often should blood tests be done?
Studies report that one year for a cat is about four years for us. Therefore, we would recommend running routine blood tests yearly. If abnormalities are found, we would recommend running blood tests more frequently and advise you as to how often.
Does your clinic perform urinalysis?
We perform both urinalysis and biopsies here. Urine can be difficult to collect from a cat. Some people have found just using clean empty litterbox works, others use a non-absorbent product, such as NoSorb (for cats that need something to dig in the litterbox), while others require a cystocentesis (a sterile procedure is done in-clinic to collect urine). Urine is best run as fresh as possible and no more than 4 hours old.