As cat lovers, we know that our feline friends often keep their ailments a secret. That's why understanding what goes on in their little bodies is crucial for their wellbeing. From the importance of baseline blood work in young kittens to the nuances of interpreting results in senior cats, these tests can be a window into your kitt-o's health. Whether you're a seasoned cat owner or new to the world of whiskers and paws, this blog will help you understand why a little vial of blood can make a huge difference in your kitt-o's life. So, curl up with your furbaby, and let's explore the vital role of blood work and lab tests in keeping our feline family members healthy and happy.

Why Cat Bloodwork Is Important

Bloodwork is more than just a routine procedure; it's a crucial part of preventative health checks that can speak volumes about your cat's internal workings and chemistry. Cats are such unique animals and are known for their stoic or independent nature. This leads to masked symptoms of illness, making it challenging for even the most attentive cat owners to detect problems early. For example, think of the last time you saw your kitt-o drink water. Many people do not see cats drink because they are nocturnal by nature and will drink at night making it hard to know if your cat is drinking more water than normal. Sometimes the signs of changes internally are as subtle as their coat/fur changes because they are not grooming themselves as ofter. Blood work steps in as a silent informant, uncovering hidden health issues ranging from early kidney disease to diabetes, and even early signs of infection or low red blood cells also called anemia. Regular blood tests, particularly baseline blood work from a young age, help us with valuable insights, which allows for early intervention and effective management of potential health issues early. By embracing the power of these tests, we open doors to proactive health care, ensuring our feline companions lead longer, healthier lives.

Cat bloodwork. Wellness Exam. Evandale Blue Ash

The Baseline

Even in the absence of illness, regular blood work is important in preventive health care. It enables early detection of conditions that may not yet be causing noticeable symptoms, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or thyroid issues. Baseline blood work involves testing your healthy feline furbaby to establish their normal values, providing a reference point for future tests. Contrary to earlier practices of conducting blood work only for senior cats, recent research recommends starting as early as one year old. Early blood work can reveal underlying problems in approximately 20% of young cats, allowing for timely intervention! Each year we evaluate their trends for what is normal for your individual cat allows us to watch for changes. To all my cat owners, I advise lab work annually, and any time they show signs of illness.

Different Ages and Stages

For young, healthy cats, we typically run a basic panel that includes a complete blood count (CBC), chemistry screen, fecal, and leukemia/FIV/heartworm test. For our sick feline friends, we recommend more comprehensive testing, along with senior cats who receive a full senior screen, including thyroid and urine tests.

The Findings

Blood tests are like pieces of a puzzle, providing diagnoses for various conditions and pointing us in the direction of further investigation. An elevated white blood cell count in your cat's blood test could be a red flag for infection or inflammation. But that's just the beginning of the story. It's a sign for us veterinarians to dig deeper, to look beyond the numbers and find the root cause of the issue.

The power of blood tests extends to more serious concerns, such as cancer. They can sometimes detect certain types of cancer, like lymphoma, thanks to specific markers that appear in the blood. However, it's important to remember that these tests aren't always definitive. A cat showing symptoms like unexplained weight loss might still have normal blood work results, which means we need to explore further diagnostic avenues to get to the bottom of the issue.

Lab work for your cat offers vital initial insights and a pathway to a more comprehensive understanding. It's a journey that sometimes begins with a simple blood draw but leads to a deeper exploration of your cat’s health, ensuring they receive the best care tailored to their specific needs.

Cat bloodwork. Wellness Exam. Evandale Blue Ash

The How

Drawing blood from a cat requires a gentle and stress-minimizing approach. We typically use the jugular vein in the neck (don’t let this scare you) or a vein in the back leg. Our goal is always to minimize the anxiety for your precious purrer, and we understand the importance of making the experience as comfortable as possible. Many cats love eating yummy treats like churu as they have their sample drawn. I would love it if I was offered Peanut M & M’s while I had my blood work drawn. We try our best to draw the samples in the room to minimize taking your furbaby away from you. We use towels sprayed with a calming pheromone called Feliway to swaddle your kitt-o so they feel safe like a baby. In cases where a cat is highly stressed, we suggest using a mild sedative to facilitate the process that it given at home before the appointment.. It’s important to talk with us about your pet’s specific needs, we want you and your pet to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Partnering in Your Cat's Health

Our commitment extends beyond just performing tests. If we diagnose a condition, we will work closely with you to monitor your cat's health and adjust treatment as needed. Whether it's rechecking kidney values or liver enzymes, our goal is to partner with you in providing the best possible care for your feline friend.

At our practice, understanding and properly utilizing blood work and lab tests are fundamental in ensuring your cat's is with you as long as possible and has a good quality of life. We can slow down many diseases if caught early and potentially extend your kitt-o’s life. We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns about your cat's health and lab work. Together, we can ensure your kitt-o enjoys a healthy, happy life.

If you have questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (513) 563-0410, or you can email us at Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram.