How Much Does an Ultrasound Cost for A Cat?

Most diseases in our feline friends are hard to spot with only our two eyes. It’s even harder to see through their pain because they’re unable to speak.
Some of these devastating conditions include cancer, liver disease, and kidney illness which 1 in 3 cats actually suffer from.
Thanks to Science and Technology, a non-invasive and non-painful procedure called ultrasound could help in evaluating the internal organs in terms of their size, shape, and even texture.
This imaging technique, which is primarily used by humans in detecting pregnancy, can aid in making choices for your kitty’s treatments.


This article provides an overview of the cost of getting an ultrasound for your cat and further details about the procedure.

Cat Ultrasound Cost

Aside from detecting diseases in cats, ultrasound can also serve as a great tool for getting tissue samples without the invasive, expensive, and hard-to-recover-from surgery. Another type of ultrasound, called the echocardiogram, can examine the heart, blood vessels, and also the valves.
The process requires extensive training and highly advanced materials to be successful. This is why such operations are relatively expensive.
For instance, an ultrasound from a specialist in Tequesta Veterinary Clinic in Florida costs about $500.
However, along the process comes other fees needed to be taken into consideration. Here are the following:

  • Medical Examinations

Usually, before the ultrasound, different tests are done on your cat to indicate problems in the liver, spleen or pancreas. Suggested examinations include x-ray, blood tests, and physical exam.
X-ray is the most similar to ultrasound. However, compared to the latter which is in 3d, the x-ray shows a 2-dimensional view of organs and bones – which means that only the outlines of tissues are shown.
In Jarrettsville Veterinary Center in Maryland, a radiograph ranges from $100 to $200 depending on the number of slides needed. As for blood tests, the price may reach up to $65.
Meanwhile, a physical exam, which usually consists of temperature check and assessment of ears, eyes, coat, heartbeat, paws, toenails, and mouth, has a price of $50.

  • Sedation

Sedation is not really required for your cat except when it’s getting anxious and tends to move a lot. Different sedatives are available and your vet will recommend the safest one for your pal. Prices range from $25 to $85.

  • Consultation Fee

Obviously, your veterinarian will not suggest an ultrasound examination unless an initial consultation of your feline friend, which costs $65, is done. A follow-up check-up will most certainly be required and the price for this is $30.

  • Hospitalization

Some veterinary hospitals will ask your pet to stay the night before the ultrasound in the hospital to make sure it exercises fasting. After the ultrasound, if a diagnosis is made, it may also be hospitalized for further treatment.
The cost for this depends on whether or not IV fluids and injections will be needed. If they are, then the price is $350 per day. If it isn’t, you will only be charged $150 a day.

How Cat Ultrasound is Performed

Performing the ultrasound on your feline is easy, harmless, and painless as well. But since you can’t explain this to your cat, you may not be able to keep it calm the entire procedure. This is why some of them are given sedatives to keep the process smooth.
Ultrasound starts with kitty’s fur being shaved off in order to get better contact and image between the skin and the probe, which is the stick-like equipment with a rounded head attached to a wire that produces soundwaves and also receives the 3d image. Your pet is also placed in a soft padded crib for comfort and convenience.
Then, the skin is applied with alcohol and ultrasound gel and the photographing occurs. This takes about 20-30 minutes long.
Once it is done, the kitty is cleaned up to remove any gel and dirt residue.
devon rex having ultrasound scan at vets

Preparing Your Feline for Ultrasound

There is actually not much to prepare for your cat’s ultrasound, except its diet and peeing. Felines are supposed to be fasted for 8-12 hours, so as much as you like to give them breakfast, you really shouldn’t! Food in the system will make it hard for the vet to spot organs like adrenals and the liver.
Think of it as a tiny sacrifice to cure whatever condition your cat currently has. And don’t worry because you can still give it water to drink and medicine to take.
Additionally, you need it to prevent your cat from peeing since a bladder with a little urine in it makes the ultrasound easy peasy.
If you feel bad for making your pet suffer from these preparations, you can let it spend the night in the veterinary hospital to be more ready for the ultrasound on the next day.
After the ultrasound, your feline friend is free to munch on its favorite cat food again. But you need to be cautious of bleeding, redness or swelling for the next few days to come.
Lastly, if given anesthesia, expect your cat to feel weak and unsteady for a couple of hours.

Getting the Results

This might be the hardest part for you as the owner. Try to have a clear and attentive mind in order to understand whatever your cat’s diagnosis is.
Ultrasound can detect illnesses like diseases of the kidney such as polycystic and chronic renal disease, liver diseases like hepatitis and liver flukes, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal diseases, bladder problems like cystitis, cancer, and pregnancy.
Results will be discussed by the vet and also be in the form of a printed copy of the 3d imaging. However, the results are not 100% perfect.
Your veterinarian may suggest other additional tests when they notice a vague abnormality.

Taking Care of a Sick Cat

Because your cat is not feeling well, there are certain measures you need to take in order to not worsen what it is feeling. Sometimes, you may think that you are comforting your pet with your tapping, staring, and clutching, but these gestures only increase its anxiety. In other words, respect its personal space.
Furthermore, take note of your kitty’s oral medications. Create a schedule, set an alarm or organize them in weekly pill containers. As long as you establish a routine and never skip any part, then your cat will definitely feel stronger!
Lastly, obey what your vet says. Remember to attend follow-up appointments and alert the doctor of any unusual signs of sickness.

Author Bio

Dr. Patty Khuly

Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA is a prolific pet health writer, occasional media personality, and a practicing veterinary clinician (for almost 23 years!).
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