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How Much Does a Cat Blood Test Cost? 2023 Pricing Guide

If your vet asks for blood tests, it’s easy to get confused fast. After all, there are many different types of blood tests, and on the patient’s end they all look about the same. Your vet draws a little bit of blood, and a little while later they come back to tell you if everything is all right. But each type of blood test has a different purpose and a different cost. Being informed about the different types of blood tests can help you know what to expect.

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The Importance of Blood Tests

Blood says a lot about health. Examining a blood sample can tell you about your cat’s thyroid hormones, glucose levels, white and red blood cell counts, and more. These clues can help you narrow down a health issue in your cat or diagnose a problem before symptoms become visible. Vets will usually order a blood test if your cat is showing symptoms of feline leukemia, a thyroid disorder, feline diabetes, or unknown health issues that may be solved by blood tests. Blood tests are also usually required before surgeries and other medical procedures. Some vets also recommend annual blood tests after your cat reaches a certain age.

cat blood test
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How Much Does a Blood Test Cost?

The cost of a blood test varies widely, but you. There are many different tests that fall under blood work, and each test will have a different cost. The cheapest blood test is a blood glucose test, which measures blood sugar levels. This often costs between $20 and $50. Other blood tests include glucose, white cell, cell chemistry, and FIV tests.

If your cat needs several types of tests, they are often combined into a bloodwork panel. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the tests needed. For example, this veterinary office in Boise, ID offers a basic blood panel for $110 and a more extensive panel for $160.

One of the factors that influences cost most is whether your vet has the capacity to analyze the results in-house, or whether it will be sent to a specialized lab.  Larger vetrinary clinics will be more likely to have specialized equipment in-house. Sending blood to an outside lab often increases the price by as much as $100, so if your vet quotes you a higher price than you expect, this might be why. You might consider asking for quotes from other vets in your area if you feel like the price of a test is too high.

Here are some of the most common types of blood tests and estimated prices:

Blood test Purpose Cost
Blood glucose Measures blood sugar; diagnoses feline diabetes $15-50
CBC Counts white blood cells to measure immune health $30-75
FELV/FIV test Diagnoses feline leukemia $75-150
PCV Measures red blood cells to diagnose disease $30-100
T4 Measures thyroid hormone levels $30-100
Serum chemistry Measures electrolytes, enzymes, and blood proteins. Usually combined with other tests. $100-250

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Because blood tests are used as a diagnostic tool, they often come hand-in-hand with other tests. For example, your vet might combine blood and urine tests, offering both together at a slightly higher price.

If your cat’s blood test is part of a routine checkup, you can also expect to pay office visit fees and fees for other parts of a checkup like physical examinations. These fees often run at around $50-100.

Blood test results can lead to the diagnosis of many health issues. If your cat is suffering from unusual symptoms, a blood test is often the first step that gives your vet direction for more extensive treatment.

Hand holding blood samples in test tubes
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How Often do Cats Need Blood Work?

The frequency of blood work depends on many different factors. Vets often recommend some routine bloodwork done annually or annually once your cat reaches a certain age. This can help you diagnose problems before symptoms become visible. However, many types of blood test are usually done as needed. One of the most common reasons to do blood work is as part of a preparation for surgery. This ensures that your cat doesn’t have health complications that will affect anasthesia or cause unexpected reactions. The other reason to do a blood test is if your vet is trying to diagnose a health problem. Your cat might need one specific blood test, like a test for feline leukemia, or your vet might recommend a combined test.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Blood Tests?

Many pet owners are turning to pet insurance to help cover medical costs and keep their pets safe. Every pet insurance is different, and many offer customizable plans to help you choose the coverage you need. Because of this, it’s impossible to generalize about what is covered by insurance. However, because blood tests are a routine part of vet work, most pet insurance will cover most blood tests. Some pet insurance covers every type of blood test, while others cover only the most common tests. It’s important to check with your insurance to know the specific types of tests that they cover.

pet insurance form close up
Image Credit: Ekaterina Minaeva, Shutterstock

Blood Tests and Your Cat’s Health

Although you might not be able to avoid blood work completely, many of the health issues diagnosed by blood tests are affected by your cat’s overall health. Feeding your cat healthy, nutritious food and avoiding overfeeding can minimize many heart, blood and thyroid problems that are diagnosed with blood tests.

It’s also important to give your cat proper preventative veterinary care. Feline leukemia is a common illness among cats that is diagnosed by a blood test. Feline leukemia can be life-threatening, but a vaccine can help protect your cat.

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As you can see, the cost of blood test depends on the type of tests that your cat needs and your individual vet’s capabilities. If your cat needs bloodwork, being informed about the types of tests your vet is recommending and what the results could mean can help you make wise decisions about medical care. Blood work can be a little scary for you and for your cat, but it is an important part of keeping your cat healthy and learning how to best help him or her.

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Featured Image Credit: fernandozhiminaicela, Pixabay