Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Is the Cost of an Ultrasound for a Cat? (2023 Update)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat ultrasound

An ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool for cats, providing an inside look at your pet’s organs and other structures. It’s a safe, non-invasive, and painless procedure that utilizes sound waves to create images of your cat’s internal organs. Ultrasounds can be utilized to identify any number of medical conditions, including pregnancy, tumors, kidney stones, heart issues, and more. But what is the actual cost of an ultrasound for a cat?

Well, the answer depends on many factors, including the type of ultrasound (abdominal, cardiac, etc.), the facility or veterinarian performing the exam, and your cat’s medical history. The cost of an ultrasound for a cat can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, so it’s important to understand the costs associated with this procedure before scheduling an appointment.

The Importance of Cat Ultrasounds

It’s important to get your cat an ultrasound to help diagnose any potential medical issues. Ultrasounds are a valuable tool for veterinarians to evaluate the health of your feline friend. These tests can be used to assess things like the size and shape of the organs, and to evaluate the composition of the organs, such as checking for fluid accumulation.

They can also be used to detect certain types of cancer, including lymphoma and bladder cancer. This allows your veterinarian to start treatment as soon as possible, which can improve the prognosis for your cat.

Ultrasounds can also provide information about a pregnancy in cats. This is especially important for female cats that aren’t spayed, as the results of the ultrasound can be used to help determine the best timing for spaying your pet. And they can also help to detect problems with the reproductive system, such as uterine tumors or cysts.

So overall, ultrasound technology is a safe and effective way to help diagnose potential medical issues in cats. Your vet will probably recommend an ultrasound if they suspect that there may be a medical issue with your cat. This way, you can get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, which can help to improve your cat’s prognosis and prevent any lingering health issues from worsening.

cat having ultrasound in vet clinic
Image Credit: Libre, Shutterstock

How Much Does Cat Ultrasound Cost?

The cost of a cat ultrasound will vary depending on the type of procedure being performed and the facility where it is being performed. Generally, the cost of a basic abdominal ultrasound can range from $225 to $550. This cost will typically include the radiologist’s fees, ultrasound equipment fees, and other related fees.

But, if the procedure is more complex or requires more advanced imaging techniques, the cost can increase significantly. And if the cat needs to be sedated for the procedure, there will be additional costs for the anesthetic drugs as well as the medical staff’s time.

The cost of a cat ultrasound may also be affected by the region in which it’s being performed. In some areas, the cost of medical procedures may be higher due to the cost of living or the availability of medical facilities. Additionally, if the cat’s medical insurance covers some of the costs, this can affect the final out-of-pocket cost that you’ll end up paying for the procedure.

Here’s a chart showing how much you may pay for a cat ultrasound in cities across the United States.

                      City         Low End Averages        High End Averages
Los Angeles, California $325 $550
Helena, Montana $290 $455
Orlando, Florida $250 $390
St. Louis, Missouri $225 $375
Chicago, Illinois $300 $520
Houston, Texas $315 $418
New York, New York $315 $525
Image Credit: Denys Kurbatov, Shutterstock

Additional Costs to Anticipate

A simple ultrasound on a localized part of the cat’s body may not require any additional cost except anesthesia, but every case is different. For example, a basic abdominal ultrasound could range anywhere from $225 to $550. If a specialty test such as a Doppler ultrasound or a 3D/4D ultrasound is necessary, the cost could be even higher. In addition to the cost of the ultrasound itself, there may also be a fee for the technician who performs the procedure.

In some cases, the owner may be responsible for additional costs, such as the cost of the ultrasound gel (believe it or not) and any special medicines needed for the procedure. If the cat requires an injection of contrast material in order to improve the quality of the ultrasound image, additional fees may apply.

Owners may also be responsible for the cost of any additional tests or procedures recommended by the vet following the ultrasound. So be sure to check with your vet and in some cases, your pet insurance provider, before the ultrasound procedure to determine what costs for potential follow-up procedures will be covered.

Most Common Reasons Why a Vet May Recommend an Ultrasound

A vet will recommend an ultrasound if X-rays don’t give enough information to make a decision or if your cat is suffering from something that can’t be seen by X-ray. An ultrasound is the best way to evaluate pets suffering from severe abdominal pain, excessive gas, constipation, or chronic vomiting. An ultrasound can also be used for pinpointing the location of abdominal mass. An ultrasound can be used to confirm that there are no potential causes for elevated liver and kidney enzymes. Your vet may recommend further diagnostics depending on the results of an ultrasound in order to confirm a diagnosis and analyze the findings.

ginger cat check by vet
Image Credit: Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

Different Types of Ultrasounds

These two types of ultrasounds may be performed by your vet:


Echocardiograms are detailed ultrasounds that enable your vet to examine your cat’s heart and surrounding structures. Vets can use this ultrasound scan to determine if the heart is working properly or if there are any problems.

Echocardiograms aren’t painful at all for the cat, but they require a variety of measurements and calculations. An echocardiogram may be recommended for cats with heart disease or who have recently been diagnosed with a heart murmur.

Emergency Ultrasound

This ultrasound can be used to quickly assess the condition of your cat’s chest and abdomen if it’s in a serious medical emergency. This will allow the vet to quickly determine if your cat has suffered from an internal hemorrhage or pneumothorax (a condition where air or gas develops around the lungs).

cat having an ultra sound
Image Credit: Odua Images, Shutterstock

How Often Should I Get My Cat an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is not a procedure that is needed for regular cat healthcare maintenance. It’s typically a procedure that is recommended by the veterinarian due to potential health issues that your cat may be suffering from. However, there are exceptions. For example, if your cat is pregnant or suffering from a specific health condition that requires regular ultrasounds for preventative care, then this may be a procedure that’s recommended every few weeks, months, etc.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Ultrasound?

Yes, pet insurance can cover cat ultrasounds. However, the exact coverage depends on the pet insurance provider, the policy, and the circumstances of the cat’s health. You should always check your coverage details to find out the exact details of coverage and what is required to be eligible for reimbursement.

pet insurance care concept
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

How to Prepare Your Cat for an Ultrasound?

Preparing your cat for an ultrasound is essential for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. So, to prepare your cat for this test, you’ll first want to make sure they’re well-hydrated. This means providing plenty of fresh water and wet food. Cats that are dehydrated will not produce clear images on the ultrasound.

The vet may recommend that you fast your cat for a few hours before the ultrasound. This will make it easier for your veterinarian to obtain a clear image. If your cat cannot fast for more than a few hours, provide a small meal of dry kibble or canned food. Be sure to discuss your cat’s dietary needs and any underlying medical conditions that your cat may have with your veterinarian before the procedure.

Also, discuss any medications or supplements your cat is taking with your veterinarian before the ultrasound. Some medications can interfere with the imaging process and should be stopped for a few days before the procedure.

When you actually go for the test, ensure that your cat is comfortable in the ultrasound room; your vet can help with this. They may provide a blanket or towel for them to lie on and may even provide light anesthesia if your cat becomes aggressive or especially agitated.

cat drinking from a bowl of red bowl
Image Credit: fantom_rd, Shutterstock

How Do Vets Perform Ultrasounds?

The clinic staff or your vet may tell you to fast your cat for at least 6-12 hours before they have an abdominal ultrasound. You may be able to give your cat water and medication, but it’s best to consult your vet before you do.

An abdominal ultrasound is performed by the vet first shaving your cat’s abdomen and applying a special conducting gel to the surface. This gel makes it easy for the probe to run smoothly over the cat’s skin. Overall, this procedure takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes. An ultrasound technician will take several images and submit them to a radiologist for interpretation.

Some cats can have an ultrasound done without any sedation. Cats with anxiety or pain may need to be sedated. You will receive special instructions regarding what to do before and after your cat’s ultrasound procedure. This may include observing your cat’s behavior over the next few days and weeks and noting any significant changes to report them to your vet.

Getting Your Cat’s Ultrasound Results

In many offices, vets are able to view ultrasound images in real-time and diagnose problems often immediately. However, in some cases, the ultrasound images may be sent to a veterinarian radiologist for further consultation. So, you may have to wait a week or two before you receive the final results in these cases.

cat at vet with owner and veternarian
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock


If you’re considering getting an ultrasound for your cat but aren’t sure how much it’ll cost or what type of procedure will be used, hopefully this article helped you understand the costs associated with cat ultrasounds.

The estimated costs of a cat ultrasound range from about $300 to $600. The actual cost depends on a number of factors, including the type of exam being performed, where the exam is performed, and your cat’s medical history. Ultrasounds are a safe, effective way for veterinarians to evaluate the health of cats.

Featured Image Credit: Tomasz Koryl, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database