What Is the CPK for Cats?

"You say my CPK is elevated? It might be this sprained paw."
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If the vet has recently run some blood tests on Frisky, you may be confused by all the acronyms and numbers. When vets run blood tests, they may do a complete blood count, or CBC, or check blood serum chemistries. The CPK is a blood serum chemistry value.

Complete Blood Count

The CBC is a valuable diagnostic tool for vets because it can provide a wealth of information about Frisky's health. It can detect the presence of parasites, confirm anemia or infection and provide information on hydration level and the blood's clotting ability. The CBC is often used for cats who are vomiting, suffering from fevers and diarrhea, and are weak with a poor appetite. Some of the markers examined include white blood cell count, red blood cell count and platelets.

Blood Serum Chemistries

Blood serum chemistries are also used frequently and provide additional information about hormone levels, organ function and electrolyte status. These tests are particularly beneficial in evaluating cats taking long-term medication, cats who are vomiting and have diarrhea, older cats and cats who will be receiving anesthesia. Phosphorus, creatinine, potassium and triglycerides are just a few of the elements measured. The CPK, which stands for creatine phosphokinase, is also measured in blood serum chemistry.


Creatine phosphokinase is also referred to as creatine kinase or CK. A normal reading for this enzyme is in the range of 69 to 214. The enzyme is often "leaked" from muscles when they're damaged. The CPK is helpful in providing additional information about other organs and illnesses, such as the potential for liver damage.

Elevated CPK

If Frisky's CPK is elevated, there's no reason to panic. Higher CPK levels can be seen with muscle trauma, inflammation or infection. As well, cats suffering from a depressed appetite often have a high level of CPK. It's also fairly common for ill cats, such as those suffering from chronic kidney disease, to have a higher level of enzyme activity. If Frisky's CPK level is higher than the range, don't panic, but take time to talk to your vet to determine if she should be retested or what the enzyme count indicates.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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