To relate thyroid size to routine blood parameters and T(4) status the ventral neck of 161 cats with clinical signs consistent with hyperthyroidism was examined by two independent observers using a semi-quantitative palpation system. Thyroid gland size of each side was scored from 0 (non-palpable) to a maximum of 6 (>25mm). In 127 of the 161 cats, at least one thyroid gland was palpable. The palpation score was significantly correlated with the T(4) concentration. The 17 hyperthyroid cats had significantly higher palpation scores than the 110 euthyroid cats. Euthyroid animals with a palpation score >/=3 were significantly older, had higher body weights, lower alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, phosphate, and urine specific gravity, but higher lipase and creatinine concentrations than hyperthyroid cats. Our study demonstrates that although no reliable conclusion on the functional status of the thyroid can be drawn based on its size the likelihood of hyperthyroidism increases with increasing size of the gland.