Peritoneal, mesenteric, and omental diseases are important causes of morbidity and mortality in humans and animals, although information in the veterinary literature is limited. The purposes of this retrospective study were to determine whether objectively applied ultrasound interpretive criteria are statistically useful in differentiating among cytologically defined normal, inflammatory, and neoplastic peritoneal conditions in dogs and cats. A second goal was to determine the cytologically interpretable yield on ultrasound-guided, fine-needle sampling of peritoneal, mesenteric, or omental structures. Sonographic criteria agreed upon by the authors were retrospectively and independently applied by two radiologists to the available ultrasound images without knowledge of the cytologic diagnosis and statistically compared to the ultrasound-guided, fine-needle aspiration cytologic interpretations. A total of 72 dogs and 49 cats with abdominal peritoneal, mesenteric, or omental (peritoneal) surface or effusive disease and 17 dogs and 3 cats with no cytologic evidence of inflammation or neoplasia were included. The optimized, ultrasound criteria-based statistical model created independently for each radiologist yielded an equation-based diagnostic category placement accuracy of 63.2-69.9% across the two involved radiologists. Regional organ-associated masses or nodules as well as aggregated bowel and peritoneal thickening were more associated with peritoneal neoplasia whereas localized, severely complex fluid collections were more associated with inflammatory peritoneal disease. The cytologically interpretable yield for ultrasound-guided fine-needle sampling was 72.3% with no difference between species, making this a worthwhile clinical procedure.