The aim of this work was to study the modifications induced by 10 ns single or cumulative pulses of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser emitting in the near-infrared (λ = 1064 nm) on a pure aluminum surface with a laser energy density leading to a regime of interaction below the material ablation. The influence of these laser substrate pre-treatments on the mechanical behavior of an 83 µm thick alumina plasma sprayed coating was observed by evaluating the integrity of the coating/substrate interface with a "laser-ultrasonic method" thanks to a special set up using a probe laser interferometer. An increase in the alumina coating adhesion considering cumulative pulses for a laser energy density of 0.7 J/cm2 was observed above 100 laser pulses. The highest adhesion was obtained for a laser treatment considering 1000 shots. For a single pulse laser treatment, this increase was found applying an energy density of 1.8 J/cm2. These results were correlated with the observation of modifications on topography and morphology of the aluminum surface after laser irradiations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results showed that the improvement of the adhesion of the plasma-sprayed alumina coatings was correlated to changes of the aluminum oxide morphology.