Just like you perform a DNA test for your dog to find out the various dog breeds that make up your little furry friend, you might be wondering if it is also possible for you to perform a cat DNA test. As it turns out, it is possible! But how exactly do cat DNA tests work, and what are some of the best cat DNA tests available? These are some of the questions we will be exploring today!
Why Find Out Your Cat’s Breed?
Cat DNA testing works pretty much the same way that a dog DNA test does. It helps you identify various genetic markers, genetic mutations, and any genetic disease that your cat may be prone to. And if you are a part of the humane society, then you will be able to use the breed report, health report, and cat DNA test results to enhance the well-being of kitties all across the world – all with a simple genetic test!
Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits you get from performing a breed health DNA test for your feline friend.
First and foremost, cat DNA tests can help you find out the various cat breeds that make up your kitty. Most feline DNA testing companies help you find out your cat’s ancestors with the help of a breed analysis. Therefore, you will be able to find out whether your cat is purebred (like a Maine coon or a Persian cat) or a mixed breed with some wild cats mixed into the cat’s breed composition.
One of the essential things for cat owners and cat lovers is to keep their cats healthy in the long run. The best way to do this would be to perform a breed health DNA test which would allow you to dig out different breeds and certain health markers that are important for your cat’s well-being.
A breed health DNA test can also help you determine certain health conditions (such as polycystic kidney disease or retinal degeneration) and hereditary diseases that certain genetic variants in your cat’s DNA might produce in the long run. The health report that you get with the breed health DNA test will also help you take preventive measures against such genetic disease and ensure your cat’s health.
Traits and Behaviors
One of the most significant ways a cat DNA kit can help cat owners is by providing them with information regarding the genetic markers and the genetic makeup of their feline friends. This allows you to find out various traits that might be associated with your cat’s breed, such as the coat color, coat type, blood type, and fur length. Understanding the gene pool of your cat and identifying genetic variants that produce these traits can also help you know your cat’s behavior better in the long run.
A cat DNA test kit helps you find out whether your cat’s genes carry potential allergies within its genetic makeup. If your cat’s DNA samples show that certain genetic markers point towards possible allergies, you will be able to ensure your cat’s health by taking care of these allergies.
Mixed Breeds Vs. Purebreds: The Importance of Knowing
Whether you have a Siamese cat, a Persian cat, or a Maine coone at home, it is always beneficial for you to find out whether you actually have a purebred cat at home or if the breeder has deceived you with a mixed breed.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you might get with the help of a feline DNA genetic test and understand the importance of knowing whether you have a mixed breed or a purebred at home.
Prevent The Risk Of Inbreeding
This is especially useful for cat breeders who wish to prevent inbreeding amongst cats. It is also useful for cat breeders to perform selective breeding with the help of chromosome maps that test kits usually offer. Breeders can also perform add-on tests to understand their cat’s breed traits and personalities better.
Make Educated Decisions
By studying the chromosome map and genetic markers of your furry little friend, along with the various behaviors and traits tested, you will be able to make educated decisions regarding your cat’s lifestyle.
For instance, if your DNA kit tells you that your cat’s breed is prone to a genetic disease such as retinal degeneration, you will be able to speak to your veterinarian and understand the best way to either prevent this condition or manage it better.
Find Out The Wild Cat Index
DNA kits for cats provide raw data regarding the wild cat index of your cat. With this information, you will be able to find out which wild cat’s DNA is present within your cat’s genetic makeup. This is especially useful for breeders to remove those genetic markers of wild cats that are inappropriate for domestic settings.
Take Care Of Future Kitties
It is inevitable for genetic disease to pass down from one generation to another. If you are a cat breeder, you need to understand the health markers through cat DNA testing to take care of your future kittens. The health report of DNA tests will enable you to understand how much each of these genetic diseases will affect future generations and how you can prevent them, if possible.
How Many Different Breeds Can a DNA Kit Test for?
Depending upon the cat’s genetic similarity, cats across the world can be categorized into four foundational breed groups. These breed groups include Persian, exotic, eastern, and western. These breed groups are further divided into key breeds such as ragdoll, Burmese, Himalayan, Egyptian Mau, etc.
Cat DNA tests such as the Basepaws test help you determine which of these breed groups your cat belongs to. Based on specific traits and personality quirks, the DNA test will also be able to tell you which breed your cat is most similar to within the breed groups.
That being said, the exact number of breeds that are tested depends upon which company you choose for your cat’s genetic testing.
Cat DNA Kits that Test Your Cat’s Breed
The Basepaws Cat DNA test has the largest cat DNA database than any of its competitors. The test offers exceptional raw data regarding your cat’s breed (along with which breed groups your cat belongs to), health risks, traits as well as a wild cat index. This is why we truly believe that the Basepaws test is the best cat DNA test available for pet owners.
The Basepaws test is focused on breeds but is unable to guarantee the breed of your cat. The Basepaws test is basically just a cheek swab test, which you roll around in your cat’s mouth for at least thirty seconds to collect your cat’s DNA. Once you have collected your cat’s DNA sample, you simply send it across to Basepaws, and they will perform the analysis for you.
The best part about this DNA testing company is the fact that its health screening allows you to check whether your cat has any of the 39 genetic mutations in the database. Seventeen of the most common medical conditions and genetic diseases are included within this health test.
In case your kitty has a certain genetic predisposition to any of these genetic diseases, you will be able to take preventive measures in advance. Basepaws also offer lifetime breed updates for pet owners to keep themselves constantly updated regarding any health conditions that might be associated with a particular breed.
The price of Basepaws depends upon which type of test you choose for your kitty. You can opt for the basic DNA test, which is quite affordable for the average pet owner. However, cat breeders and veterinarians might wish to choose the Basepaws whole genome sequencing test, which is the most comprehensive DNA test for cats available. The genome sequencing test can be quite expensive at $500.
The Wisdom Health DNA test is yet another simple and easy cheek swab test. All you need to do is hold the swab against your cat’s cheek for at least 30 seconds to collect your cat’s DNA sample and then allow the swab to dry. You then send the DNA sample to Wisdom where they will perform laboratory analysis to understand the genetic makeup of your feline companion.
One of the main disadvantages of the Wisdom Health DNA test is that it is aimed mainly at breeders to analyze the extent of inbreeding in their cats. Further, the test only seems to work with purebred cats and does not work with mixed breeds. Much like the Basepaws cat DNA test, the Wisdom health DNA test is also unable to guarantee your cat’s breed.
However, despite these disadvantages, the Wisdom Health DNA health report is excellent for providing an extensive and comprehensive health breakdown of your cat. The Wisdom test helps you understand your cat’s genetic makeup and uncovers your cat’s risk for around 40 genetic diseases. This test also offers lifetime breed updates where you can find a host of information regarding your cat’s health.
Wisdom Health test kits are known for being extremely affordable and highly accurate at the same time. This is why this DNA test kit comes highly recommended for our domestic companions.
The Orivet DNA test kit is also a cheek swab DNA test. All you need to do is simply roll the swab around in your cat’s mouth for at least 30 seconds to collect your cat’s DNA sample and then send it back to the testing laboratory for analysis.
The Orivet HomeDNA test offers a wealth of information regarding various cat breeds, genetic makeup, personality traits, as well as genetic diseases that your cat might have inherited from ancestors. This DNA test also offers complete breed profiles of your cat.
One of the major advantages of the Orivet DNA test is that it contains a highly specific test for various breeds and expected diseases. However, one of the major disadvantages of this DNA test is the fact that it is aimed more at breeders and veterinarians than the average pet owner.
The price of the Orivet DNA tests depends upon which type of test you choose. You can purchase the DNA test either on Amazon or on the official Orivet website.
Our Final Thoughts
Well, there you have it! These are some of the best cat DNA tests you can perform to understand cat genetics and cat breeds. Which of these DNA tests do you think you are going to try today? Let us know in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cat DNA Tests Accurate?
Cat DNA testing has come a long way ever since the first DNA test was performed. As such, whether you have a Maine coon, a Siamese cat, or a simple tabby at home, a cat DNA test can produce accurate test results for your domestic friend.
Which Cat DNA Test Is Best?
The best cat DNA test is the Basepaws Cat DNA test which possesses the largest cat DNA database. The health report by this DNA test is extremely accurate and beneficial for finding out the various medical conditions and genetic diseases that your kitty might suffer from in the future.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A DNA Test For Your Cat?
The cost of a DNA test for your cat depends upon the DNA testing company that you choose. For instance, a basic CFA panel test by CatDNAtest.org might not cost as much as a whole-genome sequencing by Basepaws DNA test. On average, the price of DNA testing for your cat might vary anywhere between $100 and $500.
Can You DNA A Cat?
Yes, it is possible to DNA a cat. You can either get a DNA test done with the help of blood samples or a cheek swab test that can capture the cheek cells of your cat.