Getting a pet DNA test for our domestic companions is quite popular these days. Feline DNA testing can be pretty similar to a human DNA test because it helps identify your feline friend’s genetic markers and genetic makeup.
However, cat lovers sometimes feel that feline genetic testing might be pretty expensive, and hence they do not give it a second thought. If you are one such pet parent, you might be surprised to learn that you can learn about cat genetics in a completely affordable manner. How? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to find out today! We will also explore how cat DNA tests work and whether they are similar to human DNA tests or not. So, let’s dive right in!
What is a Cat DNA Test?
A cat DNA test works with a DNA sample of your cat to find out the various genetic markers of your feline friend. This is quite similar to how dog DNA tests identify multiple dog breeds and genetic makeup.
A feline DNA testing begins with a cheek swab that you roll around in your cat’s mouth to collect your cat’s DNA sample. The DNA samples of your little furry friend are then sent to the laboratory for generating a breed report where you can discover your cat’s breeds and ancestry. Of course, the breed analysis also includes a health report that underlines your feline friend’s disease risk and predisposition. As such, you will be able to discover any inherited diseases that your cat might suffer from in the future.
The DNA kit is helpful for both cat owners, cat breeders as well as veterinarians. We will cover the advantages of DNA test kits for your furry friend in later sections.
What Is The Average Cost Of A Cat DNA Test?
The cost of a cat DNA test varies from company to company. The price of your cat’s DNA test can also depend upon which DNA test you are ordering. For instance, some genetic testing companies offer a basic DNA test to identify the different breeds present in your cat, along with a primary health report that you can use to prolong your cat’s life by taking preventive measures to reduce disease risk.
A basic DNA test (such as the basic CFA panel) is quite affordable for the regular pet owner. The average cost of a simple breed health DNA test would be somewhere around $100- $130.
However, you can also choose to add-on tests for detailed information regarding your cat’s genetic makeup and breed composition. Such DNA test kits also offer excellent information regarding your cat’s ancestors and information regarding the wild cats that make up your kitty at home. Unfortunately, while these tests can be perfect for you to analyze breed health and cat genetics, they might prove to be a lot more expensive – with some of them even going up to $500.
Are Cat DNA Tests Worth the Cost?
As we have already mentioned, the cost of cat DNA tests varies largely from company to company. However, it is our firm belief that cat DNA testing can go a long way in ensuring your cat’s health and wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of the various advantages that you might get from feline genetic testing, and you can decide for yourself whether cat DNA tests are worth the cost or not.
Improve Your Cat’s Health
Genetic testing for your cat can help you understand the various genetic markers that leave your feline friend prone to genetic diseases. By analyzing these genetic markers and the genetic diseases that their cat may be predisposed to, cat owners can take whatever measures are necessary to keep their cat healthy in the long run.
As such, the breed health report that is offered by feline DNA testing can help you understand the genetic variants and genetic mutations that your cat might have, but you will also be able to analyze the various health risks of your feline friend and take preventive measures in advance.
For instance, diseases such as retinal degeneration, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and polycystic kidney disease are common diseases that cats usually suffer from. Cat DNA testing allows you to understand whether your cat is at risk for developing any such genetic disease or not.
Understand Your Cat’s Traits
Testing for feline genetics also helps you understand genetic traits that are associated with a particular cat breed. For instance, if you have a Maine coon, a Siamese cat, or other purebred cats at home, you will be able to understand your cat’s traits and personalities with the help of a genetic test.
DNA testing is beneficial for cat breeders to determine whether any inbreeding has taken place with their cats. The chromosome map drawn up by the DNA testing company with the help of your cat’s DNA sample is handy for understanding the different breeds and disease risks associated with each breed. Breeders will also use the raw data provided by genetic testing to understand how to perform selective breeding to produce superior cat breeds.
Determine Your Cat’s Parentage
Parentage testing was previously done with the help of blood samples. However, pet owners are aware of the kind of stress that drawing blood can cause to their feline friend. Fortunately, genetic testing has evolved enough to allow you to perform parentage testing with just a cheek swab. With your cat’s cheek cells, you will be able to understand not just your cat’s ancestry but also who her parents are.
Popular Cat DNA Tests and the Costs
Let’s go over some of the most popular cat DNA tests available to understand feline genetics!
The Basepaws DNA test kit is the largest cat DNA database out there. This test kit offers a massive amount of data to understand your cat’s genetic makeup and predisposition to genetic disease.
What It Tests For
Let’s take a look at the various information that is available with the Basepaws test.
- Breed analysis
First and foremost, the Basepaws cat DNA test offers a breakdown of the various breed groups categorized according to the cat’s genetic similarity. This test allows you to determine whether your cat belongs to the eastern, western, Persian, or exotic breed groups. Further, you will also be provided information regarding the specific cat breeds that make up your feline friend. For instance, the Basepaws cat test kit tells you whether your cat is a purebred Maine coon or a mix of various cat breeds such as tabby, ragdoll, Burmese, and so on.
- Wild cat index
Basepaws is especially known for providing a wild cat index containing all the various cat breeds found in the wild. As such, you will be able to understand whether your cat has descended from wild cats or domestic cat breeds.
- Health information
The Basepaws cat DNA test is beneficial for finding genetic markers that leave your cat predisposed to certain genetic diseases. With the report, you will take various measures to alleviate the risk of inherited diseases in your feline friend.
The price of Basepaws DNA testing kit depends upon the test you opt for. The basic test that most pet owners prefer to choose is priced at $129. In contrast, the Basepaws whole genome sequencing (which offers much more detailed information regarding genetic markers and breed health that is beneficial for veterinarians and breeders) is priced at $499.
The Wisdom genetic test kit is one of the most popular genetic testing options for cats. This DNA test is a very simple cheek swab test where you simply roll the swab around in your cat’s cheek for around 30 seconds and collect your cat’s sample. You then send the sample for across testing and receive the test results.
What it Tests for
The Wisdom DNA test kits test for the following information.
- Genetic diseases
With this DNA test kit, you will be able to check whether your cat has one among any of the 40 genetic diseases present in the database. The relevance of these diseases is also provided to you.
- Feline traits
The Wisdom cat test kit is especially popular for testing more than 20 traits of your domestic companion. These traits include coat types, coat colors as well as morphology.
- Breed information
The Wisdom test kit offers lifetime updates regarding breed information. As such, not only will you be able to figure out what breeds make up your domestic friend, but you will also have access to new discoveries in the future as well.
The Optimum Selection feline powered by Wisdom Panel is priced at $99.99.
The Orivet cat DNA testing kit is also a cheek swab test that allows you to collect your cat’s sample and send it across for analysis. This test helps you prepare a personalized life plan for your feline friend based on your cat’s breed, weight, age, gender, lifestyle as well as geographic location.
What it Tests for
The Orivet cat DNA test kit tests the following things in your cat.
- Genetic diseases
The Orivet DNA health screen tests your cat for dozens of diseases to ensure that your cat is able to live a happy and healthy life. With an algorithmic analysis, this test is also capable of providing a personalized life plan for your four-legged companion.
- Personality traits
With the help of Orivet DNA test, you will understand the various personality traits associated with the specific breeds that make up your cat.
- Cat’s ancestry
The Orivet DNA test allows you to find out your cat’s ancestry as well as specific hereditary health risks.
There are numerous plans that you can opt for at Orivet cat DNA testing. The price of each plan varies according to the features that are offered.
Our Final Thoughts
Which cat DNA test kit are you going to purchase today? Whichever one you choose, you can rest assured that a test will allow you to understand your cat’s breed, health conditions as well as predisposition to genetic disease better than you ever can from a simple visit to the veterinarian. Good luck in ensuring your cat’s health in the future!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cat DNA Tests Accurate?
Genetic testing for cats has come a long way in terms of accuracy. These days, DNA testing for cats can be exact and accurate, especially with popular DNA tests such as the Basepaws DNA test and the Wisdom cat test.
Is There A Test To Determine My Cat’s Breed?
Yes, you can perform genetic testing to determine your wild cat breed. The Basepaws DNA test allows you to identify the breed groups that your cat may belong to while also providing you with information regarding specific breeds (such as Maine coon, Ragdoll, Himalayan, and so on) that make up your kitty at home.
What Is The Best Cat DNA Test?
The best cat test for understanding your cat’s breed composition as well as genetic mutations is the Basepaws DNA test. Not only is this test kit super affordable for the average pet owner, but it is also highly accurate.
Is There A PKD DNA Test?
Yes, there is a DNA test available for PKD. PKD is short for polycystic kidney disease, a common genetic disease found in purrbred cat. This disease can be quite deadly, especially among Persian cats, so several cat DNA tests specifically test for polycystic kidney disease.