Have you ever wondered what a cat DNA test could show you? Science has come farther than ever! And today genetic testing your cat has never been easier. So, if you’re ready to unlock the secrets of your feline friend’s genome then read on to learn more about the best cat DNA test kits.
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Pet DNA Test: Ever Wondered “What Kind of Cat Do I Have?”
All living creatures, big and small, contain DNA. You see, the body of every living organism has these chemical codes that predetermine who they are. In its very essence, this is what DNA is—chemical codes which have the ability to self-replicate. And so this ability to self-replicate, to pass on these chemical codes is known as heredity.
So, then what exactly is cat DNA testing? And why is it important in today’s science.
Science has truly come quite far! A simple and non-invasive procedure cat DNA testing is a simple way pet owners can learn more about their cat.
DNA tests for cats can tell you all kinds of things like:
- What kind of breeds make up your furbabies genome?
- Is your cat at risk of any genetic disorders?
- What gives your feline friend their unique traits and personality?
- Could your cat be related to some wild cats?
How Does a Cat DNA Test Work?
Collecting your cats DNA sample may seem like a daunting task. Where on earth is DNA found? Do I have to wrestle my cat to get a sample?
Well, rest assure the process of collecting a DNA sample from your furry friend is as easy as pie!
Companies that offer DNA testing for cats will request collection one of two ways.
Buccal swab collection is the first way one can collect a cats DNA. To do this, all pet owners need to do is swab the inner cheeks (buccal cavity) and gums of their cat’s mouth. By doing this you are collecting a layer of epithelium cells which will contain your cats DNA.
The second way you can collect your cats DNA is by simply catching their lose fur. Companies like Basepaws will provide a sterile adhesive tape that can be placed on your cat’s fur. Once you place this tape on your cat’s fur, simply pat down on it and peel off. This is not like getting a Brazilian wax! So, don’t worry it will not hurt your cat.
What You Need to Understand about DNA Test: It’s not Just a Cat Breed Identifier
Pedigree cat breeds are at most risk of inheriting genetic disorders common to their breed.
For instance, the Siamese cat is notorious for inheriting conditions like progressive retinal atrophy while the elegant Persian cat may be most at risk of inheriting polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Genetic testing can also tell you more about your cats’ traits. For example, Basepaws is a feline genetic testing company that can determine if your cat is related to a cougar, a lynx, or even an African several.
You see, their genetic makeup often predetermines much of our cats’ personality. While a genetic test can’t explain everything, it may be able to give you insight as to why your cat may love climbing trees or chasing a particular prey.
Another important concept to keep in mind is that a genetic test will only tell you how at risk your pet is of developing a genetic disease.
Let us look at an example:
If you own a Siamese cat who tested as a high-risk candidate for mast cell tumors then it does not mean that your cat has the disease. Nor, does it mean that your cat will get the disease in the near future. It simply means that they may be at high risk of developing it.
It is crucial to remember that a pet’s lifestyle, diet, and activity level will play a big role when it comes to determining your cat’s lifespan. For instance, your cat may develop diabetes due to an unhealthy lifestyle before any genetic disease occurs.
And so genetic tests should be used for educational purposes so that an owner is aware of the possible diseases their cat may get. This is because genetic diseases by no means are able to predict the future for your cat.
2019’s Top DNA Test Kits for Felines!
Currently, there are many companies who promote gene testing for pets. Since there’s just simply too much to cover, we will just focus on what we believe are the top companies for cat DNA testing.
One of the most popular cat DNA tests out there today is created by Basepaws. The CEO and creator of Basepaws—Anna Skaya—began her company on the purposes of bettering the lives of our feline friends.
Basepaws is a company that does not just look at your cat’s ancestry, but it can also tell you more about your cat’s unique traits.
Pros about Basepaws
- Basepaws sequences your cats entire genome and saves the data for future research. This means that your cats DNA can help scientists learn more about genetic disorders not yet studied.
- Basepaws can tell you if your feline friend is related to wildcat breeds such as lions, tigers, and even savannahs.
- As of 2019, the company will be able to tell you more about your cat’s risk of developing genetic disorders. This includes data such as if your cat is a carrier of a specific disease.
- In 2019, Basepaws will be able to tell you more about your cat’s unique traits. For example, they will be able to predict the personality of kittens, physical characteristics, and how likely your feline friend will love catnip.
- Basepaws relies on collecting data from as many cats as possible. As a result, they can compare your cats’ genetics to that of many other cats. This means that soon, Basepaws will be able to make wellness recommendations best suited to your kitty.
Cons about Basepaws
Basepaws is actually a pretty top notch company, so there are not many cons about it. However, there are a few downfalls we need to consider.
Basepaws is one of the newer companies that does provide an ancestry, health, traits, and wellness report. However, it is important to note that many of these additional featured will be available to customers sometime during 2019.
At some point, you’ve probably heard about Wisdom Health. A company that has popularized genetic testing in dogs and cats, Wisdom Health was responsible for the creation of the infamous Wisdom Panel dog DNA test kits.
But, did you know that the company also has a sister company devoted to genetic testing in pets?
Optimal Selection is yet another great pet DNA testing kit pet parents can take home. The Optimal Selection cat DNA test is a cat DNA testing kit that can use genetic markers to determine diseases your cat may be prone to.
Pros of Choosing Optimal Selection for your Kitty
- It can be used for both pedigreed and mixed-breed cats
- It can test for over 40 known genetic disorders
- It can determine your cats’ blood type
- Optimal Selection can tell you more about your cats’ individual traits, such as coat color, coat type, and overall physical appearance.
- Optimal Selection is able to determine your cat’s genetic diversity and genetic relationship
And, some Cons
- Unlike Basepaws this cat DNA test kit will not tell you more about your ancestry
Similar to Wisdom Health Optimum Selection for cats, the HomeDNA testing kit offers an easy and non-invasive method of genetic testing your feline friend.
HomeDNA cat DNA tests will scan your cats’ genome for mutations that code for genetic disorders.
Some of the Pros about this DNA test kit are
- It screens for over 40 genetic diseases common to your cat’s breed
- It guides owners on how to make more informed decisions about their pets’ health based on their genetics
- It’ s a lot easier to read and understand compared to other DNA test kits
- You can easily purchase this product on Amazon
And some Cons…
- This kit is only available for U.S customers
- It’s a lot more expensive than other genetic tests
- HomeDNA cat DNA tests cannot determine your cats’ ancestry and breed.
So, How Much is a DNA Test for Cats?
The cost of genetic testing for cats will vary depending on which company you choose. Nevertheless, the average cost of a cat DNA test can range anywhere from $100 to $200+. So, to give you an idea as to how much DNA test kits for cats could cost, we’ve listed a few prices below.
- Basepaws offers various types of services. The most popular service is the selective sequencing which can cost only $95 per cat
- If you’re looking to purchase Optimal Selection for your feline friend, then expect to pay $99
- HomeDNA genetic testing for cats often costs $125 per test
You’ll Learn A lot About Cat Genetics!
Your cats DNA is full of mysteries! By taking part in this science movement, you’ll be able to not only learn more about your feline friend, but you can also learn about how to better their lives.