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You’ve heard about canine DNA testing, and now we have good news for cat owners: there is cat DNA testing too.
They share the same principles as those for canines. The Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test can help you determine if your cat is predisposed to certain diseases or if they have more specific physical characteristics. The test also shows your cat’s breed profile, which can be especially useful if you’ve adopted your kitten from a shelter.
As with the canine DNA tests, you would dab your cat’s saliva and then send the sample to the Basepaws cat DNA brainstems in Los Angeles, who would then look at the 20,000+ genes in DNA to create a report , which breaks down your cat’s breed makeup, its Wildcat Index, and whether “markers” for certain genetic diseases showed up in its DNA.
In particular, the health markers indicate whether your cat is at higher risk for diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, cardiomyopathy, myotonia, and more.
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With Basepaws, you can purchase the standard DNA and health test (also available on Amazon) or get $ 500 for the more expensive test that sequences your cat’s entire genome and offers life-long health and breed updates.
“People want to know about their pets, think about their pets’ life stories, and see their physical traits as something special, so it makes sense to want DNA testing,” said Haylee Bergeland, animal health and behavior editor for Daily Paws, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT.
Unless you have bought or adopted a purebred cat, it can be difficult to determine which breeds are dominant in you. Cat owners who go to a specific breeder for a specific breed are much less common than dog owners who do the same, Bergeland says.
“Most people are cool when they just go to the shelter and pick a cat they like on the spot based on color, size, or whatever,” she says.
For example, Bergeland also notes that the kittens in the same litter may actually have different fathers, which can lead to unexpected DNA results. (Side note: this can happen in humans too, which is pretty wild.)
With all this conundrum, the breed possibilities for your cat’s DNA test results can be endless. But perhaps more importantly, whether the DNA test can alert you to possible health problems in your cat’s future. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not you should seek out something like the Basepaws cat DNA test for your cat’s health outlook, Bergeland says. The DNA test can be valuable, but it may not catch everything. This is why it is important to keep up with regular veterinarian visits.