There were 3 main reasons I decided to purchase DNA kits for my cats and have them tested: ancestry, health, and furthering research of the cat genome.
WHY USE A DNA TEST?
Have you ever noticed when you meet a dog one of the first questions people ask is “What breed(s) are they?”. Very few people ask me that question when they meet my cats. Most people think all longhaired brown tabbies are Maincoons (don’t get me started on that soapbox), that tuxedo coloring is a breed, or that if their cat is extra floppy when picked up that they must have some Ragdoll in them.
Even avid cat lovers only know a handful of cat breeds recognized by the breeding associations. So whenever someone does ask me what breed my cats are I say Domestic Short or Medium Hair. But have you ever wondered what breeds your cats could actually be a mix of? I decided to find out.
When I first heard about Basepaws Cat DNA Kit I got excited – I could finally find out what breeds my cats had in them. Turns out, it’s not as straightforward as dog or human DNA tests. They can’t yet definitively say that my brown tabby is 70% Maincoon and 30% American Shorthair. In fact, very little is known about cat genetics.
Fun fact: Cat breeds have only been around since the 1800s – meaning that most breeds have only been around 200 years or so.
By knowing what breeds my cats are most closely related I can be better informed about what diseases those breeds are predisposed to which could potentially show up in my cats. While knowing what diseases they could be predisposed to doesn’t necessarily mean that I can prevent it or that I should live in constantly fear. Instead this information is more a guide of what to look out for so it’s easier to catch early on should it happen.
Since first getting my report back there is now definitive health data specific to your individual cat that tells you whether they are predisposed to specific conditions. Thankfully both of my cats were clear on these markers. The nice thing is that once you’ve received your cats profile, as more data from other owners and their cats come in, Basepaws will update your cats profile with new info such as health data and refined breed percentages.
FURTHERING RESEARCH OF THE CAT GENETICS
The company hopes to create one of the largest feline genetic research databases in the world. The way I see it, the more we know about cats genes the better we can care for them and grow our bond with them.
I’ve been learning a lot about cat breeds as I was reading about my cats results. “For example, we may not be able to observe the influence of a Maine Coon in your cat's size or coat type, yet it is possible that the DNA your cat has in common with this breed is actually linked to a different trait such as a disease predisposition or a personality characteristic.” You can read more about that here.
CLICK TO BUY
If you’re interested in buying Basepaws DNA Kit: CLICK HERE