What’s The Best DNA Test For Cats? (2024)
Updated on March 18, 2024
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What’s The Best DNA Test For Cats? (2024)

Your cat may be your best friend, but do you know everything you should know about them?

While you may not be able to figure everything out about our mysterious feline friends, there are some things you definitely should know so you can provide them with the best life possible.

Knowing more about your cat’s health, history, possible predisposition for congenital conditions, and breed will help you make better decisions for them.

DNA tests are a great way to get all of this information.

Your cat’s DNA allows you to:

  • Understand their behavior
  • Learn more about their history
  • Take better care of their health

Everything We Recommend

  • Best Basic Pick – Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test
  • Upgrade Pick – Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing Test
  • Quickest Turnaround – Optimal Selection DNA by Wisdom Panel
  • Best for Breeders – MyCatDNA by Wisdom Panel
  • Best Variety – Orrivet DNA Test for Cats
  • Budget Pick – CatDNATest.org 

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best Cat DNA Test

Are you curious about your cat's ancestry and health predispositions?

What A Cat DNA Test Can Tell You

Pet DNA tests analyze your cat’s genetic makeup to give you these insights:

Your Cat’s Breed Percentage

Physical traits like the coat and color pattern can help you determine your cat’s breed, but without a history or pedigree, it’s not a reliable way of knowing.

What's The Best DNA Test For Cats? (2024) 9

Feline DNA tests compare your cat’s DNA with recognized cat breeds and breed groups. It gives you an estimate of your cat’s breed.

Here is an example from Basepaws Cat DNA Test. It says that my cat Bukowski is 63% Western. Based on his results, he’s 17.64% Russian Blue and 9.50% Ragdoll.

If Your Cat Has Wild Cat DNA

All cats belong to the Felidae family. So they’re all genetically related.1

Scientists say that domestic cats (whether purebred, mixed breed, or hybrids) descended from the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris.2

Some testing kits check for wild cat DNA. They can tell you which wildcats have the most similar DNA with your feline.

Your Cat’s Health Risks

Genetic anomalies can cause congenital diseases present at birth, even in cats. Others increase their risk for health issues that may appear at a later age.

Inbreeding and selective breeding place pedigreed cats at higher risk for genetic diseases. This is why purebred cats are more likely to develop certain illnesses.3

However, non-pedigreed cats can still inherit health risks from their parents.3

Some cat DNA test options offer more than breed identification. They can screen genetic markers that are linked to your cat’s health.

What's The Best DNA Test For Cats? (2024) 10

How We Chose the Best

We considered six things when choosing the best DNA test kits:

  • Ease of sample collection
  • Waiting time
  • Breed information
  • Traits information
  • Health information
  • Price

Each genetic testing kit is unique and provides different information about your cat. Keep in mind that we didn’t arrange them in any particular order.

6 Best Cat DNA Tests

Basepaws Breed + Health DNA TestBasepaws Whole Genome Sequencing TestOptimal Selection DNA by Wisdom PanelMyCatDNA by Wisdom Panel Orivet DNA Test for Cats CatDNATest.org
Sample collectionCheek swabCheek swabCheek swabCheek swabCheek swabCheek swab (basic), some add-ons will require blood
Waiting time4-6 weeks3-9 weeks2-3 weeks2-3 weeks3-6 weeks 
Breed infoYesYesNoNoNo—you order tests based on the breedYes
Traits infoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Health infoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Price$159$499$99.99€99$119$45 (for basic test)
Vet follow-up/consultationCan share report with vetYesN/AN/AN/AN/A

1. Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test – 

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Basepaws is one of the largest cat DNA testing companies. Their test covers cat breed, potential health risks, genetic traits, and a wild cat index.

Basepaws Cat DNA Test Pros

  • You can get a cheek swab in as little as five seconds
  • Compares your cat’s DNA with four major cat groups and 21 purebred cats4
  • Checks for 50 genetic markers on physical and personality traits4
  • Screens for 43 diseases, including polycystic kidney disease (PKD)5
  • Find out if your cat is at risk for three common dental conditions5
  • You can immediately share your cat’s oral health report with your veterinarian5
  • Affordable ($159)

What we like most is how Basepaws updates their test with new features. The latest kit can now check for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).5

Basepaws Cat DNA Test Cons

  • Only estimates your cat’s breed percentage, not their exact breed
  • You have to wait four to six weeks for your test results to arrive
  • Doesn’t show how much DNA a cat shares with wild cats

Basepaws combines basic cat breed DNA testing with health screening, which is why it’s our top pick. You can read more on our Basepaws review.

Check Basepaws Breed + Health Price here

2. Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing Test – Our Upgrade Pick

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Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) provides 10,000 times more data than other cat DNA test kits. Most at-home pet DNA tests sequence 0.01 to 0.02% of a cat’s genome.

The WGS kit from Basepaws fully explores your cat’s DNA. It looks for more genetic variants than their basic feline DNA testing package.

It provides more accurate results on your cat’s breed, health, personality, and traits. 

Basepaws WGS Test Pros

  • Uses high-depth whole genome sequencing to decode 100% of a cat’s DNA
  • Buccal swab collects your cat’s cheek cells for better accuracy
  • Basepaws ensures that your sample meets their standards
  • Compares your cat’s DNA with four major cat groups and 21 purebred cats6
  • Checks for 50 genetic markers on physical and personality traits6
  • Screens for 43 diseases, including common dental problems6
  • Receive your cat’s raw DNA data in a USB flash drive

Basepaws WGS Test Cons

  • Doesn’t test for more diseases or health risks
  • Not as affordable as the Breed + Health cat test

You’ll get a 1-hour consultation with a Basepaws veterinarian and cat genetics expert together with the results. Read more about Basepaws here.

3. Optimal Selection DNA by Wisdom Panel

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Optimal Selection Feline is powered by Wisdom Panel, one of the leading providers of pet DNA tests. Unlike Basepaws, it doesn’t test for cat breed.

It helps cat breeders choose the best candidates for breeding. However, cat owners may use it to learn more about their pedigreed and mixed-breed cats.

Optimal Selection Feline Pros

  • Comprehensive cat genetic test kit for breeding
  • Test for over 20 feline traits, including coat type, colors, and morphology
  • Assess for blood type and over 40 genetic diseases
  • Highlights diseases your cat is most prone to based on their breed
  • Analyzes the extent of inbreeding by testing for genetic diversity
  • Provides information on the breed population of the tested cat
  • Extensive test results that are kept up-to-date
  • Lets you connect with cat breeders and fanciers

Optimal Selection Feline Cons

  • Doesn’t test your cat’s breed
  • May not be as helpful for cats with unknown breeds (e.g., strays)

4. MyCatDNA by Wisdom Panel

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MyCatDNA is also powered by Wisdom Panel. It provides the same genetic information as Optimum Selection and works best for cat breeders.

The only difference is that MyCatDNA seems to be based in Europe since their prices are listed in Euros (€).

MyCatDNA Test Pros

  • Can be used on pedigreed and mixed breed cats
  • Test for over 20 feline traits and over 40 genetic diseases
  • Tells you which diseases your cat is most prone to based on their breed
  • Assess for blood type and extent of inbreeding
  • Estimates the breed population of the tested cat
  • Provides information on specific ancestry lines within a breed
  • 1-year access to the breeder matchmaking system

MyCatDNA Test Cons

  • Doesn’t test your cat’s breed
  • May not be as helpful for cats with unknown breeds (e.g., strays)

5. Orivet DNA Test for Cats

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Orivet offers a range of DNA testing kits for dogs and cats. These tests aren’t for the average pet owner, though you can still buy them for your cat.

Instead, they’re designed for veterinarians and breeders. You can choose from feline DNA tests that check for genetic diseases and traits associated with each breed.

Orivet Cat DNA Test Pros

  • Choose from tests based on cat breed (e.g., American Shorthair)
  • Test your cat for specific diseases and health risks (e.g., Burmese Head Defect)
  • Offers full breed profiles on purebred cats

Orivet Cat DNA Test Cons

  • Doesn’t offer cat breed identification
  • Gut microbiome tests are not available for cats
  • Taking individual tests may end up being expensive

6. CatDNATest.org

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CatDNATest.org provides the most affordable cat DNA testing. For just $45, you can have your feline tested with a basic CFA panel.

The basic CFA panel can assess your cat’s ancestry (parentage) and traits. It also performs a cat DNA health screen for common diseases.

If you want to test for more, you can purchase add-ons for $5 to $15 each. 

CatDNATest.org Pros

  • Simple and straightforward DNA testing for cats
  • Tests are provided by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA)
  • Samples are analyzed at Neogen, a trusted animal genetic testing laboratory.
  • Looks for genetic markers related to a cat’s sex and identity
  • Can help you confirm the parents and offspring of your pedigreed cat
  • Tests for five basic traits and serious health conditions
  • Add-on tests are available for a small fee

CatDNATest.org Cons

  • Some tests require a blood sample, which can make your cat uncomfortable
  • Test results can be very specific and require some knowledge
  • You have to buy add-ons for tests that aren’t included in the basic kit

Are Cat DNA Tests Accurate?

No single DNA test is 100% accurate, even for cats. Scientists are still learning more about cat DNA, and its accuracy is still improving with more research.

Feline kits test for your cat’s potential breed percentage and genetic markers that influence its health and inherited traits, such as blood type and coat color.

Some of these tests trace your cat’s ancestry. They can confirm a cat’s relationship with its parents and offspring by comparing their DNA.

Like human DNA tests, there is always a margin for error in the estimates they provide. This is especially true for health-related markers.

However, the latest discoveries on cat evolution have made tracking cat ancestry more reliable. The results should be accurate enough if you choose a trusted company.

Benefits of Cat DNA Testing

Most cat DNA tests give you an estimate of your cat’s breed. While it doesn’t tell you exactly what breed your cat is, you can:

  • Narrow down hereditary diseases they will likely develop based on their breed
  • Find out how genes influence the health and traits of a cat, as well as their future kittens

As a pet owner, you can use the health information to take better care of your cat. For example, you can adjust their diet to prevent health problems they are prone to.

Cat breeders can use test results for breeding responsibly. They can pick the best cats for breeding based on their DNA and lower their risk for genetic diseases.

How to Pick the Best Cat DNA Tests

If You’re A Cat Owner

As a cat owner, you would want kits that test for several markers. Basepaws DNA is our top pick for cat owners who want to know a cat’s breed and health risks.

But if you’re willing to splurge, Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing might give you more reliable results. These tests work on all cats, regardless of their breed.

CatDNATest is the only one that can check a cat’s ancestry. It can help you determine whether a cat is genetically related to a sire, queen, or offspring.

If you are unsure of a cat’s pedigree, you can use tests to confirm its breed status.

If You’re A Cat Breeder

Cat breeders should be able to test for markers that determine a cat’s traits and genetic risks. Some examples are Optimal Selection DNA and MyCatDNA.

These tests work on purebred and mixed-breed cats. Like Basepaws, they can check for several markers at a time.

But if you own a purebred cat, you may also want to test for breed-specific diseases. Orivet DNA can assess your cat for diseases they are most prone to based on its breed.

Should Your Cat Take A DNA Test?

You can get your cat’s DNA tested if you want to:

  • Understand how your cat’s breed affects their behavior
  • Predict health problems they are most prone to
  • Assess them and future offspring for health risks
  • Choose cats with the best traits for breeding
  • Avoid inbreeding and genetic anomalies
  • Produce healthy kittens with a lower risk for disease
  • Confirm their relationship with a parent or offspring
  • Find out if your cat needs further health testing

Whether you’re a cat owner, a breeder, or a vet, a cat DNA test gives you the information you need to help cats lead happier, healthier lives.

Common Questions

How do cat DNA tests work?

Most cat DNA testing kits will ask you to collect a swab sample from the inside of your cat’s cheek. Others may require blood or fur as samples.

After sending it to the company’s laboratory, they will analyze a portion of your cat’s DNA. 

They might look for genes linked to breed, health, or ancestry.

Is my cat at risk for a genetic disease?

Purebred cats have a higher risk for genetic diseases than mixed-breed cats. It usually happens due to in-breeding and selective breeding, which causes them to lose genetic diversity.

That said, any cat is at risk of inheriting diseases from their parents—regardless of their breed.

Why Trust Us

KnowYourDNA is committed to making pet healthcare more accessible to pet parents and first-time pet owners, which is why we feature products that meet industry standards.

We only choose at-home test kits from companies with reliable testing methods and science-backed reports to improve your cat’s health.

Our in-house pet experts review all the information in our publications to ensure the accuracy of the information we give to our readers. 

Know Your DNA Reviews

The Best Cat DNA Test

What could be more fun than learning everything there is to know about your feline friend?

Updated on March 18, 2024
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Content Contributor
Angela is a full-time digital content manager and editor for Know Your DNA. She also contributes freelance articles to several local and international websites when she has the time. She's always been a voracious believer in finding the truth and ensuring the science is sound.