In This Article
In This Article
Don’t you just wish you can read your cat’s mind? It would be so much easier if we knew what they needed to be happy and healthy.
Apps like Meowtalk can supposedly translate our cat’s meows into human speech. But there’s just no way to tell if they are accurate or that they work.
Even if they do, they can only let us know of our cat’s basic needs — like food and water.
We wanted something better for our felines. Something that is based on science. This is why we looked into the best cat DNA test kits.
Your cat’s DNA allows you to:
Think of it as a science-based way to get to know your cat. In this review, we compiled a list of the top cat DNA testing kits we recommend.
Pet DNA tests analyze your cat’s genetic makeup to give you these insights:
If you buy a cat from a pet shop or a trusted breeder, you’ll likely know its breed. It can be a purebred cat with a certified pedigree, or a registered hybrid with known parents.
It’s different if you adopt a stray or an abandoned cat, or if you were given one as a gift. Most shelters and foster parents identify them based on appearance.
Physical traits like the coat and color pattern can help you find out what breed your cat is. But without a history or pedigree, it’s not a reliable way of knowing.
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.
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.
According to Basepaws DNA, my cat has the most genetic resemblance with a tiger.
Cat genetics is a lot like human DNA. Just like us, cat parents pass on genetic mutations to their kittens.
These anomalies can cause congenital diseases that are present at birth. Others increase their risk for health issues that may appear at a later age.
In-breeding 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.
Testing your cat's DNA is simple and non-invasive. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the kit. Here are the steps:
Tip: Frequently check your cat's test results. The latest discoveries may be added to the reports, and shed new information on your cat's breed and health.
We couldn’t try these tests on our own. So we got help from our cat Bukowski.
He willingly participated and took everything that’s on our list like a champ. We took his samples, gave him nibbles as a treat, and sent back his DNA to be analyzed.
After receiving his test results, we carefully reviewed and compared them. From there, we picked what we believe are the top DNA tests for cats.
We considered five things when choosing the best DNA test kits:
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.
Basepaws is one of the largest cat DNA testing companies. Their test covers everything, including cat breed, potential health risks, genetic traits, and a wild cat index.
Basepaws Cat DNA Test Pros
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
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.
Our Upgrade Pick
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.
It provides more accurate results on your cat's breed, health, personality, and traits. Your cat's DNA report will be constantly updated with information on their cat breed and health.
Basepaws WGS Test Pros
Basepaws WGS Test Cons
You'll get a 1 hour consultation with a Basepaws veterinarian and cat genetics expert together with the results. Read more about Basepaws here.
Optimal Selection Feline is from 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
Optimal Selection Feline Cons
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
MyCatDNA Test Cons
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.
Orivet Cat DNA Test Pros
Orivet Cat DNA Test Cons
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.
There’s no way to know for sure. Scientists are still learning more about cat DNA, and its accuracy is still improving.
All we know is that a feline test can’t tell you a cat’s exact breed. It only estimates the breed percentage of your cat.
Feline kits also test for genetic markers that influence a cat’s 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 has made tracking cat ancestry more reliable. As long as you choose a trusted company, the results should be accurate enough.
Analyzing the DNA of your domestic companion can help you make educated choices about their health and lifestyle. Below, we compare what they can do for your cat or dog:
You can use these tests to check your pet for traits they inherited from parents. These include genetic markers that influence their appearance, such as body size and coat.
Pet DNA tests also check for health markers that increase their risk for asthma, eye diseases, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and other health conditions.
Some testing kits confirm recent ancestry. This includes a cat's relationship to an offspring or a parent.
These tests can estimate the breed of your pet. It can help you understand why they behave a certain way. That said, dog DNA tests may be better for this.
It's because the temperament of cats are still not fully understood. Purebred dogs, on the other hand, are associated with particular behaviors.
So if you want to predict the personality of your pet based on breed, a dog DNA testing kit might help you more than a cat DNA test.
Professional dog and cat breeders can use these tests to choose the best candidates for breeding. You can avoid health issues that may arise from breeding, and increase your chances of producing healthy kittens with a lower risk for disease.
Most cat DNA tests give you an estimate of your cat's breed. Breed percentage is the amount of DNA your cat shares with known breeds and groups of felines.
While it doesn't tell you exactly what breed your cat is, you can:
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 to breed responsibly. They can pick the best cats for breeding based on their DNA, and lower their risk for genetic diseases.
You have to consider is what you want to learn about a cat. Each test is unique, so this can help you narrow them down:
As a cat owner, you would want kits that test for several markers at a time. 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 find out whether a cat is genetically related to a sire, queen, or offspring.
If you are unsure of a cat's pedigree, you can use it to confirm their breed status.
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 their breed.
DNA testing uncovers your cat’s genetic makeup. It can tell you more about their breed, health, and ancestry (which is why we recommend them).
You can get your cat’s DNA tested if you want to:
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, and longer livers.
The price of an at-home cat DNA test ranges from $45 to $199. This depends on the type of test you’re taking and the results it offers.
It can cost you more if you pick tests that individually check for diseases. But if you choose tests that check for several genetic markers, it might save you some money.
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.
Kits like Basepaws full genome DNA test are more comprehensive because they can analyze your cat’s entire genetic makeup.
When they’re ready, you can access your cat’s breed and health reports online or have them sent to your email.
Purebred cats have a higher risk for genetic diseases than mixed breed cats. It usually happens as a result of 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.
Tests like Basepaws Breed + Health DNA can help you find out which genetic diseases your cat is most at risk for.
Yes. A DNA test for cats gives plenty of information that can be useful to cat owners, cat breeders, and veterinarians.
This includes their breed status, parentage, health risks, and whether or not they would be a good candidate for breeding.
Basepaws gets our recommendation for cat DNA testing because they're an established company, they are the market leader, and provide terrific info for you and your cat.