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Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review)
Updated on November 25, 2022
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Cat Testing
Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review)

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:

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

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.

Editor's Choice

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 8
The 23andMe of Cat DNA Testing

Upgraded pick

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 9
Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing
Optimal Selection Cat genetic test
Optimal Selection DNA by Wisdom Health
My Cat DNA logo
MyCatDNA

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

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.

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 10

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.

According to Basepaws DNA, my cat has the most genetic resemblance with a tiger.

Your Cat’s Health Risks

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

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 11

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

How Cat DNA Testing Works

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:

How to Test Your Cat’s DNA

  1. Order a cat DNA testing kit and wait for it to arrive
  2. Register the test kit with your cat’s information
  3. Swab your cat's cheek with the included cotton swab
  4. Send in your cat's DNA sample and wait for the results
  5. Access your cat's DNA test results online

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.

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 12

6 Best Cat DNA Tests

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.

How We Chose the Best

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

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

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.

1

Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test

KnowYourDNA Recommends

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 8

Holiday Savings: $60 off code: Xmas

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

  • You can get a cheek swab in as little as 5 seconds
  • Compares your cat’s DNA with 4 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 3 common dental conditions5
  • You can share your cat's oral health report to the veterinarian5
  • Affordable cat DNA test kit ($129)

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 4 to 6 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.

Holiday Savings: $60 off code: Xmas

2

Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing Test

Our Upgrade Pick

Image of Basepaws Cat Kit

Holiday Savings: $60 off code: Xmas

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

  • 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 4 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.

Holiday Savings: $60 off code: Xmas

3

Optimal Selection DNA by Wisdom Panel

Optimal Selection Cat genetic test

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

  • 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 are 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 useful for cats with unknown breeds (e.g., strays)

4

MyCatDNA by Wisdom Panel

My Cat DNA logo

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 cats and mixed breeds
  • Test for over 20 feline traits and over 40 genetic diseases
  • Tells you which diseases your cat are 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 useful for cats with unknown breeds (e.g., strays)

5

Orivet DNA Test for Cats

Top 6 DNA Tests for Your Cat (2022 Review) 14

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

  • 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

CatDNAtesting.org logo

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 5 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?

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.

Testing Cat vs Dog DNA

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:

Get To Know Your Pet

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.

Understand Your Pet's Behavior

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.

Practice Responsible Breeding

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.

Benefits of Cat DNA Testing

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:

  • 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 to breed 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

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:

If You're A Cat Owner

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.

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 their breed.

Should Your Cat Take A DNA Test?

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:

  • 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 in-breeding 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, and longer livers.

FAQ

How much does a cat DNA test cost?

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

What good would a cat DNA test do?

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.

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BasePaws

The 23andMe of Cat DNA Testing

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.

Holiday Savings: $60 off code: Xmas

Dr. Alam
Dr. Alam Roky
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Shamsul Alam Roky is a registered veterinarian who graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary, Animal, and Biomedical Sciences. Currently, he is working as a graduate research assistant at his university, in addition to running a private veterinary clinic named ‘Sylhet Veterinary Services” in his city.
Joel Hirsch
Joel Hirsch
Content Contributor
Joel Hirsch is a health enthusiast and gym rat with a degree in Health Sciences. He spends his time writing about products that help people reach their health goals.
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