10 Reasons You Should Get a Cat DNA Test
Updated on March 26, 2024
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10 Reasons You Should Get a Cat DNA Test

The ten reasons you should get a cat DNA test are:

  1. You can identify your cat’s breed
  2. You can get a better idea of your cat’s health issues
  3. It might be good if you eventually want your cat to breed
  4. It’ll be cool to figure out if they’re related to big cats
  5. You can better understand your cat’s personality
  6. You can make better dietary choices for your cat
  7. It can help you plan your cat’s activities as some breeds tend to like more strenuous exercise while others prefer lounging
  8. You can better plan if you want to bring other pets into your home, as some breeds are less sociable than others
  9. You’ll better understand why your cat looks the way they do
  10. You will be able to assess your cat’s overall genetics and anything they may have inherited

DNA reveals a great deal, whether a sample belongs to a human or an animal. Many cat owners use DNA testing on their pets to learn more about their heritage and health. Because they know that cats are great pets to have, they want to give them the best quality of life possible.

DNA testing provides insight into caring for your pet and understanding its potential risks. It can help reduce health risks once you know what you’re dealing with.

With the continuous evolution of DNA technology, it is now possible for cat owners to know their pet cat’s genetics, history, and DNA information. Basepaws Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) is a popular cat DNA test.

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Source: Basepaws

Why Should You Get Your Cat’s DNA Tested?

There are a lot of reasons why you should get your cat’s DNA tested. Here are some of them:

1. Identify Your Cat’s Breed

One of the most obvious reasons to have your cat’s DNA tested is to determine its breed. If you purchased a purebred from a breeder, you already know this.

A DNA test confirms your breeder was honest and reputable about breed information. They’re also helpful for other reasons, but as long as you trust your breeder, you aren’t going to learn much in this respect.

Only about ten percent of cats are purebred. The vast majority are mixed breeds, and many were originally strays.

Most people have no idea of their cat’s breed. Categories like American or Domestic Shorthair were developed as a catch-all for domesticated house cats.

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Source: 123rf

If your cat fits into this category, as most do, you’ll learn much from a cat DNA test.

Chances are, somewhere in your cat’s lineage is one or more pure breeds. Knowing this can provide information about your cat’s appearance, personality, and health needs. But keep in mind the mix of breeds affects these things over time.

Your cat might have a “little bit” of a particular breed, but that doesn’t mean he or she carries all of the traits of that cat. And even if a gene is there, it could be counterbalanced by another gene.

Don’t panic if you learn your cat is part of a breed with a particular issue.

2. Identify Your Cat’s Health Issues

As mentioned above, an important issue revealed by cat DNA testing is your cat’s potential health challenges. DNA testing provides specific details about the health risks your cat faces.

Having a genetic link doesn’t mean your cat is guaranteed to suffer a health issue. However, it does mean you can make informed choices about your cat’s health. For example, if your cat is at risk for kidney issues, you’ll know to monitor your cat’s kidney health and anticipate potential problems.

You can make dietary adjustments and use supplements that support kidney health. The same applies to respiratory infections, heart health, skin health, vision health, and more.

Your diet and genetic health decisions can focus on reducing your cat’s risk for their most significant risks. And you’ll know what to watch for, whether it’s heart disease like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, skin health, or other issues, so you can be proactive if symptoms arise.

3. Breeding

Most people don’t intentionally breed mixed-breed cats, but it helps to have information about their genetic background if you intend to.

This is often more for your peace of mind than mating your cat for financial gain.

Many people with domestic mixed breeds allow their cats to mate so they can continue the line of their family’s cats. Knowing the breeds you’re dealing with helps you make smart decisions about breeding regardless of your plans.

4. Linking to Big Cats

Do you know your cat is likely related to one of the big predatory cats you’d find in the wild?

It might be hard to believe that your ten to 15-pound housecat has that in his genetics, but it is likely a tiger, panther, or mountain lion somewhere in their heritage.

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Source: 123rf

This is one of the most entertaining reasons people use DNA testing on their cats. It’s a fun fact to learn about your pet. You might even understand your cat’s behavior once you connect it to its big cat relative.

5. Understanding Your Cat’s Personality

Different breeds of cats have different personality traits.

Knowing what’s in your cat’s lineage can reveal why he or she does certain things.

  • Is your pet vocal?
  • Is he or she a mouser?
  • Do they like to snuggle, or do they prefer independence?

All of these things and more could have a genetic link.

6. Making Dietary Choices

In general, a cat’s dietary needs are similar regardless of breed. However, there are subtle differences.

Knowing your cat’s genetics can help you tweak his or her diet to meet all dietary needs. This makes your cat happier and healthier and increases the chances of long-term health.

In addition to preventing issues down the road, you can improve your cat’s current skin, hair, and coat health, energy levels, and more.

7. Planning Your Cat’s Activities

Is your cat constantly trying to sneak outside? Do they get wild and tear through your house? Or are they a lazy lump most days on the bed or in a window?

Your cat’s activities could have a genetic link. Knowing what to expect and planning your cat’s access to certain activities comes from DNA knowledge.

If you know your cat has a genetic reason for wanting to escape and spend time outside, you can plan supervised activities outside. If your cat tends to be lazier, you can make an effort to encourage play so your cat stays fit and healthy.

8. Determining What Other Pets to Bring into Your Home

Cats are known to be independent animals that don’t play well with others. This stereotype isn’t always deserved, though.

Some cats are very social and love being surrounded by people and other animals. However, some breeds fare better in solitude and are great companions if only one person is around them.

Assessing your cat’s DNA helps you determine if it’s a good idea to bring another pet into the home or if there’s a high likelihood your cat won’t get along with new family members.

You can determine if another adult cat or kitten would be a better fit.

There are no guarantees things will turn out as you expect based on genetic information, but it gives you a heads-up on things and helps you anticipate and plan for potential problems.

9. Understanding Your Cat’s Appearance

  • Have you ever wondered why your cat looks the way it does?
  • Does your cat have two different colored eyes or an interesting striped pattern?
  • Do you have two cats with two entirely different body types?
  • Have you ever wondered about your cat’s hair or why some cats have similar coats?

All of these are linked to your cat’s genetics.

Knowing what breeds are in your cat’s lineage reveals a lot about his or her appearance. It’s especially fun to test your cat’s DNA if they have one or more unusual physical traits that don’t fit your cat’s overall appearance.

10. Assessing Your Cat’s Overall Genetics

Your cat’s overall genetics reveal a great deal about who they are and how they will be their entire life. Genetic testing doesn’t give you a definite answer about the future, but you’ll get a broad view of your cat.

Many owners enjoy having this “big picture” look into their pets.

Whether that means knowing about your cat’s ancestry, understanding its personality better, or anticipating certain health risks, DNA testing is a foundation to care for your cat and build a rewarding, long-term relationship with your pet.

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Updated on March 26, 2024
Katrina Canlas
Katrina Canlas
Content Contributor
KC Canlas is an experienced content writer for Know Your DNA. She combines her passion for storytelling with a deep understanding of DNA and genetics. She creates engaging content that can empower readers with knowledge about their genetic makeup, promoting a greater understanding of the role DNA plays in their lives.