Are DNA test kits for the dogs? It seems like most DNA tests available on the market are made for dogs. Cats deserve equal time too, and while not as common as canine kits, there are some feline DNA tests out there for cat owners to use.
At-home pet DNA tests help owners determine the breed ancestry and health conditions of their pets. Like human DNA tests, you collect a sample and send it in the mail to a lab to get your results.
What’s the best cat DNA test kit? These reviews will help you make sense of the options.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
|Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test for Cats
|Orivet Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Cats
|Wisdom Panel Cat DNA Test
|5Strands Pet Health Test
|5Strands Food Intolerance & Allergy Testing
The 5 Best Cat DNA Tests
1. Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test for Cats – Best Overall
|4 breed groups, 21 individual breeds, lifetime breed report updates as more are added
|38 gene mutations, 16 feline health conditions
Our pick for the best overall cat DNA test is the Basepaws Breed + Health kit. It includes several cat breeds and breed groups, and the company will send updates as more are added in the future. It also identifies important genetic health conditions like polycystic kidney disease (PKD), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), retinal degeneration, and myotonia.
2. Orivet Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Cats – Best Value
|17 genetic diseases and 13 genetic traits
Our pick for the best cat DNA test for the money is the Orivet Health Condition Identification test kit for cats. This is not a breed test, but it is a good choice when health and other genetic traits are your main concerns. For some of the diseases and traits, you will need to know the breed of your cat. Includes testing for traits like coat type and color, blood group, and polydactylism.
3. Wisdom Panel: Cat DNA Test for Comprehensive Health, Traits, Breed, and Ancestry – Premium Choice
|Over 70 breeds and populations
|45 genetic diseases and 25 genetic traits
Our premium choice is the Wisdom Panel test because it contains the most comprehensive selection of tests available in one kit. The company references the world’s largest cat breed database for accuracy. You can consult with their veterinarians about health conditions at no additional charge. Wisdom Panel also traces your cat’s ancestry back to its great grandparents’ generation and provides you with a family tree.
4. 5Strands Pet Health Test
|Nutritional and environmental intolerances
This 5Strands testing kit gives cat (and dog) owners a lot of health information. While it’s not a breed test, 5Strands tests for 460 health items. Covered health issues are grouped under the categories of food intolerance, environmental intolerance, nutrition, and metal and minerals. You’ll learn your cat’s sensitivities and how your cat is absorbing nutrition.
5. 5Strands Food Intolerance Testing & Allergy Testing for Dogs, Cats & Horses
|Tests for 355 food and environmental intolerances
While not a breed test or a genetic health test for heart, kidney, and other inheritable feline diseases, this test is useful if you are concerned about food and environmental allergies and sensitivities. Besides foods, it also tests for sensitivity to things like mold, chemicals, and other pets’ dander.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Cat DNA Test
Many dog owners have discovered that the breeds that went into their dogs are not what they thought. Cat owners are finding out the same fascinating information about their cats’ breed ancestry.
Dogs are a little ahead of cats in terms of how many breeds can be identified through DNA testing, but many cat owners are still discovering the genetic makeup of their feline friends.
Identifying genetic health issues in pets is another good reason to do DNA testing. Cats are a little behind dogs in that department too, but a test still allows you to identify some important inherited health conditions in your cat.
What Are The Benefits of Doing a DNA Test on a Cat?
With advances in genetic science, at-home DNA testing for our pets is becoming as popular as human genetic and genealogical testing.
Cat owners can learn several things with DNA tests. You can find out about the different breeds that went into your cat, inherited traits like coat markings, genetic diseases that might be common to a breed, and any allergies or intolerances your cat may have.
As dog owners have learned, sometimes their dog’s breed ancestry is very different from what they thought. The same is true for cats. You always thought your large, fluffy cat was a Maine Coon? You might be surprised to learn that it’s a Norwegian Forest Cat instead.
You can also learn more about the genetics of coat color, length, and texture. There’s also testing for other physical traits (like folded ears) you might be interested in.
Precursor to Health Conditions
Of course, testing for serious genetic health problems is important for both cat breeders and cat owners. Certain health conditions are common to individual breeds, or groups of breeds.
Diseases that affect the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system can be identified. There are also tests for other diseases like metabolic disorders.
Hair Sample vs Cheek Swab
Most of these types of cat breed, genetic trait, and genetic health tests are done with a cheek swab. Another category of testing is done with hair samples.
These hair sample tests are useful for cat owners who would like to identify any allergies or intolerances. A test can make it easier to pinpoint why your cat might be losing hair or experiencing digestive or skin problems.
Some of these allergy kits can test for hundreds of possible sensitivities in your cat, which is impressive.
Besides at-home test kits, some veterinary school genetic labs also offer DNA testing for cats.
And did you know that you and your cat can help researchers learn more about feline genetics?
The Feline Genome Project at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine’s Feline Genetics Lab is interesting in collecting samples from all kinds of cats to help them in their research on inherited diseases and traits of the domestic cat.
Whether you want to satisfy your curiosity, learn more about inherited health conditions, or contribute to research, there’s a DNA test for your cat!
Ready to get an at-home DNA test kit for your cat? You’ll see that there are fewer choices for cats than for dogs on the market, but there are still some great options out there for cats.
Here’s a quick summary of our reviews.
The Basepaws test covers both breed identification and genetic health. The Wisdom Panel kit has those health and breed tests plus a few extra ones, like coat type and color and other interesting genetic traits.
- See Also: How Much Does A Cat DNA Test Cost?