The Reasons Why You Should Test Your Cat's DNA
If you’re like most cat owners, you’re probably both completely in love and completely confused by your feline friend. Cats tend to be very individualistic, and each one seems to have its own unique personality and habits. Your pet is undoubtedly part of the family, and as such, it’s only natural to want to know more about it.
You might wonder what kind of breed it is and how it ended up with that unique fur pattern. Others may want to know more about their pet’s health and what to expect down the line. For instance, pet owners can learn if their cats have any predisposition to diseases.
No matter your reason for wanting to get to know your beloved pet on a deeper level, a DNA test is likely the best way to get answers to your questions.
What to Know About Cat DNA Testing
DNA testing is a relatively new aspect of the genetic testing world. Many humans have flocked to at-home testing kits to learn more about their genetic information, ancestry, and even health. Thanks to advances in technology, learning this information has never been easier.
It was only natural then that everyone testing their own genes would look at the furrier members of their family and want to know some of the same information about their pets. Thus, animal DNA has risen in popularity as more owners want to gain information into their pet’s health and breed in order to best take care of them.
History of Cats
Felines have been around for longer than you probably realize. The first ones were domesticated in the Near East as far back as 7,500 BCE. That means that felines have been humans’ furry companions for centuries upon centuries. As time has passed, these animals have changed, and so has our relationships with them.
It’s important to note that there are fewer known cat breeds than dog breeds. Someone who seeks a DNA test for their canine will likely have that DNA tested within 200 different breeds to identify the unique makeup of their pet. Felines, however, have much fewer known breeds, around 30.
So what exactly does this mean for their DNA tests? Because there are less known breeds, there are fewer ‘perfect’ DNA markers that test kits have available to work and match with.
How to Choose A Cat DNA Test
When deciding what test to get for your pet, take a moment to consider your goals. Why are you interested in genetic testing? What insights do you hope to gain? Having a plan of what you want to learn will save you from spending money on a test that might give you results that you’re uninterested in.
If you want to learn more about your feline’s overall health, look for health-specific cat DNA tests. These tests might be able to tell you the ideal diet for your furry friend based on its genetic information. It might also tell you what genetic diseases it may have, and if it has any predispositions to serious disease.
Others simply want to learn more about their feline’s breed and understand what kind of cat they have. This might not always be completely possible, especially if your pet is a rescue or from the streets. However, you should be able to piece together some information to get a general idea of your pet’s background.
Benefits Of Cat DNA Testing
There are around 250 known hereditary diseases that this animal can suffer from. Understanding your feline’s genes can help you discover which diseases it’s most at risk for. This might range from heart disease and eye conditions to diabetes.
Having access to this information is beneficial because it can allow you, as a pet owner, to take proactive steps to safeguard the health of your feline family member. Of course, you should always continue with regular vet visits, vaccinations, a good diet, and exercise. Genetic testing merely adds another layer of understanding and another level of care you can provide for your pet.
Cat DNA tests can be an exciting and valuable way to get to know your feline friend. When you’re empowered with your pet’s genetic information, you can take the necessary steps to improve its longevity and ensure you’re meeting its every need.