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Trace your Cat’s Ancestry with a New Genetic Test

Russian Blue Have you ever wondered if your big, longhaired cat is actually a Maine Coon? Is your beautiful gray cat actually a Russian Blue? Now you can find out for sure.

Dr. Leslie Lyons, a geneticist and head of the Feline Genetics Laboratory at University of California at Davis, has developed a test that will reveal your cat’s genetic history. So why, honestly, would you want to know your cat’s ancestry? Well, according to UCDavis:

Many owners think their unregistered cat is from a fancy breed, such as a Maine Coon, or perhaps part Abyssinian. Some cats are indeed of a specific, fancy breed. Breed cats can be abandoned or slip out of the house and mate with the local alley or house cats if given the opportunity. Thus, many cats can look like a Maine Coon by chance, or be the product of an accidental mating of a breed cat with a random bred cat. The Cat Ancestry test can determine breed heritage to a limited extent. If your cat had a pedigreed breed cat as a parent or grand-parent, it is highly possible to detect this genetic influence from the specific breed cat. The probability that your cat has had one or more of 29 major fancy breeds as parents or grand-parents will be presented on your report.

Cat Ancestry is a novelty test to investigate your cat’s ancestry and heritage. If your cat truly is a direct relative of a breed, Cat Ancestry will detect that relationship with high probability. If a breed relationship is present, certain disease risks could apply to your cat and you may want to consider additional testing for these diseases. Cat Ancestry will determine the genetics of your cat’s coat colors and fur length and which variants it secretly carries as recessive genes.

The Feline Ancestry test is over 90% accurate. You can order the test through the Cat Ancestry page of the UCDavis Veterinary Medicine website and collect your kitty’s DNA sample at home by swabbing the inside of his mouth with a buccal swab provided with your test kit. Mail the DNA swab back to the Feline Genetics Laboratory and you’ll know what breeds combined to create your cat within 2 weeks.

To further increase the accuracy of the test, Dr. Lyons is accepting samples of pedigreed cats to add to the database, which consists of 29 different breeds right now. If you have a pedigreed cat that is not from one of the 29 major breeds that are in the database and would like to donate a sample to help add your breed to the database, please contact the Feline Genetics Laboratory. Generally, 30 – 50 unrelated cats (which do not share parents or grand-parents) are used to develop a breed database.

Do you have a pedigreed cat or a mixed breed kitty? Would you be interested to know what breed your cat really is? Tell us your thoughts in a comment!

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