Ever wondered whether your feline hails from eastern Asia or the eastern Mediterranean? No need to rack your brain anymore — a geneticist has developed a cat ancestry test that will reveal your pet’s lineage.
This cat genome test will uncover whether your pet’s parents or grandparents belong to one of 29 “major fancy breeds”. So you can finally say for certain if yours really is a pure Abyssinian, or hold off on the bragging if its mother in fact engaged in a relationship with the local alley cat.
Anyone wanting to take advantage of the £76 test just needs to order one online and send back a cheek swab sample using the cytological brushes (a cotton bud-pipe cleaner hybrid) supplied. Within ten to 15 days you will know whether you should be grooming or shunning your cat.
Cat’s DNA is compared to a database of global cat profiles to see which race it shares the most variants with — the eight regions that mixed or “random bred” cats (the most common type) originate from are Western Europe, South Asia, Egypt, Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Sea, Iran/Iraq, India and East Asia (most breeds hail from the first four locations).
After determining its geographical origin the lab then goes deeper, comparing the DNA markers that determine what the cat looks like to 29 breeds (there are around 60, but the 29 are most common) to see if there are any similarities. Being US-based, the 29 common breeds chosen were derived from US “cat fancy registries” — the CFA and TICA. The heritage of cats outside of the US, therefore, will be more difficult to trace as breeding strategies and their history differ across the globe. Genetic mutations — or phenotypic traits — that dictate signifiers such as fur colour or length will further help narrow down the animal’s origins, since families of breed share characteristics.
The resulting lineage profile is more than 90 % accurate.
If your cat is a true direct cross with a breed, having a true breed parent or grandparent, this test can detect this breed genetic contribution in your cat.
Source: Lyons’ Feline Genetics Laboratory – CA / USA