How Puritan Can Help
Want to learn more about how to choose the right tools in the canine and other animal patients at your veterinary practice? Puritan has worked with many testing facilities to create custom kits and has a full range of products used widely in veterinary and animal genetic testing practices.
All of Puritans line of medical products are manufactured in the United States, adhere to strict quality control guidelines and are always customizable to customer specifications. Because of this, our customers can feel secure that their laboratories and clinics will never run out of necessary swabbing supplies.
Hallmarks Of Genetic Diseases
A cats phenotype is a combination of the presence of diseases, visible traits, or morphological types. Attributes of the phenotype can be desirable or undesirable, especially in the case of diseases. Because phenotypes can be a result of a single gene, the interaction of several genes, the accumulation of environmental exposures, or of a combination of interactions, a veterinarian may choose different types of therapy, clinical management, or make different prognoses if a phenotype is known to be genetic. If the same condition is found in other species, a veterinarian may have opportunities to try novel approaches for health care by considering comparative medicine. Several characteristics are common to genetic diseases that will help decipher sporadic, idiopathic, occurrences from inherited conditions.
The six common hallmarks for inherited diseases include 1) early age of onset, 2) bilateral and/or multiple presentation, 3) presence in a closed or small population, 4) indications of inbreeding, 5) uniformity in presentation, and 6) advanced parental age at birth. Only advanced age of parents at birth has not been shown to have an effect in cat inherited diseases. In humans, older mothers have a higher frequency of having children with Trisomy 21 and dwarfism is associated with advanced paternal age.
Why Cat Dna Tests Are Worth It
There are so many reasons to adopt a cat from a shelter. You will save a life while freeing up space for another abandoned kitty to be sheltered too. Its more affordable, you have many options to choose from, and you dont have to get a kitten.
Unfortunately, its not common that the animal shelter will know much about where your cat came from, what specific breed it is, its ancestry, or possible predisposed health issues. If the shelter claims that they know the breed of cat youve adopted, theyre usually guessing by the way your cat looks, but they may have done their own DNA testing on your cat.
This is where cat DNA testing comes in. Whether youre curious about why your cat looks a certain way, is so big, or youre concerned about its health and want to know if you can take any precautionary health measures or make dietary changes, DNA tests can give you the answers and peace of mind you need.
A cat DNA test also offers information about which wild cats your kitten is most similar to, along with the traits your kitten will most likely have as they mature.
Unfortunately, the DNA test results wont tell you exactly what type of breed your cat is, but rather which breeds its most similar to. Even though you may think your cat is completely mixed, there will always be a few breeds to which it is more similar.
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What Can Be Discovered Through Cat Dna Testing
Based on the laboratory database, cat breeds are broken down into three different categories: Western breeds , Eastern breeds and Hybrid breeds . In the test report, your mixed-breed cat will more dominantly belong to one of these three groups. Within the dominant breed group, breeds are then ranked in the order of genetic similarity, the first breed being the one your cat is most genomically similar to of all the breeds. Why dont you take a look at the full list of cat breeds tested? As the laboratory database expands, more breeds will be added!
The report also comes with a chromosome painting, a beautiful visual representation of your cats genetic similarities which makes the results easier to read and understand. The chromosome map displays regions on your cats genome that are similar to pedigreed cat breeds from the laboratorys database. The chromosomes will be marked with distinct colours to help you visualize where each section of the genetic code relates to the tested breeds, which will then allow you to see which breed group influenced that specific section.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy In The Maine Coon
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart that results in thickening or hypertrophy of the heart muscle. Genetics is a factor in development of HCM, but cats of other breeds and cats who are free of the mutation may also get this disease. This variant is only relevant in the Maine Coon. This mutation is autosomal dominant, but has incomplete penetrance meaning that not all cats with the mutation will exhibit clinical symptoms. Penetrance for heterozygous cats has been estimated at 30%, and penetrance for homozygous cats has been estimated at 80%. For example, it is estimated that 80% of Maine Coon cats homozygous for this mutation will eventually develop disease, while 20% will not. The risk of disease with these mutations does increase with age.
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How To Collect Feline Dna For The Test
Cat owners can actually collect the DNA themselves with a home test kit. Inside the kit provided by the DNA testing company, they will find oral swabs. The owner of the cat needs to hold the cats head firmly and quickly rub it inside the cats mouth to collect cheek cells. This procedure is painless and can be done on a cat of any age- the procedure will not in any way stress the animal. Just like in DNA testing on humans to establish parentage, if the potential biological toms of a litter of kittens are related, the test may be inconclusive and a different and more-in-depth testing method should be used in such cases.
It is important with all feline paternity tests to send in the mothers DNA sample. Having the mothers DNA sample will help scientists exclude her share of genetic inheritance and work solely with the share inherited by the father.
Cat DNA testing is accurate and effectively helping better diet management, breeding and mating patterns.
Dog Vs Cat Dna Testing
Currently, the CFA recognizes 42 cat breeds, most of which arent even 100 years old. Conversely, there are over 200 dog breeds, which means that cat ancestry databases have fewer DNA markers to work with.
Moreover, the history of cats differs from that of dogs. Canines went through years of domestication and selective breeding to get to the pups we have today. In contrast, cats have remained very similar to their wild ancestors.
In other words, feline DNA tests are more reliable and accurate than those for dogs.
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Why Should I Know My Cats Breed
The cats breed determines its physical appearance, including size, eye color, fur length, coat color, and pattern.
And it isnt just the looks.
The cat-breed DNA test will also tell owners more about their personality, energy levels, relationship to humans, and other cats and pets. For example, the way cats respond to catnip is the result of genetics, as is their willingness to cozy up to strangers.
Another aspect that your felines breed impacts is the cost of insurance. Some of the best pet insurance companies take the breed into account when calculating monthly premiums. Although this is more common with dogs than cats, its still a factor to consider.
Currently, clean cat genetic testing results arent accepted by insurance companies as a potential reduction in premiums, but this could easily change in the future.
Breed-specific data will give pet owners the necessary knowledge to take the best possible care of their felines. It can help in many ways, from the most suitable environment to the best diet and grooming routine.
Relation To Wild Cats
Cat DNA tests can tell owners if their kitty is related to lynx, cougars, or other wildcats. If your cat behaves like a mini-tiger, it probably shares some genetic traits with this big cat.
This feature, along with the country of origin, isnt of vital importance when it comes to cats overall health and well-being.
However, for some cat parents, every detail regarding their beloved pets is welcomed. Whats more, its seen as another clue in discovering the mystery behind felines and their behavior.
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Be Aware There Is A Dark Side To Dna Testing
This also opens up one of the more disturbing aspect of DNA testing: The privacy implications. Your DNA is, fundamentally, the source code to… you. If DNA companies are sharing that code, whether with law enforcement or with other companies, it can be a little unsettling. If you authorized that sharing, it’s one thing.
But if your family member or cousin authorized sharing their DNA, they have also, essentially, allowed a considerable amount of your DNA to be shared. And that doesn’t even include what happens if your testing service provider gets hacked.
The other issue is for those folks who took DNA tests and got back results they didn’t expect. There are many issues involved with this, from what’s called “misattributed paternity” to issues of race, what you’ve been told as part of your family history, and disturbing discoveries about your family tree. When I tested three DNA services, I got some disturbing results.
Keep these unexpected consequences in mind if you decide to move forward doing DNA testing.
So Should You Try A Cat Dna Test
Bess concludes, At this point, cat DNA tests are marketed as a novelty and intended to satisfy curiosity about the origins of our pets. Youll get some cool info about where on earth your cats ancestors lived, and you might even get some information on your cats health. Youll be joining a growing community of cat lovers who are contributing to the understanding of cat genetics. Depending on what service you use, you might get future updates that give you more information as their database expands and improves.
For our part actually testing these kits on my cats, we were pleased with both tests.
We liked Wisdom Panels detailed examination of gene-linked traits, such as Tinkerbells bobtail. But we preferred Basepaws easy, 5-second saliva test to Wisdoms Panels more complex, two-swab collection methods.
Two other Cat DNA tests are available that we did not try. They are:
- Neogens Cat DNA test, designed for breeders and people interested in parentage and health information for purebred cats
- Orivet Cat DNA Test Kit, focusing on health issues rather than breed information
We have to admit, we enjoyed seeing the results of the Wisdom Panel and Basepaws. So much so, that weve ordered another test for Max, the neighborhood cat we adopted.
Is Max truly a Siberian with a triple-layer coat?
We dont think he cares.
Max. Could he be a Siberian?
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What Can Genetic Testing Tell Us
- If your pet is a mixed breed, genetic testing can identify the breeds that contributed to the mix.
- Different breeds are known to be prone to certain conditions, so knowing the breeds in the mix can help determine the approximate risk for a variety of conditions.
- Even if tests for specific genetic conditions are not available, screening with other types of early-detection testing can promote better preventive care, and lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of conditions.
- Every purebred has certain established physical and personality traits that provide owners with an idea of the type of pet they are getting. Knowing the breeds that go into a mix can help the owners make better guesses about the size, temperament, energy levels, and exercise requirements their unique pet may have.
- Knowing breed mix and potential condition predispositions can help an owner develop a more accurate diet, wellness, and preventive care plan for their pet.
What Can I Learn From Dna Testing My Cat
There are over 58 million companion cats in the US, and less than 3% come from breeders. In fact, the majority of cats in the world are not pedigreed nor have a pedigreed ancestor, meaning much about our cats ancestry and genetics remains a mystery. Have you ever wondered where your cat gets their coat color, what breeds they are closest to, what are their personality traits, or what possible health problems may be in their genes? You actually can! There are several companies working to better understand feline genetics, such as UC Daviss Veterinary Genetic Laboratory, Wisdom, CatDNAtest.org, and Basepaws.
If your cat is genetically closer to a certain breed, there is a chance they inherited similar genetic predispositions in terms of health, care, and behavior. If we detect any genetic mutations in your cat, we can report to you how likely they are to develop a certain disease.
Anna Skaya, CEO, Basepaws
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Collecting A Sample For A Cat Dna Test Kit
The two safest and preferred methods of sample collection include:
- Buccal swab collectionCollecting epithelium cells from the inside of a cats cheeks and gums with a sterilized cotton swab. Owners are advised to collect the sample at least 30 minutes after the cat eats to avoid contamination.
- Loose furDNA companies will provide you with sterile adhesive tape to place on your cats fur. All pet parents need to do is press down and peel off.
Both collection methods are simple and easy and wont cause your precious furball any pain.
How Does Dna Testing For Cats Work
Getting the sample for DNA testing your cat is extremely easy, assuming your cat is somewhat cooperative. The company will send you a kit with swabs that youll use to swab your cats gums for a sample of cells that will be used for the DNA testing. If needed, you may wrap your kitty in a towel or blanket in a kitty burrito, or you may need someone to help you hold your cat. Your veterinarian will likely be willing to help you, but you may pay some form of a visit fee for this service for the time of your vet or their staff.
Make sure to thoroughly read through all directions before you swab your cat, though. Some tests may be very specific about how soon after eating and drinking you can swab your cats mouth for the sample. Sometimes, if you swab too soon after eating and drinking, you may not get a good sample, thus causing the test to be inaccurate or unable to be completed.
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Cat Dna Tests And Your Cats Breed
Unlike dog DNA tests, most of the cat DNA tests on the market do not provide information about your cats breed and ancestry.
As weve discussed, Basepaws is perhaps one of the only established companies that offers this capability. In addition to receiving information about your cats genetic health markers, your Basepaws results will contain:
- Breed analysis: Shows your cats chromosome pairs with regions of genomic similarity to different breed groups
- Wild cat index: Shows your cats genomic similarity to different wild cats
- Feline breeds: Gives more information about the different breeds that makeup your cats heritage and their personalities
So, why is it so difficult to tell if a cat is a Siamese compared to a Burmese or a Bengal?
In short, unlike dogs who have been bred for specific tasks for thousands of years cats have a much more muddled ancestry.
Most cat breeds are less than 100 years old and those that were bred were chosen randomly based on their appearance. Therefore, its difficult to pull breed information from a cats DNA when there isnt a clear and established ancestry in cats to begin with.
All of this isnt to say that you cant learn anything from Basepaws or a test that provides breed information its just not a perfect science.
Before Taking That Dna Test: Six Things You Need To Know
As DNA testing becomes more common, more and more of us are spitting saliva. But what exactly is a DNA test? How does it work? What are the implications? We try to answer these questions here.
Ancestry.com shared a statement about privacy. See below.
When you get a DNA test kit, you’ll get a set of instructions to follow so you can get a sample of DNA from your body to the lab. You’ll either be asked to spit into a tube or wipe a swab around inside your mouth.
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Determining If Siblings Are Full
Who to test:
- the siblings
- the parents
If the alleged parents of the siblings are deceased, it is useful to have samples from the parents relatives. If they are available to be tested, the DNA testing company may request samples from the parents relatives to determine the sibling relationship, and migration offices should collect these.
What Genetic Profile Is
DNA profile can be determined from a blood sample or a cheek swabs. Cat paternity analysis is the same as with humans. Common markers among offspring DNA and parents DNA are searched for. A parentage is proved, if probable parent is detected like biological parent. Sequences repeated in tandems are used for parentage testing. These microsatellites contain sequences repeated in tandems from two to seven base pairs. Microsatellites are inherited in Mendelian manner. Each offspring has to correspond with a parent in 50% of each microsatellite marker. Microsatellite markers are used for individual identification and, for paternity analysis in humans and animals. Size of a marker is detected by polymerase chain reaction and subsequent fragment analysis. One of the primers for PCR is marked on 5´end by a florescent dye. Fragments are separated and detected by automatic electrophoresis instrument.For cat parentage testing following loci are used FCA069, FCA075, FCA105, FCA149, FCA220, FCA229, FCA310, FCA441, FCA678, Amelogenin, FCA026, FCA201, FCA293, FCA453, FCA649. These markers are recommended by the International Society of Animal Genetics . Genomia determines at least 12 of mentioned markers.
Genomia regularly participates in comparative quality tests, that are every two years held by ISAG . Here, you can see our certificates of quality, where Genomia was always very successful 🙂
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