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Most people consider their cats and other pets to practically be members of their family. Over the years, our society has become increasingly interested in DNA testing to know where we come from and where we get certain traits from. So why wouldn't we want to know this same information about our pet?
With new technologies, cat DNA testing allows people to discover their cat's genome to get a deeper look into their breed and all that comes along with it. There are hundreds of genetic markers that can be identified through a DNA test of your cat. These markers provide insights about genetic health conditions, dental health, and traits.
Saturday, September 30th
Basepaws began their journey into feline genetics in 2006. Since then, they've launched what they say is the world's first at-home oral health test for cats and built the largest genomic and oral microbiome database. Their mission is to provide pet parents with actionable knowledge so they can make empowered decisions about the health of their cats. Their service is based on collaboration with veterinary professionals, industry partners, and a community of pet parents.
3 testing options
There are three different types of cat tests offered by Basepaws that customers can choose from depending on the information they're looking for.
Ways to save
If you're willing to provide your email address to Basepaws and sign up for their marketing emails, you'll save $25 on your first Breed + Health Cat DNA test kit. That's enough savings to go buy yourself dinner, so it's probably worth doing. You'll also save on each additional test kit you buy after the first one if you have more than one cat you're wanting to test. All orders come with free two-way shipping and results are promised within 4-6 weeks.
Once you select the test you want, it will ship out within 1-2 business days to your home. You'll get on Basepaws' website and create a free account to register your CatKit. Next, you'll take a 10 second swab of your cat's gums and teeth to ship back to Basepaws for examination. When your report is ready, you'll get up to a 68-page report detailing all relevant information that was tested for with extensive information about potential disorders, coat color and pattern, susceptibility to viruses, oral health summaries, and how to best move forward caring for your cat.
Helpful blog articles
For people who are interested in learning more about protecting their cat's health and ongoing research in the field of cat medicine, Basepaws has a useful blog with news articles and events to give more insights. You can read about cat obesity, dental cleanings, ID tags, diabetes research, and more. They recently held a big event that can be re-watched from the website about cancer diagnoses and making decisions for your cat if you are ever in that circumstance.
The Better Business Bureau doesn't have a rating for Basepaws, but overall customers are very happy with their cat DNA test kits. They have a professional website that gives ample information for customers who are interested in learning more about their cat's genome. It's clear that there is a lot of research behind the company, so we trust that they will provide valuable insights for customers wanting to be proactive about their feline's health. We've given Basepaws our highest rating.
Wisdom Panel provides insights to pet owners and breeders to help give personalized care to dogs and cats. They've been researching their science for over 20 years and have done genotyping on over 3 million dogs and cats. Their most recent product is the Complete for Cats test that was launched in June 2021. In addition to scientists, Wisdom Panel has a group of licensed veterinarians that contribute to the development of their DNA tests.
It's not hard to decide on a cat DNA test kit from Wisdom Panel, since there is just one option for felines. The Wisdom Panel Complete for Cats gives insights about your cat's health, ancestry, and traits. It screens over 70 breeds and populations, over 25 traits, feline blood type, over 45 health conditions, and gives a multi-generational family tree and a printable PDF of raw genetic results that you can give to your veterinarian.
The Complete for Cats test costs $104. If you provide your email to sign up for updates from Wisdom Panel, you'll be able to save 10% on your order. You'll also get free shipping on all orders here, which is a great perk.
15-second cheek swab
To gather a sample from your cat, you'll need to use the swabs that are included with your kit to swab around their cheek for 15 seconds. The swabs need to dry for 5 minutes before returning them to the sleeve that you will send back to Wisdom Panel with the provided prepaid mailer. Step-by-step instructions will be included with your kit to make sure nothing gets in the way of a clean sample for analysis.
Easy to understand results
The turnaround time for results from Wisdom Panel is three weeks. Screenshots of how results are displayed can be viewed on the website. They are easy to understand, professional, and straightforward. If the DNA results for your cat reveal a notable health concern, Wisdom Panel has licensed veterinarians that will discuss them with you free of charge.
Wisdom Panel offers a 60-day product promise that guarantees customers will be happy with their DNA kit or else they can contact the company to resolve their issues and potentially receive a refund.
We were nervous about Wisdom Panel's "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau (due to four unresolved complaints), but found that overall customer reviews are extremely high. People say their website is easy to use, kits come fast, results are reliable, and turnaround time is swift. There are unfiltered reviews on Wisdom Panel's website, which we like to see. This shows that they are confident in their product and open to feedback from buyers. For an affordable DNA kit that gives you your cat's breed and screens for major health concerns, Wisdom Panel is a fantastic option.
EasyDNA was founded in 2007 and is home to a long list of DNA and other genetic tests like paternity tests, relationship tests, prenatal tests, animal tests, ancestry tests, clinical tests, drug tests, health tests, analytical tests, and more. Within each DNA test category are a lot of specific choices, making EasyDNA a great place if you want a range of options for both you, your family members, your cat, and other pets.
Learn specifics about your cat
There are three DNA kit choices for your cat that you can purchase from EasyDNA.
Genetic testing not available yet
There's a fourth test that's listed on EasyDNA's website, called a Cat Genetics DNA Test. We are particularly excited about this test, but unfortunately it isn't available yet. When it is, you'll be able to find out about your cat's ancestry, breed groups, and similarity to wild cats. It's based on a cheek swab sample that you'll conduct with your cat at home and send back to the laboratory. The turnaround time for results will be 8-10 weeks, which seems a little bit long. Since this DNA test isn't ready for the public yet, it also doesn't have a price listed.
Send samples in within 3 months
If you opt for standard shipping, your test kit will ship to your home free of charge. You'll have three months to follow the instructions included with the kit and send the mouth swab samples back to EasyDNA. If you fail to do so within this time period, your account will be closed and the reactivation charge will be $65 if you want to reopen it later.
Strict cancellation policy
If you purchase a DNA kit from EasyDNA and decide to cancel your order, you'll want to do that right away since you'll only be offered a full refund if the company has not shipped you a kit yet. If you cancel after a client kit has been issued but before EasyDNA receives your samples then a postage fee of $40 will apply. Once you send in your samples, you're no longer eligible for any kind of refund.
EasyDNA is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and they have an unimpressive "C" rating. However, this would be more concerning to us if it weren't because of just one single complaint that wasn't resolved. For the most part, customers are happy with EasyDNA and many people say they've used the company for DNA testing on multiple pets. People report that the information they receive is insightful and often life-changing for many kinds of animals.
If you want to know about food sensitivities your cat has or diseases they may carry, EasyDNA has good tests for this. We're mostly curious about how thorough their Cat Genetics DNA Test will be and hope it will be available for purchase soon.
HomeDNA provides DNA kits for humans as well as cats and dogs. They process all the test kit results through their DNA Diagnostics Center in Ohio. HomeDNA was founded in 1995 with the belief that technological advancements in DNA should be available to everyone by making prices more affordable. Every year they handle over one million DNA samples and focus on giving back to the community through their support of the Innocence Project where DNA evidence is used to exonerate wrongly convicted persons. HomeDNA promises to keep private information safe and secure and they destroy all DNA samples once results are processed.
Simple but expensive DNA test
For cat owners, HomeDNA offers just one option for DNA tests. Their Cat DNA Health Screen and Life Plan costs $125 and screens your cat for over 40 genetic diseases and traits. It also includes an interactive online Life Plan that's meant to help you meet your cat's health needs over the course of their lifetime. What exactly this entails, we aren't sure since the sample report of the life plan is only one page long and just shows the breed of the cat, weight, sex, color, pedigree, and ID. From what we see, this is not worth $125.
Easy sample collection process
When you purchase a screening from HomeDNA, you'll receive a test kit that includes two sterile DNA collection swabs, an information brochure and instructions for how to collect your cat's DNA sample. It only takes about 15 seconds per swab to collect a sample from your cat's cheeks and gums. After you mail your sample back with the postage-paid envelope to HomeDNA, the company says you'll receive your results within three weeks.
Call or email to cancel
If you decide to cancel your order, you'll need to do it before you send in your cat's cheek swab sample to HomeDNA or you won't be eligible for a refund. You can contact them by phone or email to work through the cancellation process.
Not your best bet
If HomeDNA offers amazing results from their cat DNA tests, they don't do a great job of proving it. For as much as they charge for a test kit, they give very little detail about how much you'll get in return. Their sample reports are unimpressive and it seems like you'll easily get so much more for your money from another company. We weren't able to find many customer reviews about the reliability of the cat DNA tests because people have only written about the human ancestry categories. Even though HomeDNA has an "A+" Better Business Bureau rating, they are not one of our top choices if you want a lot of information about your cat's health and genetic background.
Orivet's goal is to help pet owners safeguard the well-being of their cats and dogs with breed-specific care. Their premise is built on the idea that every animal is unique and has its own set of traits, behaviors, genetic health needs, and inherent risks that pet owners should understand in order to provide the best health care. Orivet has operations in Australia, the USA, Europe, and Japan and is an institutional member of the International Small Animal Genetic Society.
The main test kit offered by Orivet for cats is the Purebred Cat Full Breed Profile for $94.95. The five types of breeds this works for are Abyssinian, British Shorthair/Longhair, Burmese, Maine Coon, and Ragdoll. The test examines over 30 health and trait tests specific to the breed of cat you have. It will screen for the most common diseases that typically affect your cat's breed and detail how to establish a wellness plan to move forward if your pet is genetically predisposed to one or more of them.
Relevant test results
If your cat is a breed that isn't tested by the Purebred Cat Full Breed Profile, there are other specific tests you can order. You can look up the breed of your cat and view tests that are specific to them. For example, if you have an American Ringtail, you can order a comprehensive genetic profile test for $119, a disease screening for $120, a polycystic kidney disease test for $45, or test for eight different types of traits that range between $45 and $120. The idea is that you will get results specific to your cat and not have to overpay for disease screenings that don't actually affect your breed. Unfortunately, Orivet doesn't offer a test that will tell you your cat's breed if you don't already know it.
Need more details about kits
One thing we were disappointed by is that most of the tests offered by Orivet for your cat don't have a listed turnaround time or sample report to view. You can read the description of what is tested for and then add it to your cart, but we aren't sure what the exact method of collecting samples is for each given test since the contents of test kits are not listed. This is something that pet owners will want to know, so it would be nice for Orivet to add some clarification.
Free standard shipping
All cat DNA kits are shipped to customers free of charge. They ship in 1-2 business days from the date the order was created, so you should receive your kit fairly quickly. However, one issue we ran into at checkout was an error message saying that the kit we wanted could not be shipped to the address we provided. This was disappointing since we entered a typical residential address within the United States. It makes us wonder if for some reason certain regions are excluded from receiving Orivet kits even though they don't mention that.
No cancellation policy
You can expect to receive your Orivet results via email within 3-6 weeks. If you decide to cancel your Orivet kit before receiving results or sending in your sample, you will probably be out of luck since there is no cancellation policy here. This usually means the company doesn't accept cancellations and all sales are final, so you won't get a refund either.
Customers aren't thrilled
Orivet has a satisfactory "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but there aren't a ton of customer reviews for this company. From what feedback there is, people have mixed feelings about Orivet. While some customers have used multiple kits from them and are pleased with results, many others report poor communication from the company's reps and extremely slow turnaround times. Overall, people are not thrilled with their experience with Orivet. Because of this and a lack of other important details about their kits, we have not given Orivet a very high rating among providers of cat DNA tests.
Cat DNA Test operates out of Neogen's GeneSeek Operations laboratory in Lincoln, Nebraska. The facility was established in 1998 and is dedicated to being a leader in development and marketing of food and animal safety. They specialize in animal genomic testing, extracting DNA from cells in cheek swab samples to analyze genetic material and gain insights into the health and physical attributes of cats.
Difficult to understand
Cat DNA Test doesn't have the most appealing website. There's a lot of text, so you'll be doing quite a bit of reading to break down and understand what's offered here. Even then, we found it quite confusing to figure out what exactly the test options are and what's included. On the home page it mentions a new parentage test that examines 150 markers to establish a unique "fingerprint" for your cat. No price is listed for it.
Multiple test options
A spinal muscular atrophy test is described for just $15. Other tests listed include a "Basic CFA Panel" for $45. We aren't sure what CFA stands for, but this test includes identity markers, parentage, and 5 different types of specific disease screenings. For $5 you can add on a polycystic kidney disease screening, blood type screening, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy screening, or color points and albinism test.
If you're someone who just wants straightforward information about your cat so you can better understand their breed, personality traits, and health risks, you'll likely find Cat DNA Test to be frustrating to understand. There is a lot of test code information, chromosome, blood type, and mutation information that isn't very intuitive for the average person. Again, there's a lot of reading to do and it seems overwhelming for a person who is just trying to order a DNA test for their cat.
Mail in a check
To even begin ordering a test and see what's available to you, you'll have to provide your personal information and facts about your cat (gender, date of birth, microchip # if applicable, breed if known, and registration number). Then you'll choose your add-on tests, if you want any, in addition to the CFA DNA panel, and check out. Once your test request is submitted, you can either mail in a check (what a pain!) to GeneSeek or fill out credit card information on the website. However, we found that the fields to fill in credit card information weren't working, so that wasn't even an option. Since Cat DNA Test's website isn't secure, we were hesitant to provide credit card information to them anyway.
Buy your own test materials
One of the biggest pains of dealing with Cat DNA Test is that they don't even send you a test kit in the mail. You can either get a blood sample from your veterinarian to mail in, or purchase cotton swabs from a local pharmacy (4 per cat are needed), then "vigorously" rub inside your cat's cheeks with all 4 swabs to collect as many cheek cells as possible. You'll need to dry them out on a paper towel, then slide them into an envelope and mail them to Neogen GeneSeek Operations for analysis. You're responsible for the cost of mailing in the sample, so keep in mind that this is an additional cost to the tests you purchase.
Lacking report details
There is no timeframe given for when you'll get results back about your cat's DNA sample. In addition, they don't provide a sample report or explain how you'll get your results, so we aren't sure how much information you'll get or how easy it is to understand.
Left us feeling annoyed
By the time we were done exploring what Cat DNA Test had to offer, we were annoyed. We wish they made it easier to understand exactly what's included with each test and gave more details about turnaround time, accuracy rates, reporting, and more. In some ways, too much information is provided which the average person may not understand, forcing you to filter through it all on the website. In other ways there is a lot of detail lacking here, such as sample reports and turnaround times. There is no Better Business Bureau rating for Cat DNA Test, although Neogen Corporation, the lab that does the testing, does have an "A+" rating.
Customer reviews are nonexistent for this company. With all the issues described above, Cat DNA Test has earned one of our lowest ratings. We recommend skipping over them when purchasing a dna testing kit to find out important information about your cat.
Your cat can't tell you when they're sick, so the more information you have about their overall health and the risk factors they carry, the more proactive you can be in their care. You'll also come to understand how your cat's breed affects their temperament and personality, which will better help you meet their emotional needs..
There are a few different companies online that offer DNA test kits for your cat and other pets. You can easily compare the costs and reported accuracy of these DNA test kits between companies to ensure you choose the best option.
Once you select the company you want to work with, they'll usually ship you a kit and all you have to do is collect a quick cheek swab from your cat's mouth and follow the instructions for how to properly package your sample back in the mail. It only takes a few weeks or less to receive results and most companies have comprehensive online portals for you to view your cat's genetic makeup.
There are many companies that sell cat DNA tests, so we have provided important information when considering which company to use:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best places to purchase a DNA test kit for your cat. We hope this information helps you find the right test to give you all the guidance you need to keep your four-legged friend healthy and happy!
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