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Cat DNA tests promise to help you understand your cat’s genetic ancestry and health, but each one is a little bit different. Some DNA tests focus on breed, while others concentrate on health markers or both. Are they accurate? What can they really tell you about your cat? And would you get the same results from testing the same cat with multiple kits?
To answer those questions and identify the best cat DNA tests on the market, I tried tests from three companies—Basepaws, Wisdom Panel, and Orivet.
After hours of research, over a month of waiting for reports, comparing the results, and taking some time to reflect, I’ve concluded that DNA testing probably isn’t worth it for most moggies.
It’s a new field of science, and the results are often more confusing than clarifying. And when you consider that 95% of cats are what the dog world calls super-mutts—meaning that, unlike dogs, they bred naturally and don’t descend from combinations of breeds—the idea of this kind of purebred family tree starts to look downright silly.
However, each of the three tests has something special to offer, and they could be worth it for some cats. Basepaw’s tests provide interesting dental health data, while the Wisdom Panel seems to have a stronger breed database. And while the Orivet test was dryly presented, I felt it was the most substantial and trustworthy of the three.
That said, let’s talk about what happened when I tried each of these three DNA tests and who I think will get the most out of each of them.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat DNA Tests
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Has the largest feline breed database, promising more accurate breed information
- The report is streamlined and easy-to-read compared to the others listed here
- Wisdom Panel’s processing time is quick compared to the competition
Top Pick Explained
Why Should You Trust Us?
At Cats.com, we independently purchase and test products with our own cats, spending at least 15 hours on each review. As a long-time cat product tester and reviewer, I’ve personally tested over 100 cat products, written dozens of reviews, and published over 150 videos analyzing cat brands, products, and solutions.
Additionally, I have a long history with cat DNA testing. I submitted my first cat DNA sample to the Basepaws lab in early 2020, and since then, I’ve gotten multiple reports for both of my cats, Wessie and Forest, and published in-depth articles and videos on the experience.
How We Tested
I independently purchased kits from each of the three DNA testing companies, then swabbed and got reports for one of my cats, Wessie—a 14-year-old domestic shorthair with an orange tabby coat.
I took notes on how easy each of their collection methods was, how long it took to get the results back, and how much information was contained in each report.
In addition to looking at these products, I researched feline genetic testing and talked with multiple veterinarians, including Kash Kurruppu, DVM, the lead scientist at Basepaws, Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, one of our veterinary consultants, and a veterinarian in my local area.
The Right Cat DNA Test for You Depends on Your Needs
While I came away from the experience no more confident about Wessie’s genetic background than before, I felt that Wisdom Panel offered the overall best user experience, with very readable results and a somewhat more satisfying traits report.
However, for those seeking a deeper understanding of the feline genome, Basepaws may be a stronger long-term investment. It’s owned by the world’s largest animal healthcare company, Zoetis, and it’s deeply involved in multiple facets of feline genetics research.
While it feels a bit bloated and insubstantial now, Basepaws’ breed report may end up being the more robust one over time. Remember that as Basepaws expands, your report will continually update. As a long-term investment, and for those who want insights into their cat’s dental health, I would recommend Basepaws.
As for Orivet, this test is best suited to breeders and other professionals. The report is simply-delivered and conservative, only offering traits and health markers with no speculative breed information. It’s not a fun test, but it also seems like the most trustworthy and sensible of the three reviewed here.