Thoughts for Thursday – How to Determine Your Cat’s Heritage


DNA testing for ancestry information is all the rage these days. We want to know what exotic race we’re from, who we’re related to, what our beginnings might be. Have you ever wondered about your cat’s genetic background? Well they now have DNA tests for cats.

Here’s basically how it works. At or site they test for 170 DNA markers. Once the race of origin is determined, the cat’s genetic profile will then be compared to the profiles of breed cats that have developed from the same race.

You might find it interesting to know that the major cat breeds were developed from only 4 cat races: specifically, from the Arabian Sea (Sokoke), the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkish Angora and Turkish Van), cats of South Asia (Ocicat, Birman, Burmese, Havana Brown, Korat, Russian Blue, Siamese, Singapura, and Australia Mist) and cats from Western Europe (Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Bengal, British Shorthair, Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Egyptian Mau, Exotic Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Ragdoll, Scottish Fold, Siberian, Sphynx). Where does your cat fit in?

If I were to guess at our cat, Lily’s heritage, I’d say she’s part dog. Well, what cat brings you your slippers and curls up at your feet in the evening? Seriously, I wonder if her heritage might date back to the Angora from the Eastern Mediterranean or maybe the Maine coon because she has very soft medium-length dilute tabby fur and the sort of green eyes I’ve seen on some Maine coon cats. Or she could originate from Western Europe and have Norwegian Forest Cat heritage.

The coloring of our shorthair tortie, Sophie, is thought to date back to Celtic times and a


male tortoiseshell cat (yes there is such an animal) is surrounded by all kinds of folklore in various parts of the world. Learn more about the Tortie here:

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