Newsday Tuesday – The Fascinating World of Cat Genetics

One of my upcoming books—Book 41—will be unusual in that Savannah wants to locate Rags’s siblings and possibly his parents. To prepare for this story, I’ve been researching cat genetics. Did you know that you can swab your cat and learn something about his heritage? Evidently all domestic cats came from one of eight regions and these cats still carry some of the DNA from their original wild cat ancestors. These cats make up the breeds we know today.

My findings show that all domestic cat breeds come from only four cat races in these eight geographic regions and some of the DNA tests you see advertised can identify a cat’s origin and race, thus it’s possible breeding background.

The eight geographic regions are Western Europe, Egypt, Eastern Mediterranean, Iran/Iraq, Arabian Sea, India, South Asia and East Asia.

Learn more about what experts know about the domestic cat’s ancestry here:

If you’re interested in having your cat’s DNA tested, check out these sites. The cost, as I understand it, is around $100—some less, some more.

If you’ve ever had your cat’s DNA tested, I’d love to hear about it. If you decide to do it, let us know. Why do it? For fun. It could be a neat conversation topic among other cat people. You might get some sort of bragging rights—“My cat comes from around the great Egyptian pyramids,” or “My cat’s ancestors may have traveled across the ocean to America with early explorers or the pilgrims…”

Who knows, you might get enough interesting information to write your own book.

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