DNA testing has proven to be a highly beneficial technological advancement, and this benefit has extended to our pets. DNA testing for pets can give you a good idea of the breed makeup of your cat, as well as help you know what medical conditions your cat may be predisposed to. For a long time, this type of testing for pets was cost-prohibitive for most people and wasn’t particularly accurate. As time has gone on, these tests have become more accurate, although not infallible, and they have also become far more affordable to the average cat owner.
How Much Does a Cat DNA Test Cost?
To get DNA testing done for your cat, you can expect to spend a minimum of $45–50, but you may spend as much as $100–140 for a more reliable test. More advanced testing or tests with more added features will cost you more, though. If you add on specialty medical and genetic testing, you will pay the higher end of the price range. Some companies even offer advanced genome sequencing, which can cost around $500.
What Extra Expenses Should I Expect?
Make sure to check with whatever company you choose if they cover shipping costs. You may have to pay to ship the test itself to your house, and you also may have to pay to ship the swabs back to the company. Oftentimes, shipping is included in the test’s cost, but for people who live outside the continental US, there will likely be added shipping fees. These shipping fees may start around $15 but could cost significantly more depending on where you live.
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 you’ll use to swab your cat’s 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 cat’s 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.
Depending on what you expect from a DNA test for your cat, you should expect to spend at least $45 or as much as $500. Health and genetic testing run on the more expensive side, but if you’re just curious to find out the breeds that compose your cat’s genetics, then a less expensive test will likely suffice. Make sure to look into the possibility of additional fees, like shipping charges, especially if you are on a budget.
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