UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
CAT ANCESTRY
How the Test Works

Step 1 - Random Bred Race is the main group of genetic tests that are used to match your cat to major worldwide populations, races, of domestic cats. Currently, the database includes 38 populations of cats that have been used to define 8 major “races” of random bred cats. Most cats of the world are random bred cats, which is the first level of matching required for subsequent comparisons. The heritage of any cat can be determined with the Cat Ancestry test, and your cat will be reported as being a representative as one or more of the 8 major worldwide races. The breeds that developed from a race are also reported, thus this test could be used to support decisions for outcrossing and breed diversification for genetic health by identifying cats of the race of origin for the breed.

Step 2 - Breed Ancestry is a secondary matching process that compares your cat to the well-defined, registered cat breed populations of the USA. A true random bred cat WILL NOT match to specific breeds and low match probabilities will not be reported. If your cat is a true direct cross with a breed, having a true breed parent or grand-parent, this test can detect this breed genetic contribution in your cat.

For the breed comparison, our database currently contains 29 breeds mainly represented by cats from the USA cat fancy registries, CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) and TICA (The International Cat Association). Breeds that have substantially different breeding histories as compared to cats in the USA may not “match” to the database of breeds. Thus, this test could help breeders to determine the overall genetic differences of a breed from different registries and parts of the world – supporting decisions for outcrossing and breed diversification for genetic health.

Some breeds are difficult to assign because of their recent history of breed development. For example, Ocicats are a purposely bred cross breed of Abyssinian and Siamese. In addition, some breeds such as Siberians and Manx are recently derived from random bred populations.

Step 3 - Phenotypic traits - Genetic variants that control coat color and fur length are provided as part of the Cat Ancestry test. These variants may help refine breed contribution to your cat. Many breeds genetically group into breed families. For example, the Persian family of breeds include Persians, Exotic Shorthair, British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, and Selkirk Rex. To genetically sub-divide these groups, genetic mutations that control the appearance of the cat must be considered.

Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Tel 530-752-2211, Email VGL