My Kitty and His DNA

People who know Maine Coon cats often think Perry is part Maine Coon. It’s his face shape, the tiny tufts on the tips of his ears, his long fluffy tail, and his affectionate, intelligent, and very chatty personality. So when I was feeling really bad about losing Pear, Felix, and Izzie, I bought a DNA test for Perry as a present for myself.

DNA tests for dogs always made more sense to me than ones for cats. There is such a wide variety of dog breeds, and it can help to know what the needs are, depending on what combination of breeds make up your mutt.  DNA tests for people make a lot of sense for me because I love family history and genealogy, plus I’m such a Nancy Drew that I like investigating things. The gardener calls me “Sherlock.” That is in addition to all the other nicknames.

So maybe it’s that curious streak thoroughfare that runs through me that made me want to see the results for Perry.

Soon after the kit arrived, I gathered Perry’s spit, packaged it up, and sent it off. This is the activation notice I got on the website for Wisdom Panel, the company I used.

I was prepared to wait for a month or two because that’s how long it took for human and dog DNA I’ve sent in. But I got the results in  just a couple of weeks.

This is a Maine coon cat, by the way, so you can see what they look like. 

You could have knocked me over with a cat sneeze when I took a look at Perry’s breed mixture.

81% American Domestic cat. That’s not surprising. But wait. The next breed listed is NOT Maine Coon. He’s 11% Sphynx cat!!!!!!! 11% means that one of his great-grandparents was a Sphynx.

Sphynx cats are bald!!! They are extremely intelligent and are also one of the most dog-like cats in personality. So now we know where Perry gets his neediness :).

More information from Perry’s DNA suggests that he is white and one other color, has a long tail, and is long-haired.  The best part of the test is that he tested negative for the 49 health issues that Wisdom Panel tests for. He happens to be blood type A like his human mama and papa.

Now he can relax! Perry says HAPPY HANUKKAH on this first day of Hanukkah!



Filed under #amreading, #amwriting, #poetrycommunity, #writerlife, #writingcommunity, Cats and Other Animals

64 responses to “My Kitty and His DNA

  1. Amy

    He looks like a cat to me! All my cats have tufts on their ears, especially our long hair gray tuxedo who looks a lot like Perry except more white on his face than gray. And he also has a long fluffy tail and an incredibly sweet disposition. Perhaps they are cousins!? We could get Smokey tested and see how many cM of DNA they share!! 🙂

  2. Wow! Sphinx?? Perry? Who knew – DNA tells all. Very interesting, Luanne.
    Happy Hanukkah to all – our granddaughter goes to preschool at a Jewish Day School – her teacher sent a Chanukkah kit home with her from school when we picked her up last Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. I was impressed after reading the material enclosed. We want her to be a truth seeker. Pretty and I encouraged her parents to look for diversity in her education.

    • DNA can be very shocking! Human and cat ;).
      Oh, I LOVE that you have encouraged Ella’s parents to look for diversity in her education. How cool is that. And the Hanukkah kit sounds like such a good idea. Imagine what a neat kid Ella will be at 18 when she has collected a lot of experiences!

      • Yesterday Ella’s school had a little program to celebrate Hanukkah – her parents went and sent us a cute video of the kids in her class singing a dreidel song and spinning around in a dance while they sang. She also brought a felt dreidel she had stuffed during class when we picked her up from school yesterday afternoon. So yes, I’m hoping very much that Ella at 18 will be a neat, kind kid. Pretty will have to whisper to me about her if I’m not around to see her!

  3. Happy Hanukkah, Luanne! I just sent my niece of the heart the same message this morning. I’m late, I know. I did not know they had DNA tests for animals. Like you, I’m curious about everything so research is just plain fun for me. What a surprise you got with that test. Have a great week.

    • Thank you, Marlene! I think it’s marvelous that they have these tests. Of course, they are luxuries, as in most cases not necessary ;), but a whole lot of fun. In my human DNA test I had a few surprises, too hehehe.

  4. Fascinating!! Maybe I can see the sphinx in his face….
    Happy Hanukkah!!

    • Yes, I think you can. I showed the gardener this photo of the sphynx next to the real live Perry and he agreed. so funny how even a great-grandparent can come through like that. But then look at me with grandpa’s mother! Happy Hanukkah to you and P!

  5. HAPPY HANUKKAH, Perry and his human mama and papa! And congratulations on your clean bill of health!!

  6. Don’t hate me, but I’m not a fan of the Sphynx breed. A friend of mine had two and they freaked me out. I like furry and cute cats…like Perry. Happy Hanukkah!

    • Hahaha. I hate you, Jill! Seriously, I have not been a fan of their looks because I love the furry look. They seemed a little ET-ish to me. But I haven’t known one for any length of time. Just one that came through the shelter. That chamois skin. Needing lots of attention. They can come with genetic health problems, too, so owners need to know how to care for them. I think I got all the best qualities in Perry! Thank you, Jill!

  7. What a cool thing to do!

  8. Happy Hanukkah, Luanne! I didn’t know they did cat DNA, too. I keep saying I’m going to have my mutt tested. It’s on this week’s to-do list!

    • Thank you, Eilene! Dog DNA testing is very very interesting. My son’s mutt is one of those shaggy blond terrier-ish doggos. HALF pitbull! Who would have guessed?! My daughter’s dog was supposed to be Australian something or other, according to the shelter. HAHAHAH. She’s half chihuahua and half shepherd. Mostly German, but also 1 or 2 other types of Shepherd. But pretty obviously a mating of a chi with a shepherd mix. I hope the chi was the dad . . . .

  9. My cat Mollie (RIP) had to be part Maine coon. She had everything except she was small (8 lbs.). I would have loved to test her. When we brought her home from the shelter she was so chatty. Had an opinion on everything! Happy Hanukkah!

    • See that chattiness is why others and I were so sure Perry was part Maine coon. So you never know. He walks around the house chatting to himself!!! Thank you, Kate!!!

  10. How fascinating! This just might nudge me into sending for a human DNA kit.

    • Be prepared. You can get a shock or shocks. There are 3 people listed as close relatives-1st cousins for me who I do not know :/. I tried to work with them to figure it out, but they all disappeared. Pretty sure I figured out the mother-daughter combo and who the mother’s father probably is. The other one says he wasn’t adopted, so . . . . Thanks to a professional DNA genealogist who helped me for an hour, all I know is none of these is a child of either of my parents (thank goodness).

      • It’s already turned out that Sherd Goff’s bachelor brother has descendants! The woman who contacted me and her mother were in tears when they learned that they’d tapped into a real family! What a delight to be able to confirm things from information I already had, even a two photos of him, as an older man (group photo) and a tintype of him as a child! I sent her the dear tintype.

  11. Of course, I’m fascinated with your post today, Luanne, because I’m a cat lover too. So interesting to see what Perry’s made of! Hmm, I wonder what Vivian’s DNA test would reveal? Thinking of her behaviour, she’s an exceedingly dog-like puss. 🙂

  12. Happy Hanukkah, Luanne (to you and your humans and felines)!
    So interesting about the DNA test. I never thought about cat blood types before, but that’s fun that he shares the same one as you and your husband. 😀

  13. I had a Maine Coon, and he was a sweetheart. Your curiosity is now satisfied.

  14. He’s so beautiful and I know he’s happier since he came to live with you.

    • I think he REALLY is!!! Thank you! Guess what?! I lay down on the couch this afternoon so I could finish Julia’s Violinist!!!!!!!! I loved it! I will admit, for a long time there I was telling Julia to read a mystery novel that features POISON as the murder weapon. Eventually I will get a review brewing over here.

  15. Wow, how fascinating! Happy Hanukkah! I hope you get tuna and treats for 8 days straight Perry!!!

  16. I’d never heard of DNA tests for cat or dogs. As well as satisfying your curiosity – or creating more – you must have taken great comfort from the health highlights after all you have been through this year.
    As for human DNA testing, like you, I was initially attracted as the aid to family history research, and what seemed like a lot of fun. But I do think the providers should issue some type of warning, as the test frequently exposes family secrets causing the person undertaking it to have to re-evaluate their identity and sense of self. There have been many examples here of discovering adoption, or extra-marital children. In fact, many adoptees take every test possible, especially 23andme in an effort to trace their biological heritage. Food for thought, and on that note, I wish you Happy Hannukah!

    • It’s quite the experience to have human DNA testing done. I have 3 close relatives-1st cousins I had never heard of. Two of them are mother-daughter. The mother was adopted and the daughter doesn’t know who her father is either. I was contacted by the daughter and we talked for an hour one day. I was so excited and hoped we could figure it out. But then she shut down after that. I am sure her mother said she didn’t want to do it. But afterward with the help of a professional I figured out who her father is and I couldn’t tell her since she didn’t want to know. I understand because I see the difference between my two kids who are adopted. My daughter wants to find her birth parents. My son would be traumatized if they found him. My brother, also adopted, is more like my son in type. My personality is obviously of the same type as my daughter, curious. The 3rd person is also very close a DNA match. I contacted him figuring he got his DNA done and so was interested, and he at first chatted a bit through, I think, Facebook Messenger. Then nada. He said he was not adopted. Hmm. That would be about impossible considering how close a match we are–I mean it can’t just be that he’s only his mother’s birth child, if that makes sense. Thank you for the Happy Hanukkah, Gwen! xo

      • It’s a HUGE generalization, but in my experience with the Post Adoption Resource Centre, a mediation and counselling service established when our adoption records opened, males are less open to reunion. Perhaps something to do with traditional idealisation of motherhood. The female adoptees seem more able to think, ‘there but for the Grace of Go I’, that is, they are more forgiving of their mother’s situation when relinquishing.

  17. How very interesting and how very surprising. I’ll bet this sleuthing and discover was fun, fun, fun.

  18. Now I want to do DNA tests for our cats. I’m convinced that Junior is part Labrador but maybe he has Sphinx in him? He is also needy and sometimes acts dog-like 😉

  19. Perry is an awesome cat, Luanne! Robert and I both love cats and dogs too, but we have developed some allergies and can’t have pets anymore. I suggested a Sphinx, but Robbert likes furry cats. Now Robert is addicted to cat videos! 🙂

    Happy Hanukkah, Luanne! My late husband was Jewish, and we celebrated all the holidays with our two children adopted from Russia, now 30 and 31.

    • Thank you, Cheryl! Wow, we have a lot in common. Our 2 kids were adopted from Korea and are now in their 30s. You know, I read that Sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic because they do have peach fuzz, which is why they feel a bit like a chamois. Cat videos will hold Robert for a long, long time :)!

  20. So fun, Luanne! I didn’t realize there was a way to check cats’ DNA. And I am so sorry to hear about losing Pear, Izzie and Felix. Bummer! I’ve been out of touch, so glad to be back. Thanks for the wonderful update! – When we first met you’d just brought in Perry to your family. Coming full circle, my friend! 🙂

  21. What an interesting result! You can kind of see it in his face when you know.

  22. This is SO belated, but I must say I’m surprised too! I could’ve sworn he was at least part Maine Coon. But the results do make sense as your analysis shows. Whatever he is, he is an absolute doll! <3

  23. Your Perry is quite handsome! And how fun to do a DNA…now you have me curious about my own furbabies, my hot dogs, Max and Mitzi. Sphynx! Wow! One amazing cat!

    • Yes, I hope you do their DNA! It’s so much fun to see the results! I will tell Perry what you said about his handsomeness. He will be very pleased ;).

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