Human Vs. Cat DNA: Similarities and Differences

We’ve all seen funny pictures of cats and cat parents that look similar to each other. Yet, we can all agree that, in the grand scheme of things, cats and humans look (and behave) nothing alike. This being the case, it might surprise you to learn that cats and humans are actually very genetically similar. Read on to learn about key similarities and differences between cats and humans when it comes to genetics, and the history behind the study of their respective genomes.

Cat & Human DNA – differences

  1. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes (22 autosomal pairs, 1 pair of sex chromosomes) and cats have 19 pairs of chromosomes (18 autosomal pairs, 1 pair of sex chromosomes).
  2. Humans have an estimated 30,000 genes; cats have about 20,000 genes. If you want to know what your cat’s genetics can tell you about their health & breeds, take a look at the Basepaws cat Breed + Health DNA test.
  3. The first human genome to be sequenced was completed in 2003; the genome of an Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon was completed in 2007.
  4. There are several human at-home DNA testing companies on the market, such as Nebula Genomics, while Basepawsis the leader in feline genetic testing.

Cat & Human DNA – similarities

  1. A 2007 study found that about 90% of the genes in the Abyssinian domestic cat are similar to humans



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