Can I DNA Test A Deceased Cat?

Can I DNA Test A Deceased Cat?

With an increasing number of people joining us, we get more questions about the science behind our work than ever before. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: "What if my cat passed away, but I still want to do a DNA test?" Here is what you need to know if you want to do a DNA test for a deceased cat.

You need to be able to collect a viable sample

In order to analyze DNA of any organism, living or deceased, one must acquire a viable DNA sample. The is the crucial first step in obtaining a DNA test. But, what is a viable sample, actually? A viable DNA sample is a sample that contains enough DNA that is not fragmented or contaminated.

Most commonly, DNA samples from living cats are collected from buccal/cheek swabs, hair follicles and/or blood. Basepaws employs the buccal swabbing method for DNA collection as buccal swabs showed to be the most efficient and accurate samples for DNA processing in the lab. DNA collection from deceased animals, however, can be a lot more challenging. Most commonly, DNA from deceased animals is obtained from fur and/or tissue samples.

A small gray and white kitten looking at the laptop


A DNA report about your little one is a great way to preserve his or her memory. We hope you do not need to take this route, however, if your kitty has passed, there are a couple of options available. Please see our Postmortem Sample Collection Guide for these options. If you choose to use one of these methods or have any questions regarding these types of samples, please contact us at

To learn more about DNA and the science behind our DNA analysis please read our blog about Behind the scenes at Basepaws. Here you will find information about DNA sampling, extraction, sequencing and the Basepaws database.