In the future, will adoptable cats be pre-sorted via genetic tests? Cats who have gene(s) contributing to tameness could be chosen for adoption by families with small children or fragile seniors. Instead of basing an adoption decision on cuteness, the decision would be based on data. This is one of the possibilities being investigated by researchers at UC Davis.

“A secondary goal of the research is to identify regions of the genome that may be involved with the domestication process of the cat. The project could identify genes that are contributing to boldness and tameness that are influencing cat domestication. Genetic tests could feasibly be developed that would help select the more tame and social cats that would be more suitable for adoption and nursing care interactions. The investigators already have the required samples available and have collaborated on similar studies in dogs. The data analysis would be feasible within the year.”

D12FE-505, Leslie A. Lyons, Ph.D., University of California/Davis
“Genetic Estimation of Introgression Between Domestic Cat and Wildcat Populations”

Click here to read the study summary.