Genome of the cat
You are in: Cat genetics
The difficulties, finding the relevant articles, studying these scientific articles and trying to understand at least the essentials of these articles, are the reason, why I have now started to set up these pages.
  Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by  
  Cat genome: DNA
Cat genome: Chromosomes


Cat genome - Where to start?


We all have heard that the genome of the cat is fully decoded since 2007.
BUT: When searching for understandable material, one gets really lost deep in scientific articles, which only cover a specific part of the cat genome and which all presume that everyone knows the abbreviations used in these articles and has an expert-knowledge of biogenetics from A to Z.

The ordinary cat breeder, who wants to set up a responsible breeding plan and wants to eliminate congenital defects, has almost no chance to get the necessary knowledge in an understandable way, which she/he needs for his responsible breeding.
The normal cat owner, who wants to have a "pure-bred" cat and who is always told to buy a pure-bred cat only from breeders, also has no chance to get the necessary knowledge, which might help him selecting a certain cat breed, asking breeders the right questions, asking cat clubs the right questions, ...
Cat clubs, who want to set up breeding rules for their members and want to contribute to successful development of cat breeds, also have almost no chance to get the necessary knowledge in an understandable way, showing them the consequences for breeding, for the health of a cat breed, ...

The following site is a good starting point:

Taxonomy browser of the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information): Felis catus

Felis catus is the scientific name for the domestic cat.

Also pure-bred cats, all the cat breeds, which you might know, are domestic cats, not only the ordinary household cats.
All the various cat breeds in the Cat World, are - from the view of science - not different breeds, they are all the same breed.

This site provides many links to further reading about the cat genome, especially the table on the right leads to the sources of knowledge about the genes, congenital defects, etc. When you click on the link called "Nucleotides" you'll come to the description of all the > 8000 genes listed here.

When you click on the link called "Gene" you'll come to more than 600 genes, which have been studied in detail.

When you click on the link called "OMIA" you'll come to almost 300 traits and defects, as you know them from the cat world, whose inheritance has been studied more detailed.
OMIA stands for Online Mendelian Inheritance in animals.
You see right, the rules of inheritance from Gregor Mendel are still in use.


When you look further down this page, you see the chromosomes listed - where you have heard that the cat has 38 chromosomes = 19 pairs. Chromosomes always come in pairs.

You read here 20 chromosomes, and not 19. The reason is the sex-chromosome, which is displayed here not as a pair, because the 2 partners in this pair may be different from each other: X stands for female, Y stands for male.

When I put these chromosomes into a table, the table looks like that:

A1 A2 A3  
B1 B2 B3 B4
C1 C2    
D1 D2 D3 D4
E1 E2 E3  
F1 F2    
X Y    

There must be some systematic reason, why the chromosomes are numbered like this. I have not yet figured out the logic behind this numbering.


When you click now on a chromosome, listed there on this page, you'll come to a page, which lists all the genes in a table, which were decoded in this specific chromosome.
As you can see in this table for a specific chromosome, 1 chromosome has many, many genes.
The interesting column in this table, which you'll see, is named "Symbol": in this column you'll find the scientific name given to the gene. To the right of this column "Symbol" you see always a link called "sts". At least you come now to a description of the specific gene, where you can read about:
which trait, which defect is caused by this gene.

P.S.: We will come to this cryptic abbreviations like "STS" (sequence tagged site), and to these cryptic naming of the genes later.


Above of the chromosomes, listed on this page, you see a link, called
See the NCBI Genome homepage.
This link leads you to a summary page, where all the resources about the cat genome are listed.
P.S.: I tried to find a similar source like the NCBI-site, which is a governmental operated site from the National Health Institutes, in German, but I was not successful yet.  


In our next lessons, we will try to catch the basic knowledge about genetics, as presented in the cat genome and in the scientific literature, so that we are able to understand the essentials in all these scientific articles, dealing with congenital defects, inheritance of specific traits, genes, proteins, nucleotides, ...
BUT also to be enabled to make a responsible decision in our breeding plans, why this or that test for genetic diseases is necessary.

Eurocatfancy 2005-2012
Contact | Disclaimer | Download ECF-logo