How do I swab my cat's mouth well for a successful DNA test?Updated 2 months ago
There's no better time to swab your kitty than when his or her mouth is completely rid of food/water particles. It doesn't matter the time of day as long as your kitty has a clean mouth! Your kitty can lick, chew, or bite the swab, so you may touch the tongue, teeth, or inner cheeks with the swab.
We really recommend rubbing the swab along the inner cheek pockets, as the cheek cells within your cat's mouth hold the DNA needed for the test. Picking up some drooling saliva may not work well enough, so it's best to twirl the swab in the cheeks and along the gums for at least 5 seconds. If you can swab the mouth for longer, please do!
You may also find that by petting your cat until he or she is comfortable or even purring, you may have a better chance of sneaking the swab in the mouth, as your kitty may not pay as much attention to the swab then. You're welcome to comfortably burrito-wrap your fur baby in a blanket during this process. Please make sure to be gentle, a calm kitty may willingly lick or bite the swab, and you'll then be able to quickly move the swab elsewhere in his or her mouth.
Also - if you’d like, you may practice swabbing before the official sample collection by gently swabbing your cat’s inner cheeks at home with a regular, clean household Q-tip.
Please give your fur baby a treat once you've been able to make contact with the Q-tip to allow positive associations with swabbing. If all else fails, you're more than welcome to ask your veterinarian or groomer to swab your kitty's mouth for you.
It's a wise idea to separate the cat you're testing from the other cats in your household for an hour or two before conducting the swab test, especially if your fur family has a tendency to lick and clean one another. To avoid contamination in the sample, if your cats can comfortably comply, please keep them apart for an hour or two, (maybe even three!) before swabbing.