Long Hair

Quick Summary

Four mutations that produce long-haired coats in domestic cats have been identified in a single gene. Three of the mutations are fairly breed specific, while the fourth is present in all long-haired cat breeds and crossbreds.

Tabby cat with long hair
Cat with long-haired coat

Click here for Price and Turnaround Time

Phenotype: Hair length is variable across cat breeds and even between individuals within breeds. Four mutations that produce long-haired coats in domestic cats have been identified in a single gene. Three of the mutations are fairly breed specific, while the fourth is present in all long-haired cat breeds and crossbreds.

Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Alleles:

N = Normal
M1 = Long Hair Mutation 1 (Ragdolls)
M2 = Long Hair Mutation 2 (Norwegian Forest Cats)
M3 = Long Hair Mutation 3 (Maine Coons and Ragdolls)
M4 = Long Hair Mutation 4 (all breeds of long hair cats)

Breeds appropriate for testing: Many breeds

Explanation of Results:

  • Cats with N/N genotype have short hair and cannot transmit any of these long hair variants to their offspring. They cannot produce long-haired kittens.
  • Cats with N/M1, N/M2, N/M3, or N/M4 genotype have short hair and are carriers of a long hair trait. They will transmit their long hair variant to 50% of their offspring. They can produce short- and long-haired kittens depending on the genotype of the mate.
  • Cats with M1/M1, M2/M2, M3/M3, or M4/M4 genotype have long hair. They will transmit their long hair variant to all of their offspring. If bred to a long-haired mate, they will produce only long-haired kittens.
  • Cats with M1/M2, M1/M3, M1/M4, M2/M3, M2/M4, M3/M4 have long hair and have two different long hair variants. They will transmit a long hair variant to all of their offspring. If bred to a long-haired mate, they will produce only long-haired kittens.

Turnaround Time
At least 15 business days; may be delayed beyond 15 business days if sample requires additional testing, or a new sample is requested.
Price

$44 one test per animal

Sample Collection:

Cat DNA tests are carried out using cells collected from your cat's cheeks and gums using household cotton swabs.

The cat DNA submission form with instructions, pricing, and a place to tape the cotton swabs can be printed from your home computer after signing up for a MyVGL account and placing an order. Test kits are not mailed.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

1.

Person looking at different brands of cotton swabs in a storePurchase regular household cotton swabs for cat DNA collection (the cotton swabs can be purchased at a pharmacy or drug store)

 

2.

Label indicating both ends of the two cotton swabsUse both ends of the two cotton swabs for a total of four swabs.

 

3.

Demonstration of swabbing the inner cheek of a cat with a cotton swabCollect the DNA sample by swabbing the cheek and gums of the cat.

 

4.

Cotton swabs taped to bar-coded submission form for VGLAfter swabbing the cheek and gums, tape the cotton swabs to the bar-coded submission form printed from your MyVGL account.

Additional Details

British Longhair cat
British Longhair with long-haired coat

Cat hair coat colors, patterns, and texture are determined by the combined action of several genes. One gene – fibroblast growth factor5 (FGF5) – determines hair length. Short hair is a dominant trait determined by the wild-type form of FGF5. Long hair is a recessive trait. Four mutations in FGF5 have been identified that are associated with long hair in cats. Long-haired cats can carry two copies of the same mutation (homozygote recessive) or have two different mutations, one on each chromosome (compound heterozygote). Three of the mutations are fairly breed specific, while the fourth is present in all long-haired cat breeds and crossbreds, as follows:

Mutation 1 (M1): present in Ragdolls
Mutation 2 (M2): present in Norwegian Forest Cats
Mutation 3 (M3): present in Maine Coons and Ragdolls
Mutation 4 (M4): present in all breeds of long hair cats, including Ragdolls, Maine Coons, and Norwegian Forest Cats.

Long-haired Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon with long-haired coat

This test for long hair that detects the 4 common mutations in cats (listed above). It is possible that other mutations causing long hair may exist which have not yet been identified.