Coat length (long or short hair)

Long-haired coat in cats can be caused by several genetic variants that are inherited... more
Coat colours, patterns and texture are determined by the combined action of several genes, only one gene - FGF5 - determines hair length in cats. To date four different mutations in the FGF5 gene have been identified that are associated with the hair-length differences (M1-M4). Three of them are fairly breed specific (M1-M3), M4 is present in all long-haired cat breeds and crossbreds. Long-haired coat length is inherited a an autosomal recessive trait, therefore cats that are carriers of the long hair mutation will appear to be normal (short hair) themselves but will likely pass on the long-hair mutation with a probability of 50%. Long-haired cats can either carry two copies of the same mutation (homozygote recessive) or have two different mutations one on each chromosome (compound heterozygote). LABOKLIN offers a test for coat length that detects the four currently known mutations in cats. It is possible that there are other mutations causing long hair which have not yet been identified. The DNA test allows to distinguish between the following genotypes: N/N: Cat has short hair. None of the 4 long hair mutations detected. Cat cannot produce long-haired kittens. N/M1, N/M2, N/M3 or N/M4: Cat has short hair and carries one copy of a long hair mutation. Cat can produce short and long-haired kittens depending on genotype of the mate. M1/M1, M2/M2, M3/M3 or M4/M4: Cat has long hair and will produce only long-haired kittens when bred to a long-haired mate. M1/M2, M1/M3, M1/M4, M2/M3, M2/M4, M3/M4: Cat has long hair and carries two different long hair mutations (compound heterozygote). Cat will produce only long-haired kittens when bred to other long-haired cats. By DNA testing, the responsible mutation can be shown directly. This method provides a test with a very high accuracy and can be done at any age. It offers the possibility to distinguish not only between short- and longhaired cats, but also to identify shorthaired carriers of the long hair mutation.
All breeds
autosomal recessive
Test duration
1 - 2 weeks
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