Help! What breed do you think my kitty is

smileychlo

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Hey everyone!
I have a kitten who is about 6 months now. When I got him he was labelled as a Domestic Shorthair but the ladies at the shelter kept saying how he has a bengal appearance. After owning him for a few months, I can definitely see the bengal in his personality. He is fascinated with water, incredibly high energy, and trills and talks all the time. He is also very needy which I am not sure what breed that would be associated with. He is ten pounds at six months and the veterinarian said he was not overweight, but would be a big cat. His back feet are huge and his back legs make him look silly and cute since they are longer than his front legs. Also, when I say his back feet are huge, they are about the size of my hand. I will attach some pictures below. Just wondering what you all think he could be and if you have any other suggestions? The reason I thought Savannah was because I read they could be huge. I am so curious so any thoughts would be appreciated! Here's Woody:
 

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lutece

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He's adorable, and that's a cute name for him, too :)

I would describe Woody as a brown classic tabby domestic shorthair. The classic tabby pattern is one of the oldest known mutations in the domestic cat, and is characterized by bold swirls on the sides that form a "bullseye." I'm not seeing a resemblance to the Bengal or Savannah breed in these pictures.

Most cats are not any particular breed, and are not mixes of breeds, unlike dogs. This doesn't make them any less special, though! Domestic shorthairs are great cats. They come in all sizes and shapes, and each one has its own unique personality. It sounds like Woody is has lots of character and is a wonderful friend!
 

jefferd18

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OMG- that image of him as a small kitten holding his stuff toy is the cutest thing I have seen in awhile. Woody is adorable. Ten pounds- wow!- what a big boy he is going to be since cats keep growing until they are two.
Cats are like Heinz 57, you have no idea what is in their background. A DNA test could help narrow his pedigree down.
Here is a photo of a Bengal.
 

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smileychlo

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OMG- that image of him as a small kitten holding his stuff toy is the cutest thing I have seen in awhile. Woody is adorable. Ten pounds- wow!- what a big boy he is going to be since cats keep growing until they are two.
Cats are like Heinz 57, you have no idea what is in their background. A DNA test could help narrow his pedigree down.
Here is a photo of a Bengal.
oooh what DNA tests do you recommend?
 

lutece

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oooh what DNA tests do you recommend?
There are two DNA ancestry tests available for cats, UC Davis Cat Ancestry, and Basepaws.

Cat Ancestry is a test offered by UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab, and is backed by peer-reviewed research. It gives information about the geographic origin of your cat's ancestors, as well as phenotypic traits your cat may be carrying (such as recessive genes for long hair, colorpoint, etc). If your cat matches closely to a specific breed (generally if it is either a purebred cat, or if it has a parent or grandparent of a specific breed), Cat Ancestry will return a result with a breed match.
Here is an example Cat Ancestry test result for a Chartreux cat (click to enlarge). You can see that the test correctly identified the breed of this cat. For cats that actually are a specific breed, this test is quite reliable, and I have even heard of legal cases in which the test was used to confirm that a cat actually belongs to the breed it was sold as. However, it's important to note that most cats don't have significant ancestry from any breed, so for most cats, Cat Ancestry will just return a geographic origin and phenotypic traits.
Cat Ancestry Result.jpg

Basepaws is a consumer-focused startup that has begun to offer DNA tests for cats more recently. Their test returns a colorful report with a large number of breed matches for every cat. Basepaws' own web site states that unlike dogs, most cats do not actually have specific breeds in their ancestry... so they specifically designed a test that would return breed matches based on "similarity" of your cat's DNA to samples of various breeds that they have in their database. Essentially, the test is designed to return less accurate results, so that every cat receives an interesting and entertaining report with lots of breeds mentioned. It is a popular test, because it gives consumers what they want. Since most cats do not have known ancestry, there is no way for most of Basepaws' customers to double-check the accuracy of Basepaws' reports.
Here is an example Basepaws report for a pedigreed Chartreux cat (click to enlarge). You can judge for yourself how accurate this test result is.
Basepaws Results.jpg
I also found an interesting review of Basepaws and Cat Ancestry, written by a scientist in the field of bioinformatics. He had previously used Cat Ancestry to test a friend's Scottish Fold cat (which correctly identified its breed). Then he decided to test Cat Ancestry and Basepaws on his domestic shorthaired cat, Bastu.
One of the ways he tested Basepaws' report was to send in more than one sample from Bastu ("technical replicates"). Click to enlarge:
Bastu_basepaws_lcWGS+AmpliconSeq_200903-possible.jpg
You can see that even two samples from the same cat are returning different breed match results when processed by Basepaws.

In general, for most cats, it is not worth the money to run a DNA breed test. If you do believe there is a good chance your cat has significant breed ancestry (parent or grandparent), and you are looking for a reliable and scientifically valid test to confirm its ancestry, I would go with Cat Ancestry. However, most cats are simply not any particular breed, and are not mixes of breeds, unlike dogs. For most cats, Cat Ancestry will simply tell you geographic origin and will not give a breed match. Basepaws will give you a long list of breed matches for every cat, but this is mostly for entertainment value... the accuracy of the test is suspect.
 
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