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How Much DNA Do We Share with Cats?

man and cat

Humans harbor a whopping 98.8% of the same DNA that chimpanzees have.1 We share almost all the same sets of genes that mice do.2 We also happen to share about 80% of the same DNA that cows enjoy.3 It’s safe to say that we humans share our DNA with many animals living on this planet. So, how much DNA do we share with our beloved cats? This is a great question that deserves a thorough answer. The short answer is that humans and cats share 90% of their DNA. Here is everything that you should know about this important topic.

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Cats Share a Surprisingly High Amount of DNA With Humans

Humans and cats share about 90% of the same DNA. Cats are thought to be the closest to humans in terms of DNA other than chimpanzees. Obviously, though, we do not have much in common with cats in terms of how we live our lives. They are carnivores while we are omnivores. They don’t use a bathroom or enjoy luxuries like television like we do. They are much more primitive. So, how is it that we share so much DNA with them?

Our shared DNA is simply a marker of genetic makeups and defects. It does not make us act in the same ways or live the same lifestyles, which should be apparent by observing the differences in humans alone. What it does do is give us clues as to how we develop as beings and what specifics can affect how future beings may thrive or suffer.

cat owner talking to his pet
Image Credit: Piqsels

How Shared DNA Can Benefit Both Humans and Cats

Sharing so much DNA with cats means we can learn more about each species and how they handle things such as stress, disease, and even childbirth. We can gain insight into why cats might develop problems such as diabetes based on our understanding of how humans develop such a disease.

Conversely, we can possibly learn more in general about how diseases develop by focusing on cats’ disease development. Unfortunately, no known humane scientific studies are being conducted that could help humans and cats learn from one another based on their DNA similarities. Therefore, not much is being learned about how those similarities can affect our lives and those of our furry family members.

It is important to note that studies should never be done that could harm a human or cat (whether physically or mentally) in the name of science. There are plenty of ways to study both species when it comes to learning more about our shared DNA and how it impacts our lives.

cat in laboratory_
Image Credit: Kzenon, Shutterstock

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In Conclusion

Cats and humans may share a large amount of DNA, but we are very different species. Just because we share so much DNA does not mean that we should be living more like cats or that cats should be living more like we do. It is just that our bodies and molecules are made up of many of the same types of information.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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