What is polycystic kidney disease?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) or autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (AD-PKD) is an exclusively inherited disorder. AD-PKD is an autosomal dominant disease, meaning that if just one parent carries the gene, then the probability of it being passed down the generations is high. In cats that suffer with polycystic kidney disease, there is a 50% chance of their kittens being born with this disease.

Which cat breeds should be tested?

  • Persian
  • Exotics
  • British shorthair
  • American shorthair
  • Ragdolls
  • Himalayans
  • Other Persian related breeds

What are the symptoms of AD-PKD?

The disease is characterized by cysts (small closed sacs) that develop in the affected kidney tissue. These liquid-filled cysts may multiply and grow over time causing damage to healthy kidney tissue leading to kidney (renal) failure. Symptoms may be diagnosed in kitten as young as a few months old. Visible symptoms may include: vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy, weight loss and frequent urination.

At present, there is no long-term therapy or cure for the disease. Since AD-PKD is a progressive disease and a potentially fatal one it is important to get your cat tested.

What tests are available?

homeDNAdirect offers DNA testing for AD-PKD. Our genetic testing services have gained in popularity and have become one of the leading DNA genetics service providers.Internationally established, samples can be sent to us wherever you are in the world!

To collect your samples, you do not need to take your cat anywhere. DNA samples can be collected in the comfort of your own home using a simple buccal swab test (cheek swab). Although DNA tests can be performed on animals of any age, it is recommended waiting until the kitten is weaned before undergoing the testing.

Professionals recommend Feline DNA testing, just a simple test is able to determine whether your cat has the gene that is responsible for the expression of the disease. Whether you are a cat owner or a cat breeder, think carefully before mating your cat and consider the benefits of performing this test. If a cat is found to be positive it is recommended that the cat’s direct relatives also be tested for the disease. Early diagnosis is key.