HCM in Cats Testing – How To Ragdoll Cat Cheek Swab Test

HCM in Ragdolls Cheek Swab Test

In December 2019, a reader reached out to me about HCM testing in Ragdolls.

Ragdoll Genetic Testing:

She had a cat related to one of my 10-year old Ragdoll cats, Charlie and Trigg and had heard of another cat related to them that had been diagnosed with HCM at 9 months old.

She suggested I get Charlie and Trigg tested – I have not yet done so, but plan on doing it when I can get my sister to record me doing it – so that we can post about it online.

I have not jumped on it because my vet said, “If either of your dudes were homozygous for the gene, I would expect them to have developed problems in their early years. However, even if they don’t have the genes, or are heterozygous for them, they can develop HCM or other reasons like hyperthyroidism, or just being cats.”

HCM in Cats Testing - How To Ragdoll Cat Cheek Swab Test Ash

I sent the info from the reader onto my vet – the reader found that North Carolina State University did HCM in Ragdoll cats testing.  I asked my vet about performing the testing and she said, “It looks like anyone can do the testing if they want. It looks to be fairly inexpensive as well.”

So, I reached out to NC State and asked if we could work together to feature what they do. They sent us some swab kits to use, and feature in a video, but we had to pay for the testing to be done since that is funded by the government.

This is a great at-home option if you are interested in DNA testing your kitty for Ragdoll Cat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The video in this post shows how Amy and I went about getting a cheek swab from her 5-year old Ragdoll cats, Ash and Addie – as well as how to send in the swabs, get the test results, etc.

HCM in Cats Testing - How To Ragdoll Cat Cheek Swab Test

Luckily, Ash and Addie came back negative for the HCM gene in Ragdoll cats.  Once they received our cheek swabs, we received an email letting us know they were in receipt and not 24 hours later, we had the test results.  Of course, I think they quote 3-5 business days for test results, but the ones for Addie and Ash came back quickly.


HCM in Cats Testing - How To Ragdoll Cat Cheek Swab Test Ash TesT results

Both test results were emailed to my sister – per the form submission I had filled out when I sent in the cheek swabs.

HCM in Cats Testing - How To Ragdoll Cat Cheek Swab Test Addie TesT results

Have you done HCM or other genetic testing on your cats? Is so, what sort?

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Lisa Green says:

    What is HCM? What happens to them? Signs to look for?

  2. RagdollCatMom says:

    Hi! I’m getting ready to do DNA testing on my two 5 month old kittens – not specifically for HCM, but it does test for that too. http://www.catdnatest.org/ is sponsored through the CFA. I’m having them tested to find out if they are Chocolate or Seal. I’m guessing chocolate – I already know they are Cinnamon carriers because their dad is a Cinnamon.

    I’m doing the cheek swabs tomorrow – I’m excited to get the results!

    1. I am excited too – please let me know how it goes!

  3. Super FABULOUS & PAWESOME post, Jenny honey! You know how much I LURVE me some Ash & Addie videos & pics, too!! What a great topic and source of information about the dreadful HCM! Sooooo very happy the test results were negative for Amy’s Dynamic Duo! YAY!!!! Thanks so much for this super important info! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    1. Yes, I’m glad they came back negative too – but as you saw the doc said – lots of things can cause it…not just DNA.

      1. Oh, yes…absolutely! HCM is just dreadful and learning it’s not just limited to a DNA link was a real eye-opener! Yikes!

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