Have you ever wondered if your cat knows a little more than it says? You may be right. According to new research, our little feline friends could be surprising sources of evidence.

The fur of a cat can be used as evidence of a fleeting meeting between the two people. Even though cats can't be questioned, they may still be able to help identify criminals.

The new study is the first to examine how household pets can contribute to the transfer of genetic material. It's a positive step towards the collection of more comprehensive forensic evidence, which would be helpful in police investigations.

"Collection of human DNA needs to become very important in crime scene investigations but there is a lack of data on companion animals such as cats and dogs in their relationship to human DNA transfer."

The presence and activities of the inhabitants of the household or any recent visitors to the scene can be assessed with the help of these companion animals.

Even the smallest traces of genetic material can be relevant for a crime scene investigation. Humans leave their genetic material all over the place. It is possible for traces of our genetic material to be transferred. Touch DNA isn't enough to positively identify a suspect, but it can be used to support other lines of evidence, or rule out someone.

The person doesn't need to touch the surface in order to get touch DNA. It can be moved by a variety of means, including skin cells or hairs that drift from a body. Pets may play a part in that area.

Monkman, Goray and van Oorschot collaborated with a forensic scientist from the Victoria Police forensic services department in Australia to see if they could extract readable human DNA from pets.

The study was done on 20 cats. At the homes of the study participants, the researchers combed the fur on the right side of each cat twice, and collected DNA samples from most of them. The cat and human samples were analyzed.

Occupants of the house filled out questionnaires about the cats' behavior. The amount of time the cat was touched was included.

In 80% of the samples, there were levels of DNA that were detected. There was no significant difference between the amount of DNA present and the time since the last contact with a human.

70 percent of the cats in the study were linked to a human with the help of the team. The majority of the cat's genetic material was from people in the cat's own household.

Some of the'mystery' results could be explained by the fact that two of the cats spent a lot of time in the child's bed. The four remaining cats don't know the origin of their genetic material. The households had not had visitors for at least two days.

There is a two-cat, two person household. One of the cats, a hairless sphynx, carried the genetic material of another person. The short-haireddoll rag did not. Both cats were in the same house.

Direct transfer of the DNA from a human to a cat is one of the possibilities. Since the last time the cat had contact with a visitor, the cat's genetic material could have been left behind.

The mode of transfer of the genetic material to the cat is not known.

Further research is needed on the transfer of human DNA to and from cats, and the persistence of human DNA on cats, and what may influence the varying levels of DNA found on cats such as behavioral habits, and shedder status of the owners.

Maybe the cat wants you to think that way.

The genetics supplement series has published the research.