Summary. Human minisatellite probes consisting of tandem repeats of the ‘core’ sequence, a putative recombination signal in human DNA, cross-hybridize to multiple polymorphic fragments in dog and cat DNA to produce individual-specific DNA ‘fingerprints’. Pedigree analysis shows that most of the DNA fragments detected in an individual are heterozygous, and that these fragments are derived from multiple dispersed autosomal loci. DNA fingerprints of cats and dogs should prove suitable for individual identification and for establishing family relationships. They are also suitable for rapid marker generation in large pedigrees and could be applied to linkage analysis in these animals.