Here, we describe the establishment of mutant-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of a c-KIT c.1430G>T mutation in feline mast cell tumours. Several mutations in feline c-KIT have been identified, with the c.1430G>T mutation accounting for a significant portion of feline mast cell tumour mutations. The c.1430G>T mutation in c-KIT exon 9 was detected in 15.7% (11 of 70) of samples by mutant-specific PCR but in only 7.1% (5 of 70) by PCR–restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in the genomic DNA isolated from 70 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections or cells collected by fine needle aspiration. Mutant-specific PCR showed remarkably higher detection rate than did PCR–RFLP. DNA sequence analysis did not always yield identical results to those of mutant-specific PCR, suggesting heterogeneity of tumour cells. Mutant-specific PCR is a valid and efficient screening tool for detection of the c-KIT c.1430G>T point mutation in feline mast cell tumours compared with PCR–RFLP and sequencing analysis.