Since the launch, the Basepaws team has been striving to create one of the largest databases of feline genetic and physical information in an effort to improve feline health and learn more about the genetic basis of cat breeds. Seeing as how most domestic breeds are relatively young (created in mid 1800s – present), our work would have been daunting without your help. We have received a fantastic amount of support from cat parents around the world and are proud to announce the second iteration of the Basepaws cat DNA report!
New approach to the evaluation of breed composition
You will notice that many things have changed in the report, including the evaluation of breed percentages. All cats, including many pedigreed cats, are extremely genetically diverse. This can make it challenging for us to detect specific breeds in polycats. We are excited to announce that since the release of our first report, we have increased the size of our highly sequenced pedigree database by nearly 50%, which significantly improved our accuracy. Over the upcoming months we are also doubling the size of our original breed panel, making it one of the largest of its kind in the entire world! We will continue to grow this database for years to come, which will help us learn more about the genetics of each specific cat breed.
Our sequencing technology has advanced as well, and we are now able to read 2x as much genetic data from your cat than we were able to just 6 months ago! This allows us to view and compare over 2 billion base pairs in a single sample. This produces a large treasure trove of information where we look at hundreds of thousands of variants to decipher clues about your cat’s ancestors. As our databases continues to grow, we are hoping to use the novel clues to look into the past of each breed and discover the roots of their origins. We compare all the variants we find to our large database of highly sequenced pedigreed cats and find those most genetically similar to each cat sample.
New presentation of the results
As our knowledge continues to evolve, so does our report. We are very excited to share that we now possess a much better understanding of our polycats. Every mixed-breed cat has unique DNA that can be matched to a Breed Group, and ultimately, to breeds. The breed groups included in our report are now broken down into 3 categories: Western breeds (from Europe/Americas), Eastern Breeds (from Asia), and Hybrid breeds (from wild-domestic crosses). Your cat will more dominantly belong to either ONE of these groups. Within the dominant breed group, we rank the breeds in the order of genetic similarity to your cat – the first breed being the one your kitty is MOST similar to of ALL the included breeds. You can find the complete list of currently included cat breeds here.
Receiving all this new information can be overwhelming, so we’ve changed how we convey these genetic relationships. The report now contains a section called chromosome painting (or chromosome mapping). This feature is a visual representation of specific sections of your cat’s DNA and how they relate to our pedigreed cat breed database. Within your report you will find a graph representation of the 18 chromosome pairs we analyze for each sample.
The chromosomes will be marked with distinct colors to help you visualize where each section of your cats genetic code relates to known cat breeds, which will then allow you to see which breed group influenced that specific section. This feature should make reading your report easier and help #GetToKnowYourCatBetter.
Most cats are a genetic admixture, meaning that they will be under genetic influences from different distinct populations for many generations. This results in a chromosome map with lots of short segments of different heritage. Cats with long, continuously painted chromosomes would have had this mixing occur relatively recently in their family tree. Take a look at this information and share it with the world, whether you have a cat who has a distinguished genetic line, or one who has a new genetic combination the world has yet to see!
We hope you enjoy the new report and know this is still only the beginning – a lot more is yet to come as we continue learning about our favorite little furballs. Thank you for joining us on our journey! If you need any assistance in reading your report, please view our explanatory video here or read this article to gain deeper insight from some commonly asked questions! However, if you still have unanswered questions about the second iteration of the Basepaws cat DNA report please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about your report: