We are thrilled to announce that we will soon deliver our first CatKit Alpha Report! Many of our favorite clients (and kittens!) have been very patient while waiting for the first report to arrive. We want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone for allowing us the extra time to get the first report out, and show our appreciation by giving everyone here a little sneak peek!
All year we have been biting our paws, waiting for the final experiments to be completed in our lab and for the first cohorts of the report to be delivered to our clients. Sometimes things in lab go well, and sometimes science has it’s own plans. Despite all of our hard efforts the deadline for the first report kept shifting, which is something we greatly apologize for.
Our team has reached out to many of you individually in the attempts to answer as many of your questions as possible, therefore in the hopes of conveying some clarity – here are the most asked questions and answers we’ve received about the Alpha Report, the Beta Report, the deadline shifts, and our plans for world domination (insert evil kitten giggles).
Every bit of kitty hair and every kitty parent gets us closer to creating the most unique database of genetic data in the world. This DNA biobank will be used to help cats everywhere, so please know your support and contributions mean the world to us. THANK YOU!
Alpha Report Q&A
What’s in the Alpha Report?
Our Alpha Report will be the first iteration of our Breed Index, as well as our WildCat Index. Thus, this is our first report on the Breed of your cat, and with each new report iteration our Breed Index becomes better and more accurate. The more cats we have in our database, the better the results. Next, The WildCat Index! Your kitty’s DNA is compared to the DNA of 18 different wildcats – lions, tigers, pumas, etc. We have created an index of all our current Basepaws cats, and can tell you which of the wildcats your kitty has the strongest connection to.
What’s in the Beta Report?
Besides getting a better and more accurate Breed and WildCat Report, we are also working on identifying PKD and HCM genes – across multiple breeds – and hope this will lead to more health-related discoveries in this Beta Report. We also have started to look at variants surrounding such traits as polydactyly and such diseases as asthma. Again – the more of such cats we have in the database, the more accurate these test results will be for every single Basepaws kitty, and subsequently every single cat in the world will benefit.
What MORE can you tell me about my cat?
Our DNA test will ultimately be the most comprehensive, accurate and useful genetic test for all cats. We hope that we will be able to test for all genetic diseases, and report accurately on breed, ancestry, parentage and even show you how your cat’s personality relates to its DNA. Your CatKit has a lifetime value. With every new discovery, your report will be updated with news on your cat’s genetic makeup.
How accurate is Basepaws DNA test?
Every iteration of the report will provide better and better accuracy with better and better results. Every additional data point is added to our machine learning algorithm and thus increases our accuracy. With the Alpha Report we hope to reach a baseline, and will improve with every new report we publish.
Why is the first report not live yet?
We had some hiccups in lab in early May which basically set us back three months. It mostly had to do with extracting DNA from the hair versus extracting it from the buccal swab. Some samples have been acquired and re-purified, and a lot of lessons were learned in the process. However, the hair-based DNA extraction proved to be more accurate and more comfortable for the cat as well as the cat parent, when compared to the buccal swabs.
Why do you need sick cats? How many cats do you already have in your database?
Every month we give hundreds of our kits away to cats with genetically occurring diseases such as asthma, PKD and HCM. These samples help us get better accuracy on the reports, and will ultimately be critical in creating the best testing opportunities for naturally occurring diseases. We have thousands of samples in our database already – THANK YOU to all the owners, breeders, shelters and veterinarians for your help and support!
I have two frozen cats in my fridge – can I test them with Basepaws?
Believe it or not, this question comes up a lot! It’s not uncommon for owners to want to learn more about their pets after their passing, and we are gearing up some additional equipment to handle these types of inquiries. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
We are cat lovers (Nessie and Suffie are our besties), scientists, and animal advocates, and we are building a network of a pet genetics database, which will be used to help eradicate genetic disease in cats everywhere. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and once more please accept our sincere apologies for the delay. We promise it will be worth the wait!
With all our gratitude,
Anna and Shan, founders of Basepaws