Filter by: GENETICS


Genetic Quirks Behind The White Gloves Genetic Quirks Behind The White Gloves
Basepaws
07/15/2019

All fur parents are utterly in love with the flawless white tips of their pets' paws. This charming feature is often lovingly referred to as "gloves", "socks", "boots" or "mittens". Do you know how this genetic phenomenon actually occurs though? The time has finally come to debunk some of the very confusing genetic quirks behind your kitty's mittens!

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Hypokalemic Periodic Polymyopathy Hypokalemic Periodic Polymyopathy
Basepaws
07/11/2019

Hypokalemia refers to athe state of low potassium ion (K+) levels in the blood. It's often a secondary problem caused by other deficiencies or diseases, but it may also be a result of a primary congenital disease, such as hypokalemic period polymyopathy. Hypokalemic polymyopathy is a genetic disease of the Burmese and closely related cats. The condition is marked by either generalized or localized skeletal muscle weakness, often episodic in nature.

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Curly Cat Coat: A Special Kind of Eye Candy Curly Cat Coat: A Special Kind of Eye Candy
Basepaws
07/03/2019

Kitties come in so many different colors, shapes and patterns. And we are in love with all of them! Soft, curly cats, however, seem to be exceptionally captivating and spell-binding. Have you ever wondered about the role of genetics in your cat's charming locks? The time has come to unravel some science behind feline curls and share a few tips and tricks on how to care for the soft, wavy fur. Let's go!

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Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (Type I) Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (Type I)
Basepaws
06/25/2019

Leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD) is an immunodeficiency disorder associated with recurrent infections. This genetic disorder has been described in humans, cats, dogs and cattle. Human LAD is classified into three types (LAD-1 to -3), of which type 1 most closely resembles LAD in cats. Feline LAD is a very difficult condition and, if left untreated, it can be lethal for affected kittens. Genetic tests could help recognize any predisposition to the disease and prevent its succession through generations.

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Basepaws + Catstradamus: Together in the Fight Against HCM Basepaws + Catstradamus: Together in the Fight Against HCM
Basepaws
04/20/2019

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common feline heart disease -- up to 15% of all cats may suffer from it (Payne et al, 2015). This disease affects the cat's myocardium and causes thickening of the heart’s left ventricle. Many cats with HCM can live long and healthy lives, however, for some cats, HCM can be a devastating and lethal disease. Maine Coons and Ragdolls are thought to be at a higher risk from HCM. We have recently lost an office cat to this cruel disease, so we have been extra-focused on adding this marker to our health report.

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Cat Siblings: What Do I Need To Know? Cat Siblings: What Do I Need To Know?
Basepaws
04/10/2019

Growing up alongside the loving – and unavoidably annoying – siblings is a priceless experience. Our brothers and sisters know us in a way nobody else does, relate to our earliest experiences and, most importantly, play a key role in shaping us into the people we grow up to be. In a strikingly similar way, kitten siblings are each other's prized companions during the early weeks of kittenhood. Young kittens cuddle to keep warm, groom each other to show affection and train their survival skills through a whole lot of playing. The relationship between cat littermates can be puzzling and many of us have wondered about the feline siblinghood. Without further ado, here are some of the most important facts you should know about cat siblings.

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Gangliosidosis in Cats: Genetic Disease Explained Gangliosidosis in Cats: Genetic Disease Explained
Basepaws
03/14/2019

Gangliosidosis is a group of lipid storage disorders characterized by the accumulation of lipids – gangliosides in neurons. The disease was identified both in humans and cats. Human gangliosidosis is classified into two types, GM1 and GM2. The second type is further classified into three subtypes: GM2A (Tay-Sachs disease), GM2AB (AB variant) and GM2B (Sandhoff disease or 0 variant). All of the variants of the human disease have been identified in cats except for the Tay-Sachs (GM2A).

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Genetics of Polydactyly: Celebrating the Hemingway Cats Genetics of Polydactyly: Celebrating the Hemingway Cats
Basepaws
03/07/2019

Header photo: Basepaws cat Simon, Lewiston, ID, hooman Mia Carlson

Paws are cute. And who has extra-adorable paws? Hemingway cats, of course! Hemingway cats are carriers of a genetic anomaly polydactyly. Polydactyly is a trait of an unusually high number of digits and it has been described in several species, including humans, cats, dogs, horses, mice, cattle, goats, sheep, springboks and birds (Hamelin et al, 2016). Polydactyl cats are often referred to as Hemingway cats, as they have gained their popularity thanks to the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway. Maine Coons are thought to be predisposed to this genetic feature.

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My Cat Has Polycystic Kidney Disease: What Does This Mean? My Cat Has Polycystic Kidney Disease: What Does This Mean?
Basepaws
02/21/2019

Has your cat been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease? You are not alone. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common genetic diseases in cats. It is widely described in Persian and related cats, but also, sporadically, in other cat breeds (Nivy et al, 2015 & Volta et al, 2009). PKD is diagnosed in approximately 38% of Persian cats worldwide, which accounts for about 6% of all cats (Lyons et al, 2014). The disease is characterized by a formation of small fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. An autosomal dominant mutation in the PKD1 gene has been identified as a cause for this condition.

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Feline Cancer – Background, Science and Answers (part 2) Feline Cancer – Background, Science and Answers (part 2)
Basepaws
02/19/2019

According to Animal Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. Cancer in cats is actually less common than cancer in dogs, but once it is diagnosed, it tends to move faster. Knowledge is power, and our role as pet parents is to be armed with information and provide our companions with the best possible care. Yet, how much do we really know about this deadly disease in cats? It's time to talk science!

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Feline Cancer – Background, Science and Answers (part 1) Feline Cancer – Background, Science and Answers (part 1)
Basepaws
02/15/2019

According to Animal Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. Cancer in cats is actually less common than cancer in dogs, but once it is diagnosed, it tends to move faster. Knowledge is power, and our role as pet parents is to be armed with information and provide our companions with the best possible care. Yet, how much do we really know about this deadly disease in cats? It's time to talk science!

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Oh no! My Cat Was Diagnosed With Cystinuria! What Do I Need to Know? Oh no! My Cat Was Diagnosed With Cystinuria! What Do I Need to Know?
Basepaws
01/29/2019

Cystinuria is an inherited metabolic disease that is relatively common in dogs, but rare in cats (Mizukami, 2016). The condition is characterized by defective amino acid reabsorption, leading to the formation of cystine stones in the kidney, ureter and the bladder (cystine urolithiasis). This can lead to urinary obstruction. In cats, only two cystinuria types have been identified so far: I-A and II-B (Mizukami et al, 2015 & Mizukami et al, 2016).

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Knowing Your Cat’s Blood Type Could Save Its Life Knowing Your Cat’s Blood Type Could Save Its Life
Basepaws
01/18/2019

Just like us humans, our purrfect companions also have different blood groups. Do you already know what know your kitty's blood type is? Knowing your cat’s blood group can be vital in different situations, yet, unless it's an emergency, this doesn't come up often. To keep you on top of your game, here is everything you need to know about different blood groups in cats and why you really should know your letters!

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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Feline Genetic Heart Disease Explained Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Feline Genetic Heart Disease Explained
Basepaws
01/10/2019

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common feline heart disease, and up to 15% of all cats may suffer from it (Payne et al, 2015). This genetic disease affects your cat's myocardium and causes thickening of the left ventricle of the heart (left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction). This decreases the blood flow through the ventricle and increases heart rate (tachycardia). Many cats with HCM can live long and healthy lives, however, for some cats, HCM can be a devastating disease. Maine Coons and Ragdolls are thought to be at a higher risk from this genetic disease.

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Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome: What Do I Need To Know? Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome: What Do I Need To Know?
Basepaws
01/08/2019

Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) is a genetic neuromuscular disorder caused by defects at the neuromuscular junction. In cats, this condition is associated with a deficiency of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The deficiency of the enzyme is caused by a truncation of the collagen-like tail subunit of acetylcholinesterase (COLQ). The deficiency of the signal transduction termination leads to prolonged muscle contraction and muscle stiffness (spasticity) which interferes with normal movement. The disease seems to be associated with Devon Rex and Sphynx cats.

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Odd-Eyes In Cats (Heterochromia) Odd-Eyes In Cats (Heterochromia)
Basepaws
12/27/2018

If your beautiful feline has two different eyes – a yellow and a blue perhaps – then you’ve got yourself an odd-eyed kitten! These captivating little creatures are carriers of a feline form of a condition known as complete heterochromia. Heterochromia is a captivating genetic anomaly most commonly observed in white kitties.

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The Chimera Cat – Its Own Non-Identical Twin The Chimera Cat – Its Own Non-Identical Twin
Basepaws
12/25/2018

Merry Christmas dear pet hoomans! We hope you are all having a wonderful time with your families today. To help brighten this blissful day even more, we would like to tell you one of the most meowgical stories of feline genetics – the story of the Chimeras! In Greek mythology, a chimera is a monstrous fire-breathing, three-headed hybrid creature. In cat terms, luckily, a chimera is not scary at all! Chimeras, as we here know them at Basepaws are gorgeous and breathtaking genetic anomalies.

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Meowgical Science Behind Your Cat’s Coat Meowgical Science Behind Your Cat’s Coat
Basepaws
12/20/2018

Cats come in a highly diverse variety of coat patterns, colorations and textures. Many different genes are involved in creating just how unique your purrfect companion will turn out to be. Have you ever wondered about the role of genetics in your cat’s captivating looks? To get you started on the long journey of feline genetics, we prepared a short guide through the genetics of the feline coat for you. Read up!

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Brachycephaly In Cats Brachycephaly In Cats
Basepaws
12/06/2018

Brachycephaly is a trait of skull bones shortened in length, giving the face and nose of a cat a "pushed in" appearance. Due to shorter bones of the face and nose, the anatomy of the face is altered. This can potentially cause various physical problems, such as breathing difficulties. A condition that is related to this abnormality is brachycephaly airway syndrome. This is a set of airway abnormalities in cats (and dogs) which may involve stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, hypoplastic trachea and everted laryngeal saccules. Typical brachycephalic cat breeds are Persian, Himalayan and Burmese cats.

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Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (ALPS) Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (ALPS)
Basepaws
11/14/2018

Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (abbr. ALPS) is a lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) distinguished by massive enlargement of lymphatic nodes and spleen caused by the accumulation of lymphocytes. The disease is caused by irregular lymphocyte apoptosis. This is a lethal genetic condition that has, for now, only been identified in British Shorthair cats. Kittens suffering from ALPS show signs around the age of 6-8 weeks and die or are euthanized shortly after (Aberdein et al, 2017). The disease shows similarities to the human disorder autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), also known as the Canale-Smith syndrome.

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Dear Hooman, Meet Your Cat Dear Hooman, Meet Your Cat
Basepaws
10/25/2018

Looks. Smarts. Health. We inherit a whole lot from our parents (and their DNA). While the world of science is untangling the role that DNA has in making you – you – Basepaws is working on this same special treatment for your favorite furriend too! We are only just starting to unravel the secrets hidden within the feline DNA, but there are many peculiar things about cat DNA that we know already. Dear hooman, meet some of the most curious facts about your favorite pet’s DNA.

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Feline Melanism: Adaptive and Evolutionary Significance Feline Melanism: Adaptive and Evolutionary Significance
Basepaws
10/19/2018

Melanism (dark coat coloration) is a common polymorphism observed in many animals. This remarkable feature has been described in as many as 13 out of 37 felid species (Schneider et al, 2015). It is still widely speculated exactly why feline melanism evolved in the first place and what kind of adaptive and evolutionary significance it has for our favorite furriends.

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Feline Urticaria Pigmentosa Feline Urticaria Pigmentosa
Basepaws
10/16/2018

Urticaria pigmentosa is a form of a condition known as cutaneous mastocytosis and it is caused by the accumulation of the defective mast cells (a type of white blood cells) in the skin, bone marrow, liver, spleen and lymph nodes. This skin condition is poorly documented and it is better described in humans and Sphynx and Devon Rex cat breeds. A study about five affected Devon Rex cats (Nolie et al, 2009) emphasizes that naked feline breeds are predisposed to this condition.

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Feline Myotonia Congenita Feline Myotonia Congenita
Basepaws
09/21/2018

Myotonia Congenita (MC) is a hereditary neuromuscular disorder characterized by persistent contraction (or delayed relaxation of muscles), particularly during the muscle movement. The word myotonia derives from the Greek word "myo" for muscle and Latin word "tonus" for tension. This disease is caused by an autosomal recessive point mutation and it is not breed-specific. Other than cats, the disease has been described in humans, dogs, horses, goats, mice and water buffalos too.

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Feline Dwarfism Feline Dwarfism
Basepaws
09/07/2018

Feline dwarfism is a condition caused by genetic anomalies which lead to stunted growth and abnormal feline body proportions. Unlike other variants of small cats, feline dwarfs are often associated with numerous health issues. While dwarfism in cats can be a result of genetic accidents, there are a few cat breeds selectively bred to promote the condition too. Follow-up to acquire the basic understanding of this potentially painful genetic defect.

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Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Basepaws
08/10/2018

Wonderfully distinct from all the other animals, cats never fail to impress. From mesmerizing eye colours and charming ‘squints’ to extraordinarily powerful and precise vision, feline eyes are truly a wonder of nature. Unfortunately, sometimes, cats can suffer from certain complications which can affect their vision and overall health status. One of the more severe disorders of this kind is a group of retinal diseases known as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

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Feline Diabetes Mellitus Overview Feline Diabetes Mellitus Overview
Basepaws
07/24/2018

Diabetes mellitus (DM), or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders in which blood sugar levels remain high for long periods of time. This occurs when there are insufficient levels of insulin produced in the body or the body isn’t responding properly to this hormone. Just like in humans, related to the modern-day lifestyle factors and obesity, a rising prevalence of diabetes has been described in cats too. Most recorded cases of feline diabetes are similar to the human diabetes type 2.

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Cat Body-type Mutations Cat Body-type Mutations
Basepaws
07/04/2018

Genetic mutations are important sources of variability among individuals of all species, including cats. While these genetic anomalies can have different impacts—beneficial, neutral or even harmful—their occurrence is very important as it provides the populations with diverse and unique individuals. This furthermore increases the chances of survival of at least one fraction of the population in case of sudden environmental changes.

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Behind the Scenes at Basepaws Behind the Scenes at Basepaws
Basepaws
06/12/2018

You’ve purchased a CatKit, collected some of your cat’s DNA and shipped it back to us. Exciting stuff! Wait, but what happens next? The time has come for us to unravel a little bit about our recipe to unfolding your feline’s DNA secrets. No, not everything - there is still a lot we don’t know ourselves, and every sample helps get us closer. But we want to tell you a bit about us, inside and out. Let’s take a quick look behind the curtains and see what really happens once your sample reaches the Basepaws Labs!

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Cat coat genetics (part 2) Cat coat genetics (part 2)
Basepaws
05/22/2018

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

In the first part of "Cat coat genetics" article we discussed the genetics of feline coat colors and we explained some of the coat patterns. In the second part we now continue with coat patterns, lengths and textures. Read on to learn more!

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Cat coat genetics (part 1) Cat coat genetics (part 1)
Basepaws
05/18/2018

Please note that you're reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Cats come in a highly diverse variety of coat patterns, coloration and textures. Many different genes are involved in creating just how unique your feline companion will turn out to be. Today we attempt to take a narrow glimpse into the role genetics play in your cat’s coat pigmentation, pattern, length and texture. Due to the complexity of the issue, we decided to break this article down into two parts. In the first part we will discuss the coat colors and some of the coat patterns. In the second part we will continue with coat patterns, lengths and textures.

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The Chimera cat – its own non-identical twin The Chimera cat – its own non-identical twin
Basepaws
05/15/2018

Please note that you're reading the old version of this article. You can find the updates article here.

In Greek mythology, a chimera is a monstrous fire-breathing, three-headed hybrid creature. It was usually portrayed as a lion with a goat rising from its back with a snake for its tail. Homer described the Chimera in the Iliad as "a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire."

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Factor XII deficiency in cats Factor XII deficiency in cats
Basepaws
05/01/2018

Factor XII deficiency, also known as Hageman deficiency, is the most common congenital coagulopathy among cats. Although common among bleeding disorders, this condition is actually often asymptomatic. Hageman trait is a blood clotting disorder characterized by deficiency in the coagulation factor XII. For more background information about blood coagulation as well as other hemophilia disorders, please read our blog Hemophilia in cats.

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Odd-Eyed Cats (Heterochromia) Odd-Eyed Cats (Heterochromia)
Basepaws
04/27/2018

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

If your beautiful feline has two different eyes - a yellow and a blue, perhaps, then you’ve got yourself an odd-eyed kitten! These captivating little creatures are carriers of a feline form of a condition known as complete heterochromia. Read on and find out more!

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Whole genome sequencing Whole genome sequencing
Basepaws
04/24/2018

The genome is the complete genetic information of an organism. Most organisms have DNA genomes, although there are known viruses with RNA genomes too. The genome consists of the coding and noncoding DNA, as well as the organelles’ DNA (mitochondria and chloroplasts). Whole genome sequencing is the determination of the entire sequence of the whole genome (the order of all the bases, A, T, G and C) at a single time. After reading this blog you will learn more about the history, techniques and applications of this advanced method, as well as a little bit about the genome of your favourite feline friend.

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A quick look into the world of cats DNA analysis: those among us and those that we miss A quick look into the world of cats DNA analysis: those among us and those that we miss
Basepaws
04/10/2018

Please note that you're reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Our job here at Basepaws is to help you get to know your beloved felines on a molecular level and discover all the secrets hiding in their DNA. Our ultimate aim is to form a rich feline database to secure better health care for cats in the future, and fortunately many of you have already joined us on our mission!

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Hemophilia in cats Hemophilia in cats
Basepaws
04/03/2018

Hemophilia is a group or rare hereditary bleeding disorders in which the cat’s blood doesn’t clot appropriately in case of an injury. Although uncommon, hemophilia is a severe condition that can be inborn or acquired. Today we aim to explain to you what happens when bleeding in cats occurs, how bleeding disorders develop and what hemophilia actually is.

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Why Can Knowing Your Cat’s Blood Type Save It’s Life? Why Can Knowing Your Cat’s Blood Type Save It’s Life?
Basepaws
03/26/2018

Please not that you're reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Just like us humans, our favorite pets also have different blood groups. Do you already know what know your feline’s is? Knowing your cat’s blood group can be vital in certain situations, yet rarely does this come up, unless it’s an emergency. Today we will tell you everything you need to know about different blood groups in cats and why you should know your letters!

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Cancer in cats. Part two. Cancer in cats. Part two.
Basepaws
02/06/2018

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Today we come to you with the information every cat caregiver needs to know about types of cancer in cats, and cancer prevention, detection and treatment. If you would like to understand what lies in the roots of this complex issue too, please read the first part of this article posted previously.

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Cancer in cats. Part one. Cancer in cats. Part one.
Basepaws
01/25/2018

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

According to Animal Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. Cancer in cats is actually less common than cancer in dogs, but once it is diagnosed, it tends to move faster. Since cats are the closest mammals to humans (outside of primates, of course) it is no wonder cats share many of the same cancers with us. Knowledge is power, and how much do we really know about signs of this deadly disease in feline?

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Hemingway Cats Hemingway Cats
Basepaws
09/28/2017

Please note that you're reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Polydactylism is one of the traits both humans and cats have. Actually, mice, dogs and even horses also have extra toes (or small supernumerary digits terminating in hooves either side of the main hoof). Alexander the Great and Caesar both rode polydactyl horses.

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Genetics 101 Genetics 101
Basepaws
09/21/2017

Banner Photo Credit: Cutepawsmeow

Well, probably we should have started our blog with this post. As they say, better late than never ;)

So we are going to talk about basic genetics today. The feline genome was fully decoded in 2007. Of all of the cats in the world, a 4-year old Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon was chosen to be a genetic model for all felines in a project called the feline genome project. By donating a small vial of blood, Cinnamon provided scientists the wherewithal to map the feline genetic structure, eventually allowing for each gene's function to be noted and studied.

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My Cat has Polycystic Kidney Disease: What Does This Mean? My Cat has Polycystic Kidney Disease: What Does This Mean?
Basepaws
08/04/2017

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Has your cat been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease? You are not alone. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) affects up to 6% of all cats. Many cats with PKD will live long, happy lives despite having cysts in their kidneys. Unfortunately, some cats develop more or larger cysts than other PKD cats, and this can lead to chronic renal disease and kidney failure. It’s best to identify and treat this feline disease as soon as possible.

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Help! My Cat was Diagnosed with Hyptertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Genetic Heart Disease Explained Help! My Cat was Diagnosed with Hyptertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A Genetic Heart Disease Explained
Basepaws
06/22/2017

Please note that you are reading the old version of this article. You can find the updated article here.

Has your cat been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? Don’t panic. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common feline heart disease, and up to 15% of all cats may suffer from it. In fact, many cats with HCM will live long and healthy lives without ever being diagnosed or treated. However, for some cats, HCM can become a devastating disease.

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Cat Siblings are the Newest Scientific Frontier Cat Siblings are the Newest Scientific Frontier
Basepaws
06/06/2017

Just like human siblings, kitty siblings sometimes love each other and other times wish they could stuff their little brother in a box and sit on top of it. No matter how well your cats get along, they can still work together to help scientists unlock the secrets of how their DNA makes them unique.

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