Frequently Asked Questions
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Most other genetic tests only screen for "what is already known." As scientists discover new genes and traits, you will need to get the DNA tested again and again. Unfortunately, very little is currently known about cat genetics. Other cat and dog DNA tests only screen for a LIMITED number of different traits and/or diseases. Unlike our competitors, Basepaws actually sequences your cat’s DNA - even the DNA we know nothing about. We save this data, and as we learn more about what these unknown genes are doing, we will be able to tell you more and more about your cat.
The first human genome took many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to sequence. Your cat’s genome is similar in length and complexity to the human genome. In order to make sequencing affordable for all cat owners, Basepaws sequences a selected 27 million nucleotides of your cat’s DNA, which is only part of the genome. If you would like to have your cat’s entire genome sequenced and monitor every gene, we also offer this service – contact us to learn more.
Using what we currently know, we can tell you how closely RELATED your cat is to select cat breeds and wildcats. We can also identify if your cat has abnormalities in a few important genes,
although there are not many cat genes that have been studied.
Cat genetics has been mostly ignored by scientists (with the exception of a few amazing pioneers in this space!), who often focus on mice and dogs. Basepaws was created to help fix this knowledge gap. We can’t wait to tell you more about your cat’s genome in the future.
Within the next year, Basepaws will be able to tell you more comprehensively about your cat’s breed and genetic predispositions for diseases. Your cat’s personality and physical traits will also be covered in the reports. We will use our predictive algorithms to help you identify the diets and products that are most appropriate for your furry friend.
What we can tell you tomorrow depends upon how many cats join us today.
First and foremost - we are building a community of pet owners, and every sample helps. We’re excited to see how much of your cat’s uniqueness is based upon genetics.
Yes! In addition to our selective sequencing for $95, Basepaws can also sequence your cat’s entire genome for $1,700, or the "exome" (only the genes and none of the genetic packaging) for $800. We also can test specific cellular tissues for gene expression or methylation in order to help cats suffering from cancer and other diseases, starting at $400. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about these services!
Still have questions about CatKit results?
In order to decipher your cat's DNA, it needs to be compared other cats. For every cat trait, we will compare your cat to a different number of cats depending on how simple or complex the trait is.
Sometimes a trait is very simple: it is caused by a single gene mutation, like the missing tails on the Manx cat. When only one gene is responsible, it is easier for us to pinpoint the location of a trait to your cat's DNA. You will receive reports about traits like this as soon as ten or more cats with the same trait have joined Basepaws.
However, many of your cat's health and personality traits are determined by multiple genes. For instance, there could be 5, 20, or even 100 genes that each contribute a little bit to your cat's outspoken personality. Traits like this will take 100 or more similar cats to locate the responsible genes.
As more cats join Basepaws, CatKit reports will grow.
Genetics will revolutionize the way we take care of our cats, but we’re just getting started. Your cat’s first report will include useful information about its Breed and Ancestors. Future reports will focus on your cat’s health and other traits. Keep in mind - Basepaws is still in Beta, meaning we are still just building up the company. This means we need more samples and we need your patience! In return, we will provide the first customers with unlimited updates for the life of your pet.
As our database grows and more cats join us, our ability to detect new discoveries will improve. With each sample, we get closer to understanding ancestry, disease and traits. Some of these may take only a few short months, while others may take a year or more. We are doing our best to find cats who share common genetic disease and collect their samples to get to key discoveries quicker. See our blog for more info about key work and timelines for many of these disease.
Your cat is a DNA pioneer and will create the gold standard for its genetic code, and thier DNA will help us understand genetic traits and disorders for all felines. In the future, when a little kitten gets tested and has very similar DNA to your cat, they can consider your cat their mentor and know what to expect.
When you join Basepaws, you are joining a proactive community of cat lovers. Basepaws members are truly DOING something to help improve the lives of all cats.