Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Basepaws is committed to the health and happiness of cats everywhere. We are cat owners ourselves (to our queen bee, the most adorable Koko) and realize how important it is to provide the best possible life for our pets. That's why we developed the Basepaws CatKit -- a genetic test designed to provide you with a comprehensive report about your cat's genetic makeup, as well as everything DNA can say about your cat's ancestry, health, and unique needs. We invite you to join us as we work to better understand the needs of cats everywhere.
Simple! After you receive your kit, collect hair from your cat using the adhesives provided (or via a buccal swab sample if your cat is hairless). Mail the sample back to us in the provided pre-paid envelope, and we will notify you that we have received your sample. We will be able to provide the report 8-12 weeks (and possibly up to 5 months) after we receive the kit, and we are trying to shorten that time as much as possible. Please bear with us as we run our first few batches of tests, and thank you for being our first customers! Long-term, we plan to provide the results within 4 weeks. Every sample helps us create the biggest database of feline genetic data and will contribute to discoveries in cat health.
After we have received your sample, it will take approximately 8-12 weeks for us to analyze and report back on results. We are working very hard to reduce the wait time for the first report, however, this is the first time this is done, and science takes time. As we collect more and more samples, it will be faster to provide the report -- long term we are shooting for 4 weeks for report delivery. As new information is discovered, your report will grow. We will notify you every time there are new things to look at!
Absolutely not! We love cats and are committed to using only non-invasive procedures to collect DNA samples. This will not hurt the cat…and, like all science, it's a bit meowgical!
Each kit costs $95 and includes detailed instructions, a prepaid return envelope (for orders within the US) to send your samples back, and all the new discovery updates for your cat. Reports are updated constantly as more and more data comes in – and you only pay once! To inquire about bulk discounts, please contact us at hello@basepaws.com.
Each kit includes detailed instructions, hair-collection adhesive strips, return postage and a return envelope to send us your cat's sample (prepaid shipping for orders within the USA). The cost includes a detailed report and routine updates about your cat's DNA as we continue to learn more from our research. Keep in mind – we will send an initial report and will follow up with more data as we discover more things about feline genetics.
Yes! However, please keep in mind we are still in Beta and doing all we can to learn and grow. We are working very hard to make reports available quickly - please do bear with us - we want to ensure you get a puurfect product you are happy with!
For all our non-US customers shipping costs are included, and include a return envelope as part of the CatKit price. We love all our international customers, however, those shipping samples back from abroad are asked to cover the shipment costs, which are $15.
Breed and ancestry are among our top priorities and will be included in your cat's report within six months. Not all breeds are included, but we are working hard to add as many as possible quickly. As we expand our kitty community, your cat's breed and ancestry will continue to be refined. The initial report will also include the Wild Kitten Index, which provides information about how much of your cat's ancestry can be traced back to the various wild cat species. The analysis includes the review of 1,000s genetic variants that are represented more prevalently across the genome in within each of the species.
We are still working to compile a comprehensive list of genetic diseases that we can screen for. Because unlike other tests, which the only screen for 1 or 2 locations in your DNA and unlike the other panels that screens for hundreds to thousands, Basepaws will actually screen for millions of different locations. As a result, we are still working to develop our comprehensive list. We will look at multiple markers that test for breed. As new markers are discovered, your report will be updated!

Want to know more?

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.