FAQ2020-05-22T10:24:28-07:00

Frequently Asked Questions

FOR STARTERS

HOW IS BASEPAWS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GENETIC TESTS?2020-03-06T05:27:30-07:00

Most other genetic tests screen only for “what is already known”, so as scientists discover new genes and traits, you would need to have the DNA tested again and again, with each new finding. Unfortunately, very little is currently known about cat genetics. Other cat 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 parts we know nothing about.

DNA TESTING FOR CATS? IS THAT REALLY NECESSARY?2020-03-06T05:25:39-07:00

Basepaws is committed to the health and happiness of cats everywhere. We are cat owners ourselves (led by our adorable queen bee, Koko) and therefore 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 make up, as well as everything DNA can convey about your cat’s genetic similarity to pedigreed cat breeds and a few wildcats. We invite you to join us as we work to better understand the needs of cats everywhere.

THE DETAILS

HOW CAN I ENSURE THE PRIVACY OF MY CAT’S INFORMATION?2020-03-29T21:14:47-07:00

Your medical information is protected by HIPAA, an act of Congress that provides rules to ensure the security and confidentiality of your health information. California state and most other states have laws preventing public disclosure of veterinary treatment records. Basepaws adheres to this law. We take your personal information very seriously and this includes the genetic results of your cats and we try our very best to protect your privacy. Although there are no privacy laws governing cats and their genetic information, we have implemented the following procedures to try to protect your information as much as possible. We have a strict internal privacy policy that instructs our employees on how personal information collected on our website or obtained through testing of your cats is handled. This information belongs to the person who got Basepaws Cat DNA Test. The cat’s laboratory results can only be communicated to the cat owner. In other cases, it may be a veterinarian (upon cat owner’s request). When a person calls our customer service and wants to discuss a cat’s result, we first verify that it is the individual that ordered the test. If it is not the individual that ordered the test, we require permission from the original customer and may require a medical release form to be signed by that original customer, releasing the information to the third party. It’s that simple. We will not release your cat’s information to a third party without your written consent.

HOW DO I READ MY REPORT?2020-03-27T17:07:01-07:00

How to read your cat’s DNA Breed Report [video]

How to read your cat’s DNA Health Report [video]

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?2020-03-06T05:29:01-07:00

Your report will be available in 6-9 weeks from the date your sample arrives at our laboratory (please note it can take up to five months in rare cases of sequencing issues). We are working on trying to shorten this time frame as much as possible. Every sample helps us create the biggest database of feline genetic data and will contribute to new discoveries in feline health.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE KIT?2020-03-06T05:28:28-07:00

Each kit includes a cheek swab with stabilizing liquid, detailed instructions on sample collection and barcode activation, and prepaid packaging for easy return shipping of your cat’s sample (prepaid shipping for orders within the USA only). The cost includes a detailed report of your cat’s DNA including breed, health marker, and wildcat similarity report. As we continue to learn more from our research, we will continue to follow up with additional information as we discover more things about feline genetics.

HOW DOES THIS WORK?2020-03-06T05:28:04-07:00

Simple! Order your Basepaws CatKit online. Once you receive it in the mail, follow the detailed instructions for sample collection and barcode activation located on the inside of the CatKit box. Then, send the sample back to the lab in the provided prepaid packaging. We will notify you via email once your sample is received and get to work right away on your results!

BREED TESTING

WHAT DOES THE WILDCAT INDEX MEAN? IS MY CAT PART TIGER?2020-03-06T05:33:09-07:00

The wildcat index percentage is determined using the relative genetic similarity between all of the domestic cat samples we test and four big cats (Tiger, Leopard, Cheetah, Cougar). This means we measure how genomically similar your cat is to these wildcats when being compared to all other domestic cat samples in our database, not to the specific wildcat base pairs themselves.

HOW DO YOU TEST FOR BREED?2020-03-06T05:31:57-07:00

Breed is among our top priorities. We test by comparing your cat’s genetic DNA sample to our pedigreed cat database, as well as to all the other cat samples which we’ve received. Not all breeds are included (yet!), but we are working hard to quickly add as many as possible. As we expand our kitty community, your cat’s report findings will continue to be refined. Take a look at our sample report to get an idea of what your cat’s report will look like, as well as our roadmap to see what your cat’s report will include in the future!

HEALTH MARKERS AND GENOMES

HOW MUCH OF A CAT’S GENOME CAN YOU SEQUENCE?2020-03-06T05:34:11-07:00

The first human genome took many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to sequence. Your cat’s genome is similar in length and in 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 a part of the genome. However, if you would like to have your cat’s entire genome sequenced and monitor every gene, we offer Whole Genome Sequencing as well!

WHAT CAN MY CAT’S HEALTH MARKERS TELL ME?2020-03-06T05:33:34-07:00

Having your cat’s DNA tested can show you potential threats to their health. We currently test for over 40 mutations that relate to 17 different hereditary diseases. This allows you to share the results with your veterinarian and know what to look for if needed. It’s as close to a crystal ball as you’ll ever get!

SERVICES

WHEN WILL MORE FEATURES BECOME AVAILABLE?2020-03-06T05:35:27-07:00

As our database grows and more cats join us, our ability to make new discoveries will improve. Some of these may take only a few months, while others will take years. We are doing our best to find cats who share common genetic diseases and collect their samples to achieve key discoveries quicker. Visit both our blog and Research page for more information about key work and many of these diseases.

DO YOU OFFER OTHER GENETIC SERVICES?2020-03-06T05:34:58-07:00

Yes! In addition to our selective sequencing + breed report, Basepaws can also sequence your cat’s entire genome or the “exome” (only the genes and none of the genetic packaging). Please contact us at meow@basepaws.com or visit our Whole Genome Sequencing page if you’d like to learn more about these services and pricing!

COACH MY CAT

CAN I GET VETERINARY ADVICE FROM COACH MY CAT?2020-05-22T10:04:53-07:00

Coach My Cat coaching interactions are not intended to replace veterinary care by a licensed veterinary professional. However you can talk with our Team of Veterinary Professionals about your cat’s diagnosis or conditions that your cat has to better understand and manage them.

HOW OFTEN CAN I MESSAGE MY CAT COACH?2020-05-22T10:14:32-07:00

There is no limit on the number of chat message interactions, so reach out as often as you’d like. Your Cat Coach will respond within 24-48 hours on weekdays.

IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY CATS CAN BE COACHED?2020-05-22T10:12:08-07:00

Coach My Cat works with your household, therefore we don’t limit the number of cats you have.

IS COACH MY CAT ONLY APP BASED?2020-05-22T10:12:32-07:00

Yes, it’s available on both the App Store and Google Play.

HOW DO I CANCEL MY MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION?2020-05-22T10:13:08-07:00

You can cancel anytime through your account. Please contact us at coachmycat@basepaws.com with any additional questions.

HOW DO I PURCHASE A VIDEO SESSION?2020-05-22T10:13:37-07:00

Details coming soon!

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT TEST RESULTS?

Email us at meow@basepaws.com