Home-based, health-focused genetic testing is important now more than ever. DNA information opens up a new world of knowledge, health, personality and additional bonding for you and your cat. It’s simply a must for any cat owner who wishes to create a stronger human-animal bond, receive actionable insights about genetic disease markers, and support the health of cats everywhere through genetic research.
Most other genetic tests screen only for “what is already known” and then discard the sample. As new genes and traits are discovered, a new DNA sample would need to be collected again for each new testing process. Unlike our competitors, Basepaws sequences, or reads, your cat’s DNA – even the parts we know nothing about. These unknown sections are what we study the most to increase the depth of knowledge and to improve the health of cats everywhere!
Absolutely! Head to our Basepaws Store to purchase our Breed and Health Kit now. For those who want to truly support feline genetic research and uncover every single section of their cat’s DNA, we also offer Whole Genome Sequencing. This comes with a custom canvas photo print of your cat, assembled completely out of their own DNA sequence!
Once you purchase a test, you’ll receive the Basepaws CatKit in the mail. Inside you’ll find detailed instructions for sample collection, starting with barcode ID activation. Once you collect your cat’s cheek swab sample, send it back to the lab in the provided prepaid packaging (return shipping is free for US customers only). We will notify you via email once your sample is received and get to work on your results right away!
Follow our quick step-by-step video to walk you through the entire process!
We ship within 24-48 hours of order placement. USPS does a great job of getting the kits in your hands (paws?) within 3-5 business days in the US with First-Class Mail, and around 10 business days to Canada. Keep in mind Canadian/International customers must provide their own return shipping postage. US customers are covered by free return shipping!
In order to prevent contamination, please make sure to wait at least 30 minutes after your cat eats to collect your sample. For kittens who are still receiving milk, please wait at least 60 minutes after feeding before swabbing the mouth for the DNA sample.
Ideally, we want the swab in your cat's mouth for 5-10 seconds, but we understand that cats can be temperamental. In most cases, we can still reliably obtain good quality DNA if the swab is in the cat’s mouth for as little as 3-5 seconds, as long as you manage to make proper contact with the inner cheek, gums and/or tongue. Please make sure to wait at least 30 minutes after your cat eats before swabbing to prevent contamination.
Each Basepaws CatKit DNA Test includes a single, sterile cheek swab with stabilizing liquid, a biohazard specimen bag, detailed instructions on sample collection, and prepaid packaging for easy return shipping of your cat’s sample (USA orders only). And finally, a detailed report of your cat’s DNA analysis.
Your report will be available in 4-6 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 continually working on trying to shorten this time frame as much as possible.
Absolutely! All you need to do is create a cat profile for each cat within your account and activate each of their barcode IDs, respectively.
Samples shipped at the same time can be separated through the USPS mailing process and delivered to us on separate days. Our laboratory technicians thoroughly examine each sample after sequencing is completed. If an issue is detected, your cat’s sample may be resequenced for better quality. With so many steps in the analysis process, your kitties’ reports can be completed at different times, as the timing of each step varies depending on the quality and DNA concentration of the sample.
The state of California 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, including the genetic results of your cat. Although there are no privacy laws governing feline genetic information, we have implemented the following procedures to protect your information. Any/all personal information belongs to the person who purchased the Basepaws Cat DNA Test. Each cat’s laboratory results can only be communicated to that cat‘s owner. Any data that we share for research purposes will be anonymized in an aggregated format where neither you, nor your cat, can be uniquely identified.
The Basepaws Phenotype Survey is all about the physical traits of your cats, also known as the Phenotype. This survey is crucial to helping us learn more about the unknown parts of the genetic code. When your cat’s genetic code is paired with its physical traits, cats everywhere will benefit! Please feel free to fill out the survey at any time! We know that it is a bit long, so the survey automatically saves your progress allowing you to come back and finish later!
No worries! Send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and our trusted Cat Concierge will be sure to help you out, ASAP!!
Learn more about how to read the Breed sections of your report from our Chief Veterinary Officer, Chris Menges, DVM, MPH!
Breed relativity 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 DNA 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!
Even though kittens of the same litter may demonstrate similar (or extremely different!) traits, they will always have different reports. When genes are passed on to kittens, each parent donates a random assortment of genes. This can result in extremely similar or extremely different genes passed on to each sibling. In addition, cats from the same litter can have more than one father! This is more common in outdoor cats, and can produce an even wider array of physical and genetic traits. Basepaws can help you learn what exactly is found underneath all that fur, in each kitten!
A great example of this is our CEO’s kitties, Stormy and Sunny. Although they are siblings from the same litter, Stormy is a dilute calico (female), while Sunny is an orange tabby (male). Each have completely different personalities and health histories.
We also want to stress the importance of the Genetic Health Marker report for each kitten. The multitude of gene variation from each parent can also result in potentially different Health Marker reports for every kitten in a litter.
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). We like to think of this like a human comparing its handprint to that of a Gorilla or Chimpanzee, knowing that, genetically, we aren’t recently related, but related nonetheless. The Wildcat Index is a fun comparison of your cat’s DNA to those of some iconic Big Cats of the world.
Learn more about how to read the Health Marker section of your report from our Chief Veterinary Officer, Chris Menges, DVM, MPH!
Having your cat’s DNA tested can show you potential genetic threats to their health. We currently test for 38 mutations that relate to 16 different hereditary diseases. Please note that this is an analysis of potential increased risk of genetic disease, and not a diagnosis. Download or send your results to your veterinarian or read our Health Marker E-Book to learn more about each disease and the early signs to look for.
We sequence over 300 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 base pair, we offer Whole Genome Sequencing as well!
As our database grows, our ability to make new discoveries continues to improve. Some of these may take only a few months, while others will take years. We are also actively recruiting cats who share common genetic diseases and collect their samples to achieve key discoveries quicker. Visit our Blog and Research pages for more information about key work and many of these diseases.
To minimize chances of your cat’s sample failing our quality checks, we recommend strictly following the instructions for sample collection included in the kit as carefully as possible. One of the most important points is to wait for at least 30 minutes after your cat has had anything to eat or drink before sample collection.
If your sample fails one of our quality checks, we will contact you regarding the next steps. In the majority of cases, we will send you another DNA collection kit, free of charge, and go over the sample collection steps in detail to ensure optimal sample quality.
While Basepaws used to send customers fur sample collection kits, our experience has shown that buccal swabs are a more reliable DNA collection method, leading to fewer failed DNA extractions (<0.1% failure rate). We use one of the highest quality swab collection kits on the market, designed specifically for animal use. The kit is accompanied with detailed instructions to ensure optimal sample collection.
Under special circumstances, for example if your cat is recently deceased, we can accommodate receiving organ tissue and/or blood samples collected by a veterinarian post-mortem. You can learn more about this option here.
At Basepaws, we are trying to close the gap between the well-established field of canine genetics and the young and underfunded field of feline genetics. To the best of our knowledge, we have already sequenced orders of magnitude more feline genomes than all of the public initiatives combined. The most valuable samples for growing our database and improving our computational algorithms are those sequenced at high depth, since they provide us with much more granular information. This allows us to identify new genetic markers and start seeing clearer genetic distinctions between breeds. Every Whole Genome Sequencing customer, and their cat, contribute immensely to improving the quality of our product and advancing feline genetics as a whole.
There is a publicly available feline reference genome that is considered by most as 'good enough'. However, as we gather more data, we have started cataloging errors in the reference genome, such as truncated genes and wrong sequence insertions or deletions. We are only able to detect such errors because of our extensive high depth whole genome sequencing data. Every cat sequenced at a high depth brings us a wealth of information and helps us further refine the reference genome and advance feline genetics.
Coach My Cat coaching interactions are not intended to replace veterinary care by a licensed veterinary professional. However, you can speak with our Team of Veterinary Professionals about any condition or diagnosis that your cat may have in order to better understand and manage it.
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 Monday - Friday.
Coach My Cat works with your household, therefore, we don't limit the number of cats you have.
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