Your cat's health is shaped by 3 main factors: Nutrition, Environment, and Genetics. By understanding all three, you can provide your pet with the ultimate cat care. Basepaws is the first cat care company built around Genetics.
Almost every cell in your cat’s body contains your cat’s unique genetic code. This DNA is inherited from your cat’s parents, which they inherited from kitty grandparents, and so on.
Where do you
get the DNA?
Basepaws gets DNA from your cat’s hair and cheek cells. Most of the hair DNA comes from the living part of the fur — the follicle that is closest to the skin.
Because sometimes we can’t get enough fluff! We also get DNA from other cells, like cheek cells that rub off onto a cotton swab.
What do you do with DNA?
When your cat’s fur and cheek swab arrives at our Los Angeles facility, we take the DNA out of it with a chemical extraction process. Your cat’s DNA contains more than 20,000 genes, which are spelled out in a unique genetic code that is around 2,700,000,000 letters (nucleotide bases) long. Basepaws takes this DNA and uses sequencing machines to read and record these letters.
What does the DNA show you?
We compare your cat’s DNA sequence to sequences from other Basepaws cats and the scientific community. More than 99% of your cat’s genetic sequence will be similar to every other cat;
it’s the small differences that make your cat unique.
Some sections of DNA contain genes that have already been studied and are linked to specific disease or physical traits. Other sections of DNA contain genes that are unknown, and every cat’s DNA will bring us one step closer to identifying the purpose of these genes and why they matter for all cats.
What do I get
in the report?
Basepaws uses your cat’s information to generate an easy-to-read report about their DNA. We will continue to update your cat’s report as we learn more — look for CONSTANT updates from us as we have new discoveries about the genetics of your cat.
Once you are part of the Basepaws family, your cat will receive a lifetime of benefits. This includes report updates, newsletters and articles about your cat’s DNA, access to the latest research on cat science, tools to connect owners of similar cats, and discounts on future products that will be specifically formulated for your cat’s genetic needs.
Our big and clear mission, to make the world better for cats (and their humans), is built off the simple insight that cats make our lives better. Our continuously updated research will provide benefits beyond any current test on the market. We are investing in our science and our community to create a future where all cats can benefit from our genetics research. Our Alpha Report (the first version of the CatKit Report) is coming soon, and will focus on your cats similarity to Wild Cats, as well as our initial discoveries around Breed and Ancestry.
Because every cat matters.
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!