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The Fascinating Felines of Basepaws
Basepaws ResearchCat BehaviorCat Health

The Fascinating Felines of Basepaws

We’re so excited to share that the latest results from the Basepaws Feline Health History Questionnaire are in! For the past two years, amazing pet parents like you in our customer and/or citizen science research community have filled out this questionnaire to help us learn about your furry family members’ physical appearance, health, eating habits, behaviors, and more. By the end of 2021, we had 17,820 pet parents participate—nearly five times more than in 2020! We truly appreciate your contributions, which benefit the entire Basepaws community. Read on to dive into the world of Basepaws’ Fascinating Felines—Bodies, Behaviors, and Beyond!

A Community Effort that Benefits All Cats

Results from the Basepaws Feline Health History Questionnaire highlight the value of pet parents’ knowledge of their cats, which can help us all get to know our own cats even better! As far as we know, the results that we share from this questionnaire hold the most comprehensive and widely available data on a citizen science perspective of feline physical characteristics, nutrition, health, routines and habits, and temperament and behavior. 

We believe that these important details continue to strengthen our understanding of cats. They also complement the veterinary records, clinical studies, and peer-reviewed scientific literature on pet health and behavior. As a citizen scientist, you’re contributing to research that helps us improve our current line of Basepaws cat health screening tests, as well as create new feline health products so that pet parents like you can make more informed decisions in support of your cat’s health, wellness, and longevity. Basepaws citizen scientists were also integral to our process for developing the world’s first ever Cat Oral Health Test!

In the sections that follow, we provide just a brief glimpse into some of our key findings—so be sure to check out the full report! If you are a current Basepaws customer and haven’t already filled out your cat’s survey, be sure to go to your account and fill it out today.

 Fascinating Feline Physical Characteristics

There are no ordinary cats.

― Colette

We couldn’t agree more. Every cat is unique and quite extraordinary. So what makes for a fascinating feline? The delightful array of shapes, colors, and coats that they display, of course! 

While no fabulous feline could ever truly be described as “ordinary”, our questionnaire identified interesting patterns related to the physical features shared by most cats in the Basepaws community.

These features are reflected in the “fascinating feline” in the photo above and include:

  • Square face (82%)

  • Straight ears (94%)

  • Shorthair coat (51%)

  • Long and straight tail (77%)

  • Mackerel tabby coat pattern (64%)

  • Green or greenish-yellow eyes (58%)

  • Pink nose (47%)

  • Four-toed paws/non-polydactyl (96%)

There were of course many other features spanning a range of physical characteristics that were represented, but you’ll just have to read the full report to find out!

a gray kitten laying on its back on a white surface
a gray kitten laying on its back on a white surface

Fascinating Feline Behaviors

“The cat wrinkled its nose and managed to look unimpressed. "Calling cats," it confided, "tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.”

― Neil Gaiman

We had a lot of fun putting together the results from questions on feline behavior. Pet parents were asked questions about their cat’s behavior and temperament, such as whether they have an active reaction to a stimulus such as catnip, or if they exhibit hunting or “gifting” behaviors.

For example, we asked the question, “Does your cat bring you gifts and carry toys/objects around the house or “mother” other animals or objects?” Nearly 54% of cats represented in the survey do not “gift” presents to their humans. Perhaps it is because these felines think that the “gift” of their presence is quite enough! 

Fascinating Feline Health

Our survey included questions about Basepaws cats’ weight and body shape, litter box usage and behavior, commonly diagnosed feline health conditions, diet/nutrition, and oral health and proactive care practices. 

A snapshot of results includes:

  • Similar to our last report, the majority of pet parents in the Basepaws community are keeping up with regular visits to the veterinarian. Most cats have seen a vet at least once per year.

  • In a change from our previous report, over half of the cats represented in the questionnaire are at a normal weight. Keep up the good work!

  • Regarding oral health, 56% of cats represented in our questionnaire are not receiving any kind of proactive oral health care at all.

Basepaws knows how daunting feline oral health care can be, and that every cat’s circumstances are different. That’s why we’re so passionate about providing pet parents with affordable tools and informative resources to support their cats’ best oral health.

We created the first and only Cat Oral Health Test so that you can see what’s going on inside your kitty’s mouth, track changes over time, and get them the personalized oral health care they need both at home and at the veterinarian. We also share tips on how to start or improve your cat's brushing routine and regularly offer free webinars like Back to Basics: Feline Oral Health Care 101.

Our cat parent community continues to grow as we connect, share stories, and support one another. If you haven’t already, we hope you consider joining us on Facebook! Together, we’re making proactive oral health care easier and brightening the smiles of kitties everywhere.

Thank you Basepaws Pet Parents!

There are many more topics and details to explore in the full report, but we hope you enjoyed this brief overview.

We are so grateful to all of the pet parents who contributed to this effort. The responses that you provided continue to help power our many research projects that explore the genetics and oral health factors associated with different feline diseases. They also directly inform the improvement of our products and creation of new ones, so that we’re always providing you with the best tools for proactively supporting your kitty’s health so that they can live a better life, longer. 

a woman sitting on the floor with a cat and dog
a woman sitting on the floor with a cat and dog

If you are a Basepaws pet parent who hasn’t already filled out our questionnaire/survey, be sure to sign in to your Basepaws customer account today—it only takes about 7 minutes! 

This survey benefits the entire Basepaws community—and it’s also so much fun to explore! While DNA affords us the opportunity to dive into different aspects of the feline genome, the information gathered is fascinating and provides valuable insight into the lifestyles of cats and the environments in which they live. Each plays an important role in feline health; together, they paint a vivid picture that offers even more insight into what makes a cat a cat.

Read the full report

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two kittens with DNA health insights