Frequently Asked Questions
Basepaws is committed to the health and happiness of cats everywhere. We are cat owners ourselves (of 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 and a few wildcats. We invite you to join us as we work to better understand the needs of cats everywhere.
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. After collecting your sample, send it back to us in the provided prepaid packaging. We will notify you via email once your sample is received. Your report will be available in 8-10 weeks from the date your sample arrives at our laboratory (please note it can take up to 5 months in rare cases of sequencing issues). We are working on trying to shorten this time frame as much as possible. Thank you for being our first customers! Please bear with us as we run our first few batches of tests. 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 new discoveries in feline health.
Each CatKit 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 and routine updates of your cat's DNA as we continue to learn more from our research. Keep in mind – we will send you the initial breed and wildcat similarity report, and will continue to follow up with more data as we discover more things about feline genetics.
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!
Want to know more?
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 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 parts 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 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 do offer this service as well – contact us to learn more.
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. We plan to add additional big cats and expand this testing throughout the year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about these services and pricing!
Still have questions about CatKit results?
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 their breed and an interesting similarity to wildcats. Future reports will focus on your cat’s health and other traits. Keep in mind - Basepaws is still in the early stages of building up the database and we are learning new things every day! This means we need many more samples, as well as your patience. In return, we are providing the first customers with unlimited updates for the life of your pet.
As our database grows and more cats join us, our ability to make new discoveries will improve. With each sample, we get closer to understanding breed profiles, diseases and traits. Some of these may take only a few short 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. See our blog for more information about key work and many of these diseases.