Basepaws: DNA testing for cats
DNA testing isn’t a new thing. We’ve been doing it for dogs and humans for years. What IS new is the ability to genotype our cats – and have the ability to interpret our cat’s DNA. This opens up a new world for cat lovers!
How Basepaw DNA Testing for Cats Works
Basepaws can index a cat’s DNA via many means – but the easiest is through their fur. According to their website, their cat’s DNA contains over 20,000 genes, which are spelled out in a unique genetic code that is around 2,700,000,000 letters (nucleotide bases) long.
Currently, the Alpha Report includes testing identification for 32 breeds of cats and 14 wild cats.
What You Receive
The test costs $95. When you order your kit, you’ll receive a 6×7 cardboard envelope that contains:
- instructions on how to use
- Two pieces of tape
- A return envelope
The test itself is simple:
- Register your account.
- Use tape to gently remove some fur for sampling (only a few strands on a piece of tape).
- Return samples to Basepaws.
In 2-3 months, you’ll receive a specific report that tells you how closely related your cat is to specific cat breeds and wildcats.
About the Wild Cat Index
Cats have been evolving for millions of years. This knowledge has allowed scientists to develop a tool to analyze their history all the way back to the first suspected domesticated wild cat, Felis silvestris lybica.
The Basepaws kit helps you analyze how much DNA your cat has in common with a variety of wild ancestors, all the way back to the African Wildcat.
Basepaws can also identify if your cat has abnormalities in a few important genes. This will give you some great insight on whether your cat is predisposed to specific diseases or genetic issues.
We just sent in our test for Cassie (aka, Baby) to see what types of cat lurk in her unusual cells. Cassie, as you may recall, was adopted from an event in California.
Several new reports are coming to Basepaws in 2019, and we’re excited to see what Cassie’s test will include, as the company reportedly keeps you updated as they bring in new advances.
Since Basepaws is a relatively new firm, they are spending time and money on development. But, once you’re a part of the Basepaws family, you’ll continue to receive updates on the newest scientific advances that will help you understand your cat.
Right now, they will include a test for:
- Genetic health risks and diseases, carrier status (32 diseases)
- Personality prediction, Catnip-addict likelihood, Physical traits, Fun facts
- Diet recommendations, wellness assessments
Other Tests Available:
Here’s the thing about cat DNA – not a lot of studies have been done in the past (at least, nothing like the amount that’s been spent on dogs). The Basepaws test was created to help remedy that situation. For those of us who love cats, this is important!
Each cat that is sequenced today will help us understand our feline friends better in the future. If you would like to know more detailed information about your cat right away, there are ways to do this.
- Entire Genome Sequencing: $1,700
- Exome Sequencing: $800 (this is only a study of genes, not genetic packaging)
- Cellular Sequencing: $400+ This is used to test cellular tissue for “gene expression” and/or methylation to help cats suffering from cancer and other cellular issues.
How do I get a Free test?
Basepaws is funded by cat enthusiasts and small grants. Their funding is spent on providing as many free kits to cats with naturally occuring health conditions. That means, there may be an opportunity to have your cat’s DNA indexed for FREE!
There are several ways this may happen. Currently, Basepaws is actively looking for participants in the following categories:
Order your test from Basepaws today and maybe you’ll gain some great insight into your cat, while helping others learn more about their cats.
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