Basepaws Review: Cat DNA Test
What if you could even make them happier aside from just giving them treats, feeding them their favorite food, and making sure they’re comfortable? What if you had the ability to know them inside and out, making sure they live long, happy, and healthy lives?
This is the premise behind Basepaws, a company that offers DNA tests for cats revealing a bevy of information that will allow you to better understand your feline friends, as well as to give you information on her health.
If a cat DNA test seems out of touch to you, then you need to read more about it. Let’s discover if it’s worth your time and money.
What is Basepaws?
Basepaws is a cat DNA test provider based in the US. They sequence your cat’s DNA, revealing information about both breed and ancestry, as well as providing information on markers that could indicate risks for certain diseases.
The company is considered to be a pioneer in feline genetics. Their goal is to improve the lives of cats around the world by understanding what makes each cat unique, in the genetic sense of the word.
The company has gathered veterinarians, geneticists, and visionaries with the goal of helping pets live their longest and healthiest lives possible.
Basepaws is considered to be the future of DNA testing and it involves a simple saliva test to find out why your feline companion acts the way it does, what breed groups she belongs to, and what breed she is closest to. Health issues and markers are also included in the information taken from the saliva test.
How Does it Work
Simply head over to the Basepaws website, make an account, and sign up. Order any of the 3 packages that they offer, pay for the kit, and wait 1 to 2 days for the kit to arrive at your door.
When you receive the kit, simply take a swab test of your cat. You would need to take a sample of your cat’s saliva from the inside cheeks of her mouth, then place it in a test tube that you will mail back to Basepaws.
The test results will be sent to you in the form of a 34-page PDF file in about 4 to 6 weeks.
One Simple Cheek Swab – Three Easy Steps
The Three Packages
You can choose from 3 packages for the DNA test and report, which are:
1. Breed Groups DNA Test
- Breed Groups Similarity
- Chromosome Map
- Wildcat Index
- Breed Report Updates
- Breed Weight Estimate
- Private Community
2. Breed + Health DNA Test
This kit includes everything in the Breeds Groups DNA Test but also the following:
- Health Markers
- Health and Wellness Information
The only difference between these two packages are the Health Markers and Health and Wellness Information.
The company uses 38 health genetic markers reporting 16 heritable diseases, which covers hypothyroidism , retinal degeneration , hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , and polycystic kidney disease , among other specific feline medical conditions.
3. Whole Genome DNA Test
This includes everything in the previous packages plus the following:
- Whole Genome Sequencing
- Health Market Updates
The Whole Genome Sequencing feature includes your cat’s complete genomic information, giving you more data than other DNA tests in the market.
The Health Marker Updates include unlimited updates as the company adds new health and trait markers to their report.
All packages include access to the Private Facebook Community.
How Does it Work?
One Simple Cheek Swab – Three Easy Steps
The report is given to you in a PDF format containing 34 pages of information based on the package that you avail.
This includes the breed your cat is closest to, the breed groups your cat belongs to, as well as their wildcat index. The wildcat index compares your cat’s DNA to a tiger, cheetah, and even a lion’s DNA.
The health markers show your cat’s predisposition to certain genetic diseases, allowing you to make the necessary precautions to prevent these diseases from manifesting in your cat. Cat health is the most significant information you will receive in this genetic testing pack.
Pros and Cons
Now let’s discuss why you may want to have your cat’s DNA tested, and what flaws Basepaws may have.
- Possible Health Conditions
If your cat is predispositioned to certain genetic diseases, you can make the necessary steps to prevent the disease from occurring. If your cat has a risk for kidney disease, then you can ask your vet to help your cat improve her kidney health. If your cat is predisposed to hypothyroidism, then you can also take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring.
- Understanding Their Behavior
If the DNA test reveals your cat closely resembles a Russian Blue breed, then you can understand why your kitty may not be so playful with other people. Russian Blue cats tend to be shy and most of them only create a deep connection with one person. So if you adopted a cat and you didn’t know its breed, the DNA test will help you understand her behavior.
If you push her to play with the rest of the family and she withdraws, it might not be a behavioral problem but knowing her breed will help you understand why she’s only playful with you.
Understanding the kind of cat your pet is is crucial so you know how to better take care of her. If she’s a mixed breed or purebred, you will know with the test results.
- You Can Contribute to Cat Research
The database of Basepaws is not complete. In fact, their database of cat breeds is not complete. The more cat owners submit their cat’s DNA to the company, the more information the company will have in their database, and the better they will be to understand cats in general.
The prices are not exactly cheap and the cheapest package at $99 doesn’t even include the health markers, which are the most important and most applicable.
- The Report Takes a While
The report takes 4 to 6 weeks to be sent to you. Some customers even said they only received the report after 2 months. So it’s a long time waiting.
- The Report Can Be Confusing
There’s an overload of information in the report. If you don’t have the time to read 34 pages, then it defeats the purpose. You will have to set aside time to really read and understand what the report is saying.
Discover Your Cat’s DNA Story
Cats aren’t good at science, but we are
The Bottom Line
Basepaws is an interesting test that will help you understand and get to know your cat better. It is expensive, however, and the report can be overwhelming. If you don’t have the time to understand and read 30+ pages, then having your cat’s DNA tested isn’t for you.
Nevertheless, if you have a deep concern and passion to know more about your cat, then this is heaven-sent for you. Basepaws provides you with information that you will never ever discover simply by looking at your cat’s coat colors, blood type, or observing her behaviour.