Have you ever watched your cat and asked yourself, “I wonder why he does that?” Or do you ever wish you could just talk to your cat and ask him questions about his lineage? Or just ask him where he came from, and just hear his life story? There’s probably so much cat owners would like to know about their cat, to understand them a little more, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Maybe even get to the cellular level of knowing your cat. Well, there is a lot more you can know about your cat today, then there ever was. There is now DNA testing being done, and Basepaws is a company dedicated to doing genetic testing for cats.
The company was founded in 2016 and it just recently released its first results from the first round of testing its performed on cats. If you have ever been interested in something like this, now you can. Here is what your cat’s DNA will tell you, and more on how the process is done.
Firs, you order the CatKit for just $95. It comes with all the tools you’ll need to send to BasePaws with your cat’s DNA samples. It comes with a swab for getting cheek cells inside your kitty’s mouth, and tape for collecting fur. One test it used to perform on a regular basis, was the spit specimen, which now it only does for hairless cats. Hair is better for testing, so hairless cats would need another method – spit.
Once you’ve collected all the samples, you send them to the company in Los Angeles and wait for the results, which is typically 2 to 6 months. The company’s goal is to find out information like, your cat’s health, ancestry, and info on their traits. This means that they would like to know about their genetics and physical traits, or things such as, are they a breed more likely to get addicted to catnip. But this is a new journey for this company, so, as of now, it can basically give Breed and Wildcat info. Here’s more on that:
There are 24 purebred in BasePaws’ data base. The DNA test can determine which type of breed your cat is likely to be, or which breed lines he is linked to. Would they determine if your cat was a LaPerm, an American Shorthair, or British Shorthair? It’s fun and interesting finding out exactly what your cat’s breed line is, and similar to knowing how much Welsh, or Irish or other lineage you hail from.
Basepaws can’t tell exactly what type of wildcat your cat is linked to, but it can give you an idea if it has more DNA similarities to say, an ocelot or puma. What they discover is enough to maybe determine if there happened to be an interspecies match-up somewhere along the line, but that is about all with what they can determine now.
The company hopes to build on their database platform and eventually become more accurate. According to the CEO, Anna Skaya, updates will continue for a lifetime, updating things such as, determining predispositions for diseases in cats, diets that are recommended, personality predictions and more. For now, members pay the listed price for the CatKit, but as the database grows and becomes more accurate, members will be able to unlock more info on their cat for another fee.
In the long run, Skaya has said that the company has hopes of determining even more information about pet health, and use the genetic discoveries for things like diagnostics in veterinarian hospitals, as well as information for adoption at animal shelters. Furthermore, even more futuristically, the hope is to be able to apply what is learned about feline genetics and apply it to humans. What this means is, that cats can be a good lesson and make a good model for learning about the human body, too.
When you purchase a CatKit, you are helping the company develop its database and biobank to help learn more about cats today, and cats and humans in the future. Skaya had this to say about DNA testing on your cat, “Your cat can’t talk to you, but you can get into their DNA and find out all kinds of interesting stuff about them.”