When there is a DNA test for humans, why not the same for felines? This is a question that has been revolving in my mind since the day I rescued “Mila,” my pet cat. I started researching the internet and came across the Basepaws Breed and Health DNA kit to feed my query. After reading through the customer reviews, I ordered it immediately, and it turns out it sure is worth the price tag.
To help you know more about your feline friend, today, I will review this DNA test kit as per my experience.
About the Company: Basepaws
Basepaws, a brand dedicated to your feline friends, is a service and product chain that provides its consumers with at-home DNA test kits. Founded by Anna Skaya, the CEO of Basepaws, this brand has helped several pet owners learn more about the cat’s health, habits, breed, and traits with a simple Home-based DNA collection.
As compared to dogs, cats aren’t studied on a large scale. There are about 150 markers for dog DNA testing, but for cats, the number is just 39.
How much does the Basepaws Breed and Health DNA Test cost?
Basepaws brings to you 3 different testing options that start at $89 for the Breed Groups DNA test. On the other hand, the Breed & Health DNA Test would cost you about $149, which would provide you a quick comparison of your cat with all the breeds & breed groups.
Apart from this, you also get access to features such as:
- Chromosome Map
- Genetic Diseases Predisposition List
- Wildcat Index
- Lifetime Updates for the Breed
- Health Markers
If your budget permits you, there is a costlier option: the Complete Genome Sequencing kit and is available for $599. But if you do not want to get into the raw data and genome details, the $149 kit would suffice.
Basepaws does bring in multiple discount offers on different occasions, so do look out for them if possible and get a good bargain.
Is DNA testing with Basepaws Breed and Health DNA Test difficult?
Now, you would assume that DNA testing with a kit would require you to be scientifically advanced and intelligent enough to decode the perfect way. However, even someone with no scientific affiliation can easily perform the test at home.
However, the hard part is ensuring that your cat doesn’t move in the process. Even with my cat’s gentle demeanor, sticking the swab for DNA collection into its mouth was a big struggle. In case your cat doesn’t throw tantrums, and you can easily control them, this would be an easy-peasy task.
Here are a few pointers you might want to keep in mind when swabbing your cat:
- Do not swab the cat’s cheek if it has just eaten or drank anything. Wait for at least 30 minutes after.
- Although the packaging suggests that you need to swab the cat’s mouth for about 5-10 seconds, even swab duration as small as 3-5 seconds can get the job done. However, you need to ensure that the swab makes complete contact with the gums, inner cheek, as well as tongue.
P.S: Before you do send off your swab for testing, make sure you register your session with the official Basepaws website.
How long will it take for the results to arrive?
As per the Basepaws website, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks for the DNA result to arrive. And for me, it took about 5 weeks. So, the timeline is true, as it says. While the company has been trying to fasten this timeline, you can check the website and keep yourself updated in case this happens.
You Got the DNA Result: What Now?
After the test results are ready, you will receive a notification mail for the same. The test’s first page would have some general information that most of us, especially I, like to ignore and move over to the second page.
This is where the fun and learning start. This page would pack in breed analysis for your cat.
The breed division for cats is under 4 main categories that include:
The page also contains the breed’s specific traits and makeup to help you make sense of its behavioral pattern.
Pros of the Basepaws Breed and Health DNA Test
- Learn your cat’s genetic similarity to a breed
- Discover whether your cat is similar to leopards, tigers, cheetahs, or cougars
- Know whether your cat is genetically predisposed to genetic health issues
- Quick & easy process for sample collection
Cons of the Basepaws Breed and Health DNA Test
- Test results might but not often take a while to arrive
- Information slightly less current compared to a dog’s genetic information
What should you keep in mind?
When getting your cat’s DNA tested, you sure get some interesting information about the cat’s genetic history and lineage. However, you also get access to crucial information related to the health markers. You can breathe with relief in case you get clear or negative on the report.
The report can tell you whether your cat is genetically predisposed to any health issues that might surface later in life. With these things in mind, you can avoid any health issues that might happen to your cat in the future as it ages.
The genetic diseases for which your pet would be tested include:
- Polycystic Kidney
- Deficiency of Factor XII
- Lymph proliferative autoimmune syndrome
- Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Niemann-Pick Disease
- Primary Hyperoxaluria
- Retinal Degeneration
- Deficiency of Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase
Basepaws Breed and Health DNA test is an amazing option for someone who wants to learn about their cat and get closer to them with some genetic knowledge. Plus, it also allows you to ensure that your cat is healthy with no genetic predisposition to diseases that could surface later in life.