This Innovative Cat DNA Test Tells You So Much More Than Your Cat’s Breed
You’ll learn so much 🧬
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You might’ve speculated about your cat’s breed before, but wouldn’t it be so exciting to learn exactly what’s in his DNA?
That’s why we wanted to try the Basepaws Breed + Health cat DNA test, since it promises to do a deep dive into your cat’s genome.
And it totally delivered. In addition to telling us our cats’ breed makeup, it gave us an incredibly detailed breakdown of potential health risks.
That's why we awarded it our Paw of Approval. Keep reading to find out what else we loved.
What Is The Basepaws Cat DNA Test?
The Basepaws Breed + Health kit is a cat DNA test that identifies what breed — or breeds — your cat is.
The kit also includes a health analysis that lets you know if your cat’s genetically predisposed to any diseases and his risk of developing dental and oral disease.
How Does The Basepaws Cat DNA Test Work?
In order for the Basepaws cat DNA test to work, you’ll first need to set up an account with Basepaws and register your kit to it.
You’ll also need to swab your pet’s mouth to send in his DNA sample. When you do, swab him for 10 seconds and make sure you get his gums and his teeth.
From there, send the sample to Basepaws via USPS — the company provides free two-way shipping, so you won’t have to worry about postage.
According to Basepaws, your cat’s results should be emailed to you in four to six weeks (here’s an example report for reference).
The Breed + Health kit uses a genome database to identify which cat breeds are most genetically similar to your cat from 21 different breed types from four foundational breed groups: Eastern, Western, Persian and Exotic.
It also looks at 115 genetic DNA markers to identify predispositions to diseases, like polycystic kidney disease, heart disease, retinal degeneration and more.
The kit can also identify genetic markers for certain healthy traits, like your cat’s blood type or resistance to feline immunodeficiency virus.
This Basepaws cat DNA test even uses microbial signatures to report on your cat’s dental health by measuring his risk for periodontal disease, tooth resorption and halitosis (aka bad breath).
We picked three Dodo cats to try the Basepaws Breed + Health kit because their parents wanted to learn more about them.
Does The Basepaws DNA Test Work?
The Basepaws Breed + Health kit gave our pet parents a really in-depth report of their cats’ breed makeup — even distinguishing which breeds might be in their cats’ genomes and which ones definitely are — and they were excited that the results seemed to check out.
“Guava's breed results made lots of sense — she had 19 percent Eastern (Thai Siamese, Oriental shorthair) and 8 percent exotic breeds (Bengal, Savannah),which may explain her gorgeous chattiness as well as her gorgeous coat and dog-like habits. Goji’s 20 percent American shorthair, which may explain why he has that classic pet food commercial look, with a large head and full cheeks, and a great family-friendly personality.” — Joanna D.
It was really impressive that the kit gave such a detailed breakdown that allows you to click on each breed in your cat’s genetic makeup to learn more about physical and personal characteristics.
“It seems like it's pretty high quality to be able to get all of this information from a little swipe of Ted's mouth!” — Joanna B.
What We Love
There are a bunch of things we love about this Basepaws cat DNA test.
You learn something new
The Breed + Health kit taught our pet parents some things they never knew about their cats.
“Goji’s also 20 percent Siberian, a large breed we didn't know much about. It says they are known for their luxe coats, large paws and being excellent jumpers. Check, check, check!” — Joanna D.
The health analysis was super useful
This Basepaws cat DNA test also provided a lot of information about potential health risks, which gave our pet parents a lot of insight and even a bit of relief.
“We were relieved that all of the 18 genetic disease tests came back negative for Goji — even the ones common to his breeds, like Maine coon. They check a variety of genes and explain everything very clearly.” — Joanna D.
Our pet parents loved how thorough the analysis was, because it showed them exactly which genetic mutations are responsible for certain diseases and whether or not your cat is clear, a carrier or at risk of those diseases.
“It's really interesting to see all of the things that they test for — and it's really good peace of mind to know that Ted is fully healthy! The report, once finished, was incredibly detailed.” — Joanna B.
It helps you stay on top of your cat’s dental health
The dental analysis was incredibly helpful, too, and even convinced our testers to take better care of their cats’ teeth.
“Goji's dental test showed high potential for periodontal disease, which is unfortunate but not a huge surprise since his vet had suggested Greenies for his teeth in the past. We are going to share these findings with his vet and figure out some changes we can make to ensure he keeps his teeth in good shape.” — Joanna D.
“I also know to watch for tooth resorption — and what it is! Ted’s vet said that I should start brushing his teeth.” — Joanna B.
It’s a fun experience
The whole process was really exciting for our pet parents since it helped them understand their cats better.
“This is really fun and satisfying. It would be a great gift for anyone who loves their cat and wants to know more about them. There's tons of info to read, and provides great value in learning about your beloved pet.” — Joanna D.
There are a couple downsides to the Basepaws Breed + Health cat DNA test.
You have to wait a while for your results
The company says you’ll get your results within six weeks, but that wasn’t exactly the case with our testers.
“The only problem with the product was that it took a LONG time to get the health indicators back. I think I sent it off in August, and the health indicators didn't come back until November. But if you're patient, it's pretty cool to see!” — Joanna B.
It took extra long for Guava’s pet parent, too, because some of the results from her swab were deemed inconclusive.
“Unfortunately they told us Guava's results were uploaded prematurely, and her health marker data was incomplete. They said [it] would take more time and her breed report may change as a result. After about two more weeks, they said it was still incomplete and they were rushing us out another test.” — Joanna D.
It was unclear if this was an issue with Guava’s sample or an issue with the lab.
“It's possible we didn't get a good swab and the error was on our end, but it could also be the lab, so anyone trying this kit should be prepared to potentially try again or have results take a bit longer.” — Joanna D.
Swabbing your cat’s mouth can be tricky
It’s not surprising that our cats weren’t thrilled about having their mouths swabbed, so be prepared for that part to be a little difficult.
“We used the cat purrito method in a towel the same way we clip their nails, and Goji was a pretty good sport. Guava was a little more difficult as usual for our higher maintenance lady.” — Joanna D.
“I didn't *love* that I had to scruff Ted to get the DNA sample, but obviously that's part of the science!” — Joanna B.
Sorting through all the information can feel like a lot
While our pet parents loved all the information this Basepaws cat DNA test provided, it’s kind of a lot — so going through it all can be a little overwhelming at times.
“The report is also maybe a little bit TOO detailed — some of the time, I didn't know exactly what I was looking at. There's a lot of generic explanations of different things that don't necessarily apply to Ted, so it was a very long read and a little confusing.” — Joanna B.
It’s not cheap
The Basepaws Breed + Health kit costs $129, so it’s a bit of a splurge. But our pet parents noted it could be a fun gift for the cat-obsessed pet parent in your life.
“The price point on an item like this is subject to what you're willing to pay. Is it a frivolous item? Yes. Is it worth it to me to learn a lot about the health and personalities of my cats I adore so much? 100 percent!” — Joanna D.
But when you order from Basepaws, you can save $40 with the code DNAGIFT (valid through December 24).
Is The Basepaws Cat DNA Test Worth It?
The Basepaws Breed + Health cat DNA test tells you all about your cat’s genetics — from his breed to his predisposition for medical and dental conditions.
Knowing even more about your BFF is a great way to figure out the best ways to keep him happy and healthy. Plus it’s super fun!
Despite some minor downsides, both our reviewers agreed the DNA test was totally worth the cost and would recommend this cat DNA test to other pet parents.
How accurate is Basepaws?
Basepaws uses breed relativity to determine the likelihood of your cat’s genetic makeup. They do this by comparing your cat’s DNA to the information in a database full of pedigree breed DNA.
According to the company, they also compare your pet’s DNA to other DNA samples they’ve received.
That’s why, when you get your results, there’s a sliding scale that reveals which breeds are only possibly a part of your cat’s genetics, and which are more likely.
The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here.
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