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Basepaws DNA Review

Updated on April 19, 2022
Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Alam
Written by
Joel
KnowYourDNA is reader-supported. This means we may receive a commission when you buy something from one of the links on this page.

Basepaws paved the way for cat DNA testing. It was the first of its kind, setting the bar for other feline genetics companies that followed. 

If not for Basepaws, we might not have the best cat DNA kits known today.

So I took one of these reasonably priced DNA tests. And with the help of my friend Bukowski (my cat, not the author), we will give you an in-depth Basepaws DNA review.

Basepaws DNA Review 12

Basepaws Introduction

Basepaws was the first cat genetics company. Annya Skaya founded it in 2016 as a provider of at-home DNA test kits for cats.

In a nutshell, these tests analyze cat DNA and its 20,000+ genetic variants. They give you useful information on your cat’s breed, dental health, and overall wellness.

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BasePaws

The 23andMe of Cat DNA Testing

Basepaws gets our recommendation for cat DNA testing because they're an established company, they are the market leader, and provide terrific info for you and your cat.

Basepaws DNA:

  • Founded by Anna Skaya
  • The world's first at-home cat DNA test kit
  • Employs a dedicated team of veterinarians and geneticists

Quick facts:

Sample Collection Saliva swab
DNA Testing Type Genetic variant analysis across 18 chromosomes
Speed 4 to 6 weeks
Privacy Protection Medium to strong

Basepaws DNA Kits — Cost and Comparison

Basepaws currently offers three types of cat DNA tests. Below, we will cover what you will get with each testing kit and how much they cost:

1

Basepaws Cat Dental Health Test

Basepaws DNA Review 13

Cost: $79 upfront or 4 interest-free monthly payments of $19.75

The kit screens for common dental conditions, namely:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth resorption
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

It tells you how they affect your cat’s health and provides tips on how to care for their teeth at home. If your cat needs professional dental care, Basepaws will let you know.

2

Basepaws Breed + Health Cat DNA Test

Basepaws DNA Review 14

Cost: $129 upfront or 4 interest-free monthly payments of $32.25

The kit tells you about your cat’s breeds, health status, genetic traits, and habits. It includes a Dental Health Report plus the following:

3

Basepaws Whole Genome Test

Basepaws DNA Review 15

Cost: $499 upfront or 4 interest-free monthly payments of $124.75

The kit does whole genome sequencing. It includes everything in the Breed + Health Cat DNA Test plus the following:

  • Free USB drive with your cat’s raw data
  • Lifetime access to health and breed updates
  • 1-hour consultation with a feline genetics coach
  • Exclusive access to Basepaws’ Facebook community

How Basepaws Works

Basepaws sends the kit you ordered to your home. When it arrives, just follow these easy and simple steps:

  1. Visit basepaws.com. Create an account and register your kit.
  2. Use the swab included with your kit to collect a saliva sample. Just rub it along the inside of your cat’s cheek. 
  3. Place the swab inside the tube that comes with your package. Make sure the cap is inverted, and then shake it.
  4. Return your saliva sample to Basepaws. (The company provides free two-way shipping for U.S. residents.)
  5. Wait for 4 to 6 weeks from the time they received your cat’s sample to get results.

What to Expect From Basepaws Test Results

Basepaws provides different reports for each of their kits. I decided to buy the Dental Health and Breed + Health Tests just to see what is in them.

All results became available on MyBasepaws.com as soon as they were ready. You can view them directly online or download them to your phone.

Each report consists of several pages. Here is what you get with the reports:

Basepaws Dental Health Report

Included in: Cat Dental Health Test, Breed + Health Test, and Whole Genome Test

The report starts you off with some useful insights. This includes a brief introduction on your cat’s oral health, how Basepaws performs the test, and why it is important to get your cat tested.

Basepaws DNA Review 16

It shows you which microbes are present in your cat’s DNA sample. Based on this report, it scores your cat’s risk for periodontal disease, tooth resorption, and halitosis.

Basepaws also teaches you how these risks affect your cat’s overall health. Unfortunately, it does tell you if a cat has a dental problem or not.

Basepaws DNA Test Results

Included in: Breed + Health Test and Whole Genome Test

The report contains 4 sections:

1. Breed Analysis (Breed Groups and Chromosome Map)

Basepaws DNA Review 17

Here, you can learn which breed groups your cat is closest to based on their genetic makeup. Basepaws identifies genetic similarities with 5 major groups:

  • Western cats — such as Ragdoll and American Shorthair
  • Eastern cats — such as Thai Siamese and Birman
  • Exotic cats — such as Savannah
  • Persian cats — such as British Shorthair and Persian
  • Polycats — which are domestic mixed breed cats

It summarizes the top breeds with the most genetic resemblance to your cat and how much of their DNA is the same.

For example, Bukowski’s report says that he shares 63% of his DNA with Western breed groups and that he is at least 17.64% Russian Blue.

Basepaws DNA Review 18

The chromosome map uses colors to highlight which of your cat’s DNA belongs to certain groups. However, it leaves out a lot of information and does not tell you which genetic traits they are associated with.

Take note: Breed Analysis is an interactive report. You can choose to display the Chromosome Map or Breed Groups. Its slider can be adjusted for accuracy - the more “statistically confident” the report, the more accurate its results.

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BasePaws

The 23andMe of Cat DNA Testing

Basepaws gets our recommendation for cat DNA testing because they're an established company, they are the market leader, and provide terrific info for you and your cat.

2. Wildcat Index 

Basepaws DNA Review 19

This section is one of the more unique parts of Basepaw’s test results. It shows you the top 4 wild cats that are closest to your cat’s DNA. 

Here, I learned that my cat has some genetic similarities to a tiger. No wonder he always bites me when I try petting him.

(I joke. He's sweet).

Basepaws warns that it does not mean your cat is part wild cat. All known species of domestic cats have wild cats as ancestors.

The Wildcat Index simply shows which wild cats share the most DNA with your cat.

3. Health Markers

Basepaws tests your feline friend for 65 health markers. This section shows if a cat is positive for genetic variants that increase its risk for health problems.

It also shows if your cat “carries” genetic mutations which they can pass on to their future offspring. (Also known as carrier status.)

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Below are some genetic diseases that Basepaws can help identify:

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS)
  • Gangliosidosis
  • Factor XII or Hageman deficiency
  • Cystinuria
  • Hypokalaemic periodic paralysis (hypokalemia)
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Feline congenital hypothyroidism
  • Alpha mannosidosis
  • Niemann-Pick disease type C1
  • Myotonia congenita (MC)
  • Vitamin D-deficiency type I (rickets)
  • Porphyria
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Primary hyperoxaluria
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency of erythrocyte

Keep in mind: Health Markers is not a diagnostic report. It does not tell you if a cat has these health conditions. 

But it is a great way to know if your cat and their offspring have these health risks. You can use this information to prevent health problems in the future.

4. Feline Breeds

This part tells you which purebred cats are genetically similar to your cat’s DNA. It also shows you the percentage of DNA which they have in common.

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But what we like most is it provides plenty of information on each breed, such as:

  • Their origins or where they came from
  • Physical traits (e.g., weight, fur length, and eye color)
  • Potential health risks (e.g., risk of developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Personality traits (e.g., calm and docile)

It helps you understand why your cat has certain behaviors and other breed-related disorders. But it also includes breeds that have zero similarities with your cat.

Basepaws Review: Is it Accurate?

The report is well-designed and informative. It looks nice and should be fun to read for cat lovers like myself. Unfortunately, it is not incredibly helpful. 

For starters, Basepaws does not tell you the exact breed of your cat. It only compares your cat’s DNA with genetic information from its database.

This is supposed to help you find out which breed groups, specific breeds, and wild ancestors a cat is associated with. But I found them unreliable.

My test results say that Bukowski has genetic similarities with Persians and Ragdolls, which I thought was inaccurate.

The same goes for the Wildcat Index section. Here, I was told my furry friend has genetic similarities to a leopard, cheetah, tiger, and cougar. 

The Feline Breeds report is equally disappointing. It included lengthy information on breeds that were not genetically related to my cat.

While all of this makes for a fun read, I am not sure what to do with it.

Even the Health Markers section and Dental Health Report were lacking. This is because Basepaws does not really test for dental disease or health problems.

It only tells you if your cat has a higher chance of developing common dental problems and certain health issues. It can be useful, but it cannot diagnose the presence of an actual condition.

Is Basepaws Cat DNA Test Worth Your Money?

Basepaws is great for any cat parent who wants to learn more about their pet and other breeds in a fun way. It gives you an idea of potential dental problems and health issues you need to watch out for.

You can get these results with the Breed + Health Kit, which is not that expensive. If you buy it on sale or use a discount code, you can get an even better deal.

But if you want reliable information on your cat’s breed and overall health, you might save more money if you simply visited the vet.

Basepaws DNA Kit Review

Overall - we liked Basepaw's information.

Joel

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Ease of Use
Health Information
Ancestry Information
Speed of Results
Speed of Updates

Summary

If you love your kitty - feel free to buy this! Use Coupon Code KNOWYOURDNA to get an additional $10 off your kit.

4.6

Pros

  • Learn what common cat breeds your pet is most similar to
  • Discover if your feline friend has genetic similarities to tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and cougars
  • See if your cat has a genetic predisposition for 17 different genetic conditions
  • Free shipping from the United States
  • Quick and easy sample collection process

Cons

  • Test results can take forever to be returned (mine took close to 7 weeks)
  • Not incredibly accurate
  • Doesn’t give you too much useful information
Image of BasePaws Cat Kit opened

Basepaws vs. Other Cat DNA Tests

Basepaws may have been the first at-home cat genetics company. But it wasn’t long before competitors popped up. Other popular cat DNA test kits include:

  • Optimal Selection Feline — Starts at $99. Tests your cat’s blood type, genetic diversity, 20+ traits, and 40+ genetic health risks.

Catdnatest.org — Starts at $45. Check your kitty’s identity and sex determinant markers, parentage, genetic health risks, and traits.

Basepaws FAQ’s: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Basepaws' cat DNA test worth buying?

This all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want reliable breed and health information about your cat, then probably not. But if you’re simply looking for a fun way to learn a bit more about your pet, Basepaws is a decent choice.

What are some reasons to buy a Basepaws Test Kit?

- To learn what breeds your cat is genetically most similar to
- To find out what Wildcat genetics are most similar to your pet
- To see if your cat has a genetic predisposition to any one of 17 genetic diseases

How does Basepaws work?

Using a small saliva sample, Basepaws compares your cat’s DNA to genetic samples in their database. This helps you learn more about your cat’s breed and health.

How much does Basepaws cost?

Basepaws cat DNA tests range from $79 to $499. You can pay for them upfront or in 4 zero-interest installments.

How does Basepaws protect my privacy?

Unless necessary, any personally identifiable information related to you or your pet will not be shared to a third party. One example where it may be needed is when performing genetic tests.

Basepaws also employs several security measures to protect your personal information and your pet’s genetic data. 

This includes regular security reviews of their software, using industry-standard encryption, and managing the safeguards used by their third-party service providers.

However, Basepaws does allow third-party advertisers to gather some web-based data for targeted advertising.

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BasePaws

The 23andMe of Cat DNA Testing

Basepaws gets our recommendation for cat DNA testing because they're an established company, they are the market leader, and provide terrific info for you and your cat.

Dr. Alam
Dr. Alam Roky
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Shamsul Alam Roky is a registered veterinarian who graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary, Animal, and Biomedical Sciences. Currently, he is working as a graduate research assistant at his university, in addition to running a private veterinary clinic named ‘Sylhet Veterinary Services” in his city.
Joel
Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer that loves exploring DNA, at-home health, and optimizing my health. He believes that the democratization of home health is in its early stages.
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