As an editor on the west coast of Glamor, I never thought I’d write about a DNA test kit for cats – or that when I sat down to write about this test kit, our 12-pound cat would decide, not just lying on my lap but rest his head on the keyboard and spread his whole body like he’s doing yoga.
But B-Rad (his name is a long story for another time) is no ordinary cat. I’m joking he’s part dog, part human. He comes on command, loves to lie on your lap, knows his name, and acts sweetly for the gram (though I’m still not ready to give him his own report; let’s not push it). But we don’t know much about B-Rad other than that he’s a ginger tabby that we adopted from the Humane Society when we were six. And he’ll wake me up at 3am every night for goodies.
B-wheel the cat
When I heard about Basepaw’s Cat DNA Test and casually told our trade editor about it, she suggested we do one for B-Rad. And then, a few days later, when my Basepaws kit arrived, I was there, interviewing Bachelor candidates for a minute and another wiping B-Rad’s cheek for DNA. (In case you’re wondering, interviewing undergraduate candidates is harder.)
But what exactly is a cat DNA test supposed to do? If it doesn’t tell you your cat’s real age, is it worth it? Most of all, did I spend $ 149 on a woo-woo wellness trend? Or would I let B-Rad down if I didn’t know as much about its history and genetic makeup as possible? Well, in the name of journalism, I’ve decided to find out.
What is Basepaws?
Basepaws is a home cat DNA test (basically like 23andMe, but for cats). The women-owned company, run by founder and CEO Anna Skaya (you may have seen her on Shark Tank), is helping owners determine their cat’s breed, health, traits, and habits from a small sample of their home-collected DNA to get to know. “Cats are massively underfunded and understaffed,” says Skaya. “There are about 150 different markers in dog tests, but currently only 39 in cat tests. We’ll be adding more over the next few months and years to be your point of contact [guide] to find out if your cat has a genetic disease. The goal is to get to know your cat better and share this information with their veterinarian as well. ”
How much does it cost?
There are three options, with racial DNA testing being the cheapest at $ 89. This can help you learn more about your cat’s genetic similarity to different breed groups, learn about genetic disease markers, and get health recommendations. B-Rad took the middle option, the Breed + Health DNA test, which costs $ 149. This includes a comparison of all breeds and breed groups, updates to lifetime breed, chromosome map, wildcat index, and predisposition to genetic diseases and health markers. Finally, there’s Whole Genome Sequencing, which at $ 599 is honestly something I would never do if it couldn’t guarantee that B-Rad would live twice as long (it doesn’t). It provides 100% of the genome and raw data as well as all genetic variants and updates of race and health for life. Still, I can’t justify spending so much money.
However, for the holidays, all three options are on sale, with the best deal being the middle option – the Breed + Health DNA test – which is currently being cut from $ 149 to $ 99.
Basepaws Breed + Health DNA Test
Is It Difficult to Do Your Cat’s DNA Test?
Even with B-Rad’s gentle demeanor, I was very concerned about putting a swab in his mouth to collect his DNA. In fact, I postponed this for a good week just because I was scared. As I did that, I realized how easy it was.