Basepaws Pet Health – an animal genetic testing and cat health products company – partnered with Dr. Ernie Ward teamed up to differentiate the genetic markers associated with longer lifespan and health expectancy in cats.
According to a company press release, Project 25’s mission is to increase pet lives by no less than 25% by 2025. The results of this partnership hold the potential to enable an improved biological understanding of genetic variants, which are often associated with a lower likelihood of developing various age-related diseases (e.g. cardiovascular and kidney diseases, diabetes).
“Companion animal genetic research has historically been synonymous with dog genetic research and has mostly pushed cats out of the spotlight,” said Yuliana Mihaylova, PhD, Head of Research & Development at Basepaws, in the press release.
“This collaboration between Basepaws and Project 25 is a huge step towards equalizing equal opportunities and giving cats a chance to fight degenerative diseases as they age,” she adds.
In addition, this alliance will help advance the development of novel therapies for age-related diseases with poor prognoses and improve the quality of life for older cats. The discoveries also have the potential to be used for human studies on longevity and age-related diseases.
Both Basepaws and Project 25 are actively recruiting older cats ages 17 and up to participate in their longevity research project. Cat parents will be given a mouth swab kit and will be required to collect a DNA sample from their cat and complete the health-related records to return to Basepaws’ laboratory. As a thank you for their contribution, all participants will receive the company’s own cat DNA report free of charge.
“I think every cat should celebrate its 25th birthday in good health. The first step in achieving this goal is to identify the genetic differences that set these very special cats, who lead healthy lives well into their late teens and twenties, from the general cat population, ”says Ernie Ward, DVM, Founder of Project 25, in publication.
“We can then use this knowledge to develop tools that will help all cats live longer, healthier lives. Our goal is to extend the life expectancy of cats to 25 and maybe even more, ”he adds.
To advance pet health even further, Basepaws recently launched its Basepaws Cat Dental Health Test, which analyzes the relative abundance of more than 600 microbes in a cat’s mouth to detect early signs of dental disease in cats.
To learn more about Basepaws and its innovative biotechnologies, go here.