The Basepaws test kit helps cat owners learn about their cats’ traits, breed characteristics, and ultimately their health and habits with just a swab of DNA collected at home. Once the DNA is collected, owners send the sample to our offices in California, where we compare it to other cat DNA to determine whether specific genes are linked to disease or physical traits. A cat’s DNA contains more than 20,000 genes, which are spelled out in a unique genetic code that is around 2.7 billion letters long. We take this DNA and use sequencing machines to read and record these letters to determine the results. After the owner receives the results, they will also receive lifetime benefits like updates, newsletters and articles about their cat’s DNA, so they can stay up to date on the latest developments.
Going on Shark Tank was amazing, but it took a lot of work. We had to show that Basepaws is a successful business in addition to sharing a story that was engaging and relatable to the viewers. We were definitely nervous prior to the show, but the producers and the Sharks were very nice, which made things easy for us. I also brought my cat, Koko, with me for the segment and as soon as we both walked into the Tank, I knew it was going to be okay. She stole the show!
There is so much that we can do with genetic testing that would contribute to a healthier and happier life for an animal as well as its owner. For example, a DNA test can make it easier to identify which traits are linked to health conditions like heart disease and obesity. This information can save pet owners the time and cost of trial and error, using veterinary research to shed light on the best foods for their specific breed. Additionally, DNA research has revealed a vast amount of useful, often life-saving information for humans, and we want to facilitate those same breakthroughs for cats. There is so much more that we can understand about animals that we can only do through genetic testing. Our vision is ultimately to help owners better understand what their cats need to be happy and healthy, which in turn will make their owners happy as well.
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