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Now For Whiskers, Too

Cats are now getting in on the ancestry and health DNA testing, and Wired reviews a new service called Basepaws that provides not only feline ancestry information but also health data.

Ancestry and health testing services have been expanding for dogs, though there have been questions about variability in testing quality. Still, fewer such services are available for cats, which Wired's Christopher Null says is in part due to less research interest in cats. Though, there are some such tests.

Null sent in samples of his cat Saffy — whom he calls "eccentric" — to Basepaws to try the $99 service. He reports at Wired that there was a bit of wait to get results back, about two months to get the health results and another month to get genetic results. These indicated that Saffy wasn't at risk of the 17 diseases examined and that she is about 46 percent polycat — a mix of all cat breeds — and about a third Western cat breeds like Western shorthair, but also about 9 percent Eastern cat breeds like Burmese.

"The Basepaws report can be a bit confusing, and it doesn't feel complete in large part because it can't be complete," Null adds. "There's just not enough information about cat breeds available to make for a full picture."